Saturday, September 7, 2013

Boy . . . Was I Wrong!

It hit me recently . . . I've been dead-wrong. 

Here I thought I knew a little something about raising kids. After all, I am second-oldest of eight and was babysitting since age 10; I worked in a group home and a youth shelter during college;  I had 16+ years of experience in elementary school teaching and administration; and I had one child of my own along with numerous nieces and nephews. I figured, "Hey, I know a little something about this stuff. I can share some of what I've figured out over the years."

Then my second child came along, a daughter, now about 18 months old, and I've spent the last 18 months coming to terms with just how little I actually know. This beautiful little girl has defeated all my usual approaches and defied my most tried and true methods. 

Like an old western stand-off, she matches my "angry daddy" face with her own "angry toddler" version. She can go from joyfully giddy to terribly unhappy in under 0.2 seconds for no apparent reason. She doesn't even laugh at my silly faces. I used to keep my son in stitches with that routine, but it produces the opposite result with her. She makes me feel like I've been doing this whole raising kids thing flat wrong!

Yet, she's got the most infectious smile (when she feels like it). After a long day at work, I am still turning the key in the front door when I can already hear her screaming "Daddy!" on the other side. She's a hugger . . . and they are truly the best hugs.

Of course, I attribute all the good stuff to my wife's influence, but maybe I had a little something to do with it. I guess what I'm saying if you've read this far is-- if I know one thing, it's that I don't know it all. Kids have a funny way of showing you this.

So I'll continue to share what has worked and what hasn't. I'd love to hear your stories in the comments or via email (, especially if you've got a few stories of parenting "fails" like mine . . . I could use the company!

God Bless.

Photo credit: CarbonNYC via photopin cc

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