I have been planning on starting this new parenting column on my blog for a couple of weeks now. So, welcome to Parenting Stew, called such to keep with the Green OnionBlog theme that is tied to my culinary background. I think it is a fitting name as I can literally stew about the challenges of raising children. I mention my family a lot on this blog but, for those who do not know my partner Jenn and I have two children and each have wildly different personalities, Zyler (7) a conservative, organised, quiet little bloke, and Alex (5) an outgoing, energetic, wildcat of a girl. Which means we have needed to adopt two opposing parenting styles while still trying to maintain a certain level of fairness. I have a lot to say about the dirtiest job on the planet.
I happen to have a unique perspective on the whole raising children front. First, I am a father who is willing to share my opinions on parenting, which there is not enough of us- mom’s kind of rule the family blogging front, it is called Mommy Blogging after all. Second, as a father, I have been through it all. At given points through my seven years as a dad, I have been in the traditional role, a parent through separation, a full-time single father, blended families, a step-father, a stay-at-home father, and my personal favourite: nerd-dad. I like to think I have done it all until my kids throw a new challenge at me.
When I decided that this column would be a fun outlet and possibly help other parents, I got excited. I mean there are so many things to talk about. Like any parent, I could write a book series on the challenges of children’s eating habits. Or, operate a daily podcast on how to get kids to clean their dang room. I can add things to the conversation that I am uniquely qualified for like cooking with kids, dealing with separation, or forcing your favourite fandoms down their little throats. With children, there is always something new to stew about.
I knew that today was the day I wanted to start this series, and I have been running ideas through my head all week of what my first topic should be. Fittingly, my kids made the decision for me.
I woke up this morning to Jenn having a minor panic attack. An email had arrived from the kid’s school about a lice outbreak that potentially has impacted every classroom. Thankfully, my beautiful partner happens to be a nurse, a fact that I find myself grateful for in circumstances like these all of the time. So, while she is handling the touching of the heads- which would totally creep me out with the idea that there may be bugs crawling around in there- I was on the sidelines asking, what I see now as, stupid questions. Nurse mom can’t even be 100% certain but, looks like the kids have indeed caught the creepy crawlers.
Now, I love my kids but, as of this morning, they gross me out… more than usual. I never had lice, I have never cared to learn about lice, and as such the idea of lice is disgusting. I know my kids are not responsible, it is not because they play in the dirt, can’t keep their room clean, or don’t wipe their butts properly (a future stew), that they caught head lice. But, still. Gross. I work from home so, like Jenn automatically gets all the nurse-y jobs, I am automatically stuck with them and their community of head travellers for the afternoon. Which means they are in exile from entering my personal space until Momma can return home to kill the mini-monsters (the lice not the children).
Here we come evening of special shampoos and extensive combing. But, until then I have to tackle a massive igloo-sized pile of laundry which includes every article of clothing, every stuffed animal, and anything else fabric that I can find. Awesome, another parenting woe, the never-ending laundry pile, and it just got bigger.
Until next time, good luck to all of us.