- Family and Parenting
Five Fun Things that Parents Enjoy Doing
Being a parent is one of life's greatest joys. For anyone that has kids, I don't have to tell you what it's like. For anyone who doesn't have kids, it's impossible to explain what it's like in words. When a child joins your world, it literally changes everything. Among other things, it changes how you perceive what it means to be an adult. Having children will only serve to bring you back to your own child hood and afford to the ability have fun in a whole new way. What am I talking about? Well here are five examples of things that parents can do that a childless person just can't.
Being a parent allows you to call your children by any name that seems to fit them at the moment. No, I am not talking about derogatory remarks here - I am talking about those cute, funny, and bubbly names similar to the ones that your parents once called you. Here are some quick examples: Cutie, Boo, Blessing, Buddy, Bundle of Joy, Doll, Muffin, Princess, Pumpkin, Sugar, etc...the list is nearly endless.
But there's much more to name calling than using simple singular noun or adjective. Nick names can be created at a moment's notice if the situation permits by combining dissimilar words to form new names. For example, by combining an action word such as eat or kick and a descriptive word such as big or happy you can get some pretty funny nicknames like "Big Eater," Big Kicker," "Happy Eater," or "Happy Kicker." The latter nick name is great for a child who smiles a lot while kicking her feet during play. Can you say "How's my Happy Kicker this morning!?" I bet you can.
If you don't have children all this sounds pretty silly. However to many parents, name calling is actually serious business.
Exploring the World of "Why"
Kids are notorious for asking lots of questions and no question is asked more often by children then the simple word "Why?". Many people would find an endless series of "Why?" questions as an annoying energy drain, however, I tend to think of it more like a game of skill and endurance. As a parent I challenge myself to see how "Why?" questions can be answered without repeating a previous answer or saying "because that's just how it is." My record is probably around 20 to 21 "Why?" questions in a row. Of course this was no easy feat as it required lots of patience and some very creative thinking. Exploring the World of "Why?" is something that most childless people never get to experience.
Creating Sentences that Have Never Existed Before
Parents are great innovators. In addition to fixing broken toys, completing school assignments, and uncovering ways to make vegetables taste good, many parents have discovered the joys inventing new sentences. What exactly am I talking about? Well take, for example, the following real sentences that I never thought that I would ever have to say before.
- Please don't try and balance that cup of milk on your head while running around the couch.
- Please get your feet out of the ice maker before they freeze into cubes.
- Please stop licking the carpet, it is not made out of macaroni and cheese.
- Please don't put the pink stuffed rabbit in the toilet to 'give it a bath.'
- I want you to eat five bites of this amazingly tasty green super power food.
- No more! Two stacks of 6 cookies and two cups of milk with a bendy straw is more than enough for an after dinner snack.
- Please stop hitting your sister with the cheese sticks.
- Oh my, that is a lot of dirt on such a little face.
- Sometimes cookies crumble, that's just what happens.
- Yes, I heard you the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th times already.
As you can see, parents always have a great time brushing up on their creative speaking skills. Makes you wonder what they ever did before they had children.
Pushing the Limits of Your Body
If you have kids, then you know what exhaustion really means. Someone without them may say that they feel exhausted after working late or cleaning the whole house, but this is nothing compared to what parents endure (especially new ones). When my son was born I kept a tally of how little I slept. In the first two weeks after he was born my wife and I only got around 50 hours of sleep (averaging 3.5 hours a night). That's much less than half of the normal 112 hours of sleep typically required during a two week period.
I don't remember much from that time period (probably because my brain didn't write it to my permanent memory) but I don't regret a single moment of it. Not only did this time teach me about becoming a parent, I also learned that my body was capable of something that I previously didn't know. So how's that for pushing yourself to the limit - I suppose that's what being a parent can do. And as the old saying goes, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger."
Re-Discovering Dormant Passions
When people get older they tend to settle into routines that become rigid and monotonous. People may say that they are "just going through the motions" of life because they have lost their inner child. For many without children, life has lost the spontaneity that it had when they themselves were a child. For parents, they know all too well how children can bring out their sleeping inner child and re-ignite old dormant passions. Whether it's solving puzzles, flying kites, doing art projects, or reading, children will help you see what things that you forgot you enjoyed.
For me, I forgot how much fun I had playing with LEGO bricks when I was young. By my late teens I had stopped playing with them all together. It wasn't until my son starting playing with them again that I remembered how much fun these toys were. Don't tell anyone, but I probably have more fun building things with LEGO bricks then my son does! And come on, who doesn't want to go down a slide or climb monkey bars?