As I sat watching my kids run around at a splash park the other day, it occurred to me that I’ve finally reached the Promised Land of parenting: I can just sit on the blanket and let them run wild. I don’t have to follow them around making sure they don’t drown themselves. I don’t have to remind them to wait their turn in line for the slide. I don’t even have to keep an eye out to see if one of them has to go to the bathroom. My only real function is to drive them to and from the park, and feed them snacks once in a while.
It wasn’t always like this. I remember going to that same splash park with a two-year-old and a newborn, and it was a Herculean effort to keep everyone alive and happy. For a long time I wouldn’t even go without at least one other adult with me to handle the chaos. But such trips are almost effortless now.
Not that the kids appreciate my efforts anyway. Two or three times a week they ask me if they can go to daycare. (Never mind that they’ve never had a non-family babysitter. Never mind that Mommy gave up her career to stay home and take care of them so that they wouldn’t have to spend more time with strangers than with their own parents. Never mind that Mommy is their personal chauffeur and makes a big effort to take them to the movie theatre, the splash park, the bowling alley, etc. The grass is always greener, I guess.)
Today, for instance, we did the waterslide park, went out for a nice lunch, and then toured the science centre. But will the boys ever appreciate just how good they have it?
What are the odds?