For those of you who have yet to have children I am going to let you in on a little secret. No matter how angelic your child may be, parenting is painful. I’m not just talking about the birthing process for moms, either. That one’s a given. There’s no real cure either, except to work on your meditation and pain tolerance skills. I’m still a novice in this area, so if I come off as whiny, hopefully you’ll understand and perhaps even forgive me for this post.
Let me describe for you some of the pains:
1. Vivi-Itis. This is what the wife and I refer to as general back pain. Usually radiating from the lower vertebrae and through the hips along the leg. Some might call it sciatica, spondylitis, garden variety back pain, whatever. Between you and me, there’s only one clear cause, and it’s an external factor. Trust me, both of us have checked. At varying times over the past year, both of us have visited either a chiropractor, osteopath, acupuncturist, orthopedist, and rheumatologist to figure out just what the hell is wrong with our backs. As it turns out, the only thing that really seemed to help either of us was physical therapy, and perhaps losing some weight. I’m sure our unsupportive furniture may also be partly to blame.
2. Physical Violence. This is a broad category of pain, and is inconsistent at best. Also very difficult to prove as most of the “moves” she’s figured out don’t leave physical marks. Emotional marks? Well, that’s a different story. There are times where our household is relatively tranquil, free of all manner of violence including, but not limited to: crotch stomping, thrown objects, biting, slapping, kicking, raking, and head butting. That peace, however, is an illusion. Sooner or later, someone is bound to have a mild disagreement with her parents and inadvertently lash out in whatever manner seems most appropriate at the time. Lately, the preferred method is the face slap. Looks like someone’s shaping up for a career on trash television. Or as a ninja. I haven’t decided yet.
3. Eardrum Shattering. Like most super powers, there comes a great responsibility to use it for good, not evil. This technique is particularly painful at short range. Our little girl has figured out how to scream, and loves to demonstrate her super skill, from way on up high, usually when riding on my shoulders. If you’ve ever wondered why your grandpa says “speak up, and into my good ear”, you’re looking at the answer. It’s certainly not the result of concerts or loud rock music, that’s for sure.
4. Tummy woes. Remember that whole natural selection and survival of the fittest stuff you learned in HS? It’s real. Case in point: the curse of the Jews. As a relatively insular people who have been encouraged (both by grandmothers and biblical lore) to marry within the tribe, we have been short changed on the amazing diversity the gene pool has to offer. As a result, we are the lucky inheritors of numerous diseases, from cancers, heart disease, and autoimmune disorders. Compounding this amazing luck is the fact that both the wife and I suffer from Crohn’s Disease. I think our kid’s doomed to get it. I was doing really well until last week when out of nowhere it flared to life with a vengeance. The fun just doesn’t stop!
This just scratches the surface as I am sure countless untold emotional trauma will unfold as someone approaches her teenage years. I can’t help but wonder how other parents out there cope with the pains of parenting?