It Gets Better When They Turn 25

Advice for young or new parents. Have you ever been in public and encountered a toddler screaming their head off?  When I do, I usually think or say one of two things.

  • “If it’s that bad kid, leave home.”
  • “Don’t worry it gets better when they turn 25.”

About 25 is where the kids start asking for less money.  But that’s also when the grandkids usually start showing up so you’re pretty much screwed for life.  You eventually accept that it’s one of the stages in parenting.  While not even close to being an expert, I’ve noted that with all the Happiness and Love your little Bundle of Joy comes with you also get a big doze of Angst. It comes at you in stages so it’s not that bad.

Just kidding.  It is that bad and there will be many, many sleepless nights.

  1. When you’re preggers you stay awake at night praying that your baby will be healthy. “Ten fingers and toes and we’re good to go.”
  2. Then it’s, “Will it ever sleep through the night?” Please God. I have to go to work in the morning.
  3. There there are the diapers.  You eventually look at that stack of boxes on the grocery belt and covert it to how much beer you could buy instead.  Beer should be present at the Potty Training Victory Party.
  4. The next stop on the Parenting Train is “When will they start school?”  Oh yes, you will be on your knees praying for that day.  Then to prove that God has a sick sense of humor, you and the newly minted kindergartener can have a contest over who stops crying first.
  5. On Day Two you start the 13 year nightmare called “Will They Graduate???”  Along the way you get to enjoy other nightmares like, “Will they get beaten up?”  “Will they get shot?” “Are they on drugs?” “Are they having sex?” “Will they get into college?”  “How the fuck can we afford that?”  “Are they still wearing the clothes you saw at breakfast?”
  6. On Graduation Day, you may experience one of two things.  You might smoothly transition into “Will they find a job?” or they’re off to college.  If the latter, feel free to repeat steps 4 and 5.
  7. If your Pride and Joy is gainfully employed you may now enjoy “Will they EVER leave the house?”  Try giving them Samsonite for a birthday present.  Maybe they’ll get the hint?
  8. Thus begins  “Will they move back in?” No fucking way.  We just bought the furniture we’ve waited 18 years to buy and I’m not giving up the Beer Fund money again.
  9. At this point “Will they get married?” slowly creeps into your psyche.   When they do find someone, thus begins “Who is this Dirt Bag/Tramp?”  Horror fills your soul as the specter of Number Eight stands in your yard and peeks through the windows.
  10. Then the grandchildren show up at the door.  You have given up beer so that you can save up for new furniture and THEIR college tuition.  Also to spoil them rotten because they’re so damn cute.  Lavish them with xylophones, drum sets and that Evil popping, pushy thing that Fisher Price makes.  Don’t forget to sugar them up before handing them back to Mom and Dad.

    Hint: You can break the spring that makes the balls pop. But then they start running down siblings and the cat with it.

In the end all you truly pray for is that your kids are happy and that makes all the Hell you went through  worth it.

Would you do it all over again? You bet your sweet ass you would.


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