“The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow; but children grow up as I’ve learned to my sorrow. So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep! I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.” The final verse exerted from the poem- “Babies Don’t Keep” by Author: Ruth Hulburt Hamilton. Rest assured the previous verses, as well as the poem in its entirety, contain no racial or gender offensive slurs. For those of you who go out of your way to look for such things.
Children do grow up quickly and spending quality time with yours at all ages is important. Little peeps need to form a strong loving emotional bond with their parental figures early on. They also need that bond to grow, change and develop as they do. As a parent this should be the goal also. To nurture that child, to live, love and learn to be a better parent as their needs require. If not then why in hell would you have kids in the first place? To prove that you could? So you wouldn’t be lonely? Tax write-off?
Whatever reason compelled you to reproduce, or take on the responsibility of being a child’s friend, guide and big person in this crazy game called life; you should enjoy and make the most of it. Not only because it’s a fun experience but also to get the most out of your financial investment. Financial investment? Yes, children are not only a welcome burden to your heart but a heavy one on your wallet as well- little kids are expensive. For an average, middle income family the cost of raising a child from birth to adulthood is a whopping $233,610. That averages out to around $13,000 per year. But just one look into those trusting little eyes accompanied by an innocently sweet smile and a hand print caterpillar and it all seems worth it.
Thus through sweet manipulation most child raising based expenses are acceptably forgiven and forgotten. But on occasion unnecessary expenses arise that strain one’s pocketbook and patience. Case in point- Tot’s (that’s the grand-saw a.k.a. Gabe) desire for religious trousers. Of course it should have been expected, after all his daycare is located at a local church; where they have creatively merged biblical material with their educational lessons. But who would have thought it would have an impact on the child’s wardrobe? Yet everyday he would return home with his recently acquired holiest of holeys. When he was smaller it was accepted collateral damage. After all he spent a lot of time crawling around on his little knees. Back then it took months for him to wear thru the denim. But now we’re lucky if a pair last more than a couple of weekly wears.
At first we tried just letting it go but all too soon he had a drawer full of jeans with the knees blown out. Not wanting people to think he was a little neglected hobo kid we decided to do some Good Will hunting to lessen the financial blow. However, lightly used jeans don’t tend to last as long as new ones. Next we tried patches. Nothing is more disgruntling than spending hours sewing on a patch only to have it torn asunder the following day. This was rapidly becoming an insane, endless uphill battle. Made all the more frustrating due to Tot being a stocky little fellow and it being impossible to find anything that fit.
So Christmas time comes round and on the wish list for him – Jeans! And so we’re able to start the year well stocked and ready… or so we think. Despite numerous efforts encouraging him to “stay off your knees” the kid goes thru jeans at an alarming rate… until that day last week when Pappy (a.k.a. me) loses it. He goes off to daycare in the last new pair of non-religiously biased jeans and returns with them blessed by hallowed ground. Arrrggghhhh! Doors are slammed, there is loud yelling (not at him, nor cursing) this is impossible, this has to stop, we can’t keep shopping for pants, this is… and now he’s crying. He’s a very sensitive little kid and Pappy explosions are a rarity.
There are hugs and “I’m sorry” from both sides and I’m desperate to find a way to help him to understand why it’s important to take care of his things. Then it dawned on me- we had always shopped for his pants with size in mind and hoping for the best. He had never been pants shopping and had no idea the trouble we went thru keeping his knees warm- therein laid a potential solution. And the solution was- we are going shopping… right now.
The mood was light but it was shopping in its rawest, assembly line form. Get in, find pants, put pants on, take pants off, get other pants, try on other pants, get out…next store. To give credit where it’s due he’s quite the trooper- 4 stores and 20 different brands and sizes of jeans and nary a complaint or whine. Finally pants were achieved and he had gained an understanding of how necessary clothes’ shopping wasn’t always great fun and how further such shopping trips could be avoided. This proven when he returned triumphantly from daycare the following afternoon, with a smile on his face and his new jeans still intact- I expressed great praise with hugs, ice cream, an exploding fist-bump and a sincere- Thank You!
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Hope to hear from ya, until then try and stay focused. See ya!