My amazing daughter is turning 18 today. I refuse to attempt any sort of I’m-too-young-to-have-a-child-that-old joke. But seriously, she’s adopted.* Please don’t tell her though – we are waiting until she gets old enough to understand.
As I was planning to make her day 146% better than any previous birthday, I began to reminisce about parenthood, and I realized many of the little hidden bags of unexpected awesomeness (you could think of them as “perks”) that parents get to enjoy when they have children. Here are a few:
- Instant excuse for anything. When a friend asks for your help moving, there is no need for those lame excuses or fake back injuries. A simple, “I can’t. I’ve got to watch the kid.” No questions asked. It’s amazing. I was actually sad when my kids got too old to use this excuse.
- Turn away from those awkward conversations. Whenever you find yourself stuck in a superficial conversation about the weather, you can use your small child to get out of it. Try this one: “Little Joey, can you tell Franz how old you are? Are you two? No, silly. Are you three? Yeah!” Polite small talk avoided.
- Nap time is back. I loved it when it was time for my kid to take a nap. I would say, “I need to put little Joey down for his nap, excuse me.” One hour later, little Joey and I were feeling pretty rested.
- Passing gas with gusto. One of the tragedies of living in a civilized culture is the fact that it isn’t “appropriate” to pass gas. How did we ever let that happen?! Well, when you have a kid, this opportunity opens back up for you. You can let one go, then blame it on the kid! It’s perfect. “Oh little Joey, someone did a ‘tinky, didn’t they? You silly little boy.”
- Total dominance. I could totally dominate my kids in any and all sports. I was the greatest player in the Bracken family. Once I determined that they might be able to beat me, I retired to become their coach. Now I’m the greatest coach in the family.
There are many other perks like this, but these are some of my favorites.
*she’s not really adopted, and for the record, adoption is one of the most amazing things humans have ever done.