Hum dee ho… “Could you hand me that wrench? That’ll fix it,” I say to anybody who’s listening. ‘It’ being whatever struggle I’m currently having with my kid. The ‘wrench’ being whatever tool I have tucked away under my parenting ‘know-it-all fix-it-all’ belt.
I have tools for everything, it seems. My tools have come to me from parenting classes. Books. Seminars. My own experiences. They’ve all filled my fatherhood toolbox with everything I’ll need for every occasion, right? When a screw is loose, grab my parental screwdriver. When something needs to be pounded in, I grab my parental hammer. When I forget the combination to my kid’s brain… grab the hacksaw.
It seems like parenting should be as ridiculously simple as always grabbing the right tool for the right need, for us and for other people’s kids. Jim Bob over there is having problem with his kid doing x-and-such. Hey no problem, all he needs to do is… let’s see… here’s the answer. Right here in this book. Sally Sue is struggling because her kid is doing y-and-such. Simple as pie, all she needs to do is… let’s see… the answer is right here in my notes from that parenting course. And Chuck-Cho’s problem with his kid? Well, duh… my kid had the same problem and I used Dan’s magical kid-fixing-tonic to make that problem go away. Guaranteed it’ll work for Chuck-Cho as well.
Don’t ask me where I came up with the name Chuck-Cho. I like it though. I’ll probably use it again. I may even name my next kid Chuck-Cho.
<sigh>. I won’t lie. My toolbox gets pretty heavy sometimes. There are so many tools in it that sometimes I don’t even know what any of them are good for. And, even worse… sometimes none of them seem to work at all.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that my kid is going to adapt. He’s going to recognize whatever tool it is I’m pulling out of my daddy-toolbox and he’s going to make that tool worthless to me. I’ll show up with a Phillip’s screwdriver, he’ll suddenly have a slot-edge problem. I’ll show up with a socket wrench. He’ll bury those bolts and nuts so deep that what I have can’t reach them. And, usually that’s all okay because I have some other tool in my toolbox that fits the need.
But… every once in a while… that little stinkers does something, or hits me from behind, or presents a challenge so difficult, that nothing that I usually use works.
>> I wrote this entry and published it on my Babble Voices blog. Read the rest of it on Danoah Unleashed >>