Raising kids is no joke. It’s fucking brutal. Raising two rambunctious boys is doing me in. One is extremely emotional, the other is extremely violent. Neither of them sleep much. You know that phrase, “I have one nerve left and you’re on it”? That’s how I’ve felt for four years and four months. Now, I am editing and writing with any moment I get, while the two of them fight it out in the next room. I am trying to build more structure and discipline to cope.
Here’s some tips I’ve learned the hard way:
1. Always bring two of everything. Don’t bring one cup of water to the park. The other one will want his own. Don’t bring one hat. Don’t bring one sand toy. If there’s a reason to fight, they will find it. Best to squash that by being prepared. If you have two in the same style and color, all the better. You never know when they’re both going to want “the orange one.”
2. Trim their fingernails, religiously. Boys are going to get black eyes and bruises and scrapes. They’re going to look like they get beat (and they do, but not by us, at least). You can prevent the scratches though. So trim those talons down to nubs.
3. No tool sets with wooden hammers, for Chrissakes! Anything that could be a weapon will be a weapon.
4. Turn on the water. It always works to cool them off, figuratively too.
5. iPads are great to buy you a few minutes of solitude.
6. Let the jump on the furniture. They’re going to anyway.
7. There’s no such thing as “wearing them out.” Just wearing me out.
8. Expect your grocery bill to be sky high. And expect to buy a whole lot of hot dogs.
9. Have a hobby away from the kids. If your husband doesn’t let you, divorce him.
10. When hobbies aren’t enough, there’s always booze.