Children don’t come with instructions   23 comments


Parenting is hard.

The problem is, kids do not come with how-to manuals. I did ask for one but the doctor just shook his head and laughed. I’m not talking about the myriad of books available on the subject of parenting, I mean a back to basic, A to Z, step by step, idiot proof guide like you get with a new blender or anything from Ikea; just a simple book of do’s and do not’s, that if executed properly, will result in the perfect Stepford child.

Actually, maybe Ikea is a bad example because I once had to put together a bookshelf I bought from there and after four days, one migraine and a rather nasty leg wound, that labyrinth of hell went straight back to the store. Turns out I may have been reading the instructions in Dutch.

Did you know that unlike Ikea, children don’t even have a return policy? I guess it’s just a ‘you bake it, you take it’ kind of deal. The hospital won’t even give you a receipt, just your baby and a bag full of welcome wagon coupons. Like fifty cents off of wet naps and a visit from the Tupperware lady gives you enough working knowledge on how to raise a child. Just try calling her at 3 AM for instructions on how to calm your colicky baby and I guarantee you will not be getting your free gift.

I think becoming a parent is hands down the most optimistic thing I have ever done. For me, having children, seemed like an appropriate next step in my life’s journey. Sure I got lost in Costco and couldn’t boil water without burning a pot but everyone else seemed to be doing it so why not give it a go? Looking back now, I am amazed at the level of narcotic free delusion I must have been experiencing. It’s logic like that, I am now convinced, must have preceded the invention of Fundies. It’s a thing; Google it.

Before I was a mother I couldn’t even keep a house plant alive. I tried but I kept forgetting to water it. Luckily, children will make a lot of noise if you forget to feed them for any significant length of time and my plants just never seemed to try that hard. So I guess even if they don’t come with instructions they do have the odd fail safe. They will cry if something is wrong, sadly they will also cry when nothing is wrong which can be a bit of a conundrum.

The good news is, that so far, even without any degrees, step by step instructions , expertise of any kind, or any discernable skillset, I have managed to keep all of them alive (with my husband’s help of course); wait let me just double check…yes all still alive and well. I think that it’s important to celebrate the little victories when parenting like this, and remembering to pick them up from soccer practice and maybe even getting their name right on the first try (not as easy as it sounds). It may not seem like MENSA material but when mixed with a lot of love it seems to be getting the job done.

Posted January 20, 2015 by janyceresh in Uncategorized

23 responses to “Children don’t come with instructions

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  1. I only have 2 and i still mess up the names. Lord if i knew what i did before i started… I wonder if ida agreed to it!

  2. So you mean to tell me this birth certificate thing doesn’t double as a bill of sale in case I need to return her????

  3. 😀 😀 😀 I’m glad child rearing is all behind me now. I had only one and by the time she was in her teens, I thought I’d never live long enough to see her out of them. 😀

  4. You better watch out, they may name a type of parenting after you!! The “janyceresh parenting” style.. You realize you have no idea what you are doing at any given moment and you wing it as needed!! HAHAAHAAHA!!! (wait- I think that was MY style too…. I would rather you have the honor of the name! you wrote this hysterically true article!!)

  5. “Luckily, children will make a lot of noise if you forget to feed them for any significant length of time and my plants just never seemed to try that hard.” HAHA!

  6. Thank God, my kids are grown up and out on their own. The whole experience was one part heaven and one part hell but if I had to do it all over again, I’d do it in a heartbeat. I tell myself that I would do a better job but I probably would just make different mistakes.

  7. It’s definitely the most challenging thing I’ve ever done. The kid bit had always come easily to me, but I was completely useless with my first baby. I had no idea what to do half the time, because even the books leave out important details. Congratulations on keeping your offspring alive 🙂

  8. I am reading this at 4.15 am, just had to go put the blanket over my 19 month old, he throws it off, gets cold and starts to moan, just yesterday I saw a 12 week pregnant lady and husband, buying car seat, excited and said you know I lost 15 kg since my son started crawling, new mommy loved that, he was slightly wide eyed. Such a roller coaster ride, sometimes you hang on for dear life, other times it is pure exhilaration. Nice post.

  9. Thank you for clearing that up. I’ve always wondered how it is that I kill every plant, especially poinsettias, but not my four children. It’s the crying.
    (What is the point of poinsettias anyway? I mean, by mid-January who really needs a red and green flower hanging around? Are we supposed to keep those things going all year? Plant them in the frozen yard?)
    Spot on, as always.

  10. Loved this post! Totally triggered my favorite family memory. The whole change your mind thing, culminated for me when I brought my newborn twins home from the hospital and as my 3.5 year old looked on curiously, I cut off their little hospital id bracelets to put in a scrapbook. He immediately began to shriek and I calmed him down, explaining that I hadn’t hurt them, it was just a manicuring scissors! But he sobbed, “No, you took off their price tags and now we can’t bring them back!”

  11. You’re making jokes about a doctor and a hospital for something you and your husband did. It occurs to me that your children share your genetic code. Do you not remember being a child?

    Matthew Chiglinsky
  12. Delightful! Don’t worry until you start calling your kids by the dog’s name…

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