Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A Mock up of Parenting - Part the Second: where we add complications.

Then you decide to have a second kid. Add a tennis ball.
Things get harder. When you have help, it’s still not that bad. You divide the work and after some adjustment, things go pretty well. When you don’t have help, you end up initially having to go through the episode twice, temporarily memorizing the songs you hear the second time through. That’s not too bad, because you get a treat both times, but it’s frustrating to have to wait on those tasks you want to get done. However, eventually you may still be able to adapt so that much of the time you can get through the process in 1 sitting.t harder. When your spouse is helping, thisnever, you will improve.

hange suddenly, perhaps because it is a new season.
Then you have a third kid—add a tennis ball.
Now, even with your spouse’s help, one of you is minding two of the tennis balls. Without help, you’re trying to keep 3 balls going by yourself and still catch the entire plot and all the songs. The number of times it takes to successfully make it will go up dramatically. You’ll be regularly frustrated that you aren’t getting anything else done.

And remember, this is if you just have averagely difficult kids.
If you want to see what it is like to have an above-average difficult kid, or a kid with some legitimate special needs, there are a few things you can do to simulate that in this experiment.
Choose a radio station with a style of music you don’t follow. For me, it would be country music. If you start to get used to that style, switch to another station.  If I ever got so used to country that it started to get easy, I’d switch to jazz, for example. For very challenging kids, choose a Spanish channel (assuming you don’t speak Spanish.)
You could also get 1 (or more) of the tennis balls wet. Not only does that make them heavier and make them bounce less effectively, it also makes them messy. Again, for an added challenge, instead of clear water, use something like Kool-aid, or the liquefied cheese from a macaroni box, or mud.
In all fairness, there is the chance you’ll have very easy kids, which would be like listening to a playlist of all your favorite songs instead of a random radio station, while watching re-runs of your favorite TV show.

(To be continued)

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