9 for 9

My older son told me on Friday afternoon, “I better have all the fun possible before my birthday. Tomorrow everyone is going to tell me — You are 9. It’s time to take responsibility for your life now!” 

And hilarious as the conversation was, I realised we were all buzzing with excitement this year. We had planned the gifts a month ahead, we had a plan for a party, a menu and a guest list. 

We even managed the celebrations without any big fits or fights. 

Nine seemed like a big marker, for reasons unclear. So here’s my 9 for 9. 

1. What I did get some clarity on was that there are no lessons in parenting. 

After doing it for a good nine years, I am still not better equipped to handle parenting. 
Any other skill, you just get better at with time, practice and effort. Parenting remains the one domain you can not have any expertise in. You crack a code to one issue, and time brings you an absolutely unrelated problem to deal with. You become a wiz at allergies and your next one will come programmed with tantrums. 

2. Age then brings its own problems, and children, they all require different made-to-order handbooks. 

When you figure the troublesome two, the terrible threes start, and just like that you can add a colourful adjective to every year. You are simply screwed. The universe just ensures you experience its creativity every year. Enjoy the experience, laugh with the universe and move to the dread of the coming year.  

3. Nope, not happening. 

There isn’t any conference you can attend that brings you up to speed on either the skills or the code or any technological advancement. There are no such experts in parenting. Whoever tells you otherwise is making a big ass fool of you. 

4. What time  and experience teach you however is that whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. 

At the party and in life with kids. The cake will come in a wrong size. A few kids may turn up at the wee end and some children will chose to stay behind at the play zone.  You may want to lose your head, throw a fit, but experience will tell you to chill, walk right back, find the missing child, cut the gooey cake and sing a happy song. 

5. With experience you also learn that world does not revolve around you. 

Unless it a super duper mess, everyone forgets the small things. Smile on and go on. There is nothing that makes kids happier than some delightful food and companions. We just need to ignore what we cannot help, make do with what we can and smile at the partner and friends who help us through the sticky mess.  

6. About the greener grass

The kid who does really well at school, the child who has many friends or any child but mine  — no longer bother me in any manner. The child who seems like an angel, is giving her parent a different kind of hell after all… With time, I am only confident now that each child has their own personal screaming witch back at home and they themselves are their witches’ little devils. 

7.  Yup, everyone has their own stuff to deal with.  

With years, I am now deeply aware that everyone has their fair share of crap handed to them specifically designed for them. I am simply unaware of the drama behind their doors. As long as I manage mine, am able to help anyone who reaches out to me and do not meddle in other’s business unless asked to, I am doing alright. 

8. And we will fail, more than once. 

I also know that I will continue to fail at parenting and take my own sweet time at mastering some steps that others have picked up real fast. I can only try to go easy on myself. My learning curve is a divergent as my childs’ and if he deserves a break so do I. 

9. Let no one make you feel terrible about you or your parenting. 

Your child and your guilt will do enough of that for you. So do not let any judging eyes affect you, any comments bother you. Sleep in if you feel you need to. Dump responsibilities on to others whenever you get the opportunity. 

There are no medals here, just pure and honest love that shows through across. And nine simply seems like a good time to take a bow, for having survived with each other, through raves and rants, cuddles and kisses, yells and shouts. And to take a pause to prepare for the never ending dreads and dramas parenting will bring your way till it is 18 and you can kick them off your porch. 

Happy 9 to my bonny boy and me!

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