Four things about my children's childhood that I won't miss

I will miss many, many things when my children are now longer little. I know how precious this period in their life is. I know how quickly time will seem to pass. 

I know all this. I don't need any other parent to tell me, but boy oh boy do they like to tell me. Again and again and again. It's as if they think they've discovered something that was already painfully obvious to me and probably every other parent and must now share it from the rooftops of the world.    

However, there are also a few things that I won't miss when they are gone. Not just petty annoyances or aggravations that are fleeting and forgettable. Not just any minor perturbance. I'm talking about the persistent, seemingly endless, truly soul-crushing parts of parenting small children. These are the things I won't miss at all. Not one bit.

This is the list: 

Car seats
They suck so bad. Buckling kids in. Shifting car seats from one vehicle to another. The collection of detritus that gathers beneath the car seats. Car seats are the bane of my parental existence. 

Blowing on food
It sucks to stare at your own meal while blowing on food for another person that isn't even very hot.

Interrupting me while I'm on the phone
"Sorry, Daddy. I didn't realize that you were on the phone. Silly me. Now I'm going to continue to talk to you anyway as if that phone pressed against your ear is just a large, rectangular earring."

Escorting children to public restrooms
Public restrooms were not designed for little people. The toilet is too large. The sinks are too high. And just try keeping a four year-old boy's hands off anything gross in a public restroom. 

Possibly the perfect outgoing voicemail message

Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal tweeted this last week:

“Hey, this is Matt’s voicemail. Leave a message and I’ll get back to you years from now when you learn to stop leaving voicemails”
— Matthew Inman

I'm so very tempted to use it as my outgoing message.

I won't even have to change the name.

People I don't understand: Motionless telephone talkers

I don't understand anyone who sits still while talking on the phone.

I don't speak to people on the phone often, but when I do, you can bet that while I'm talking, I'm also emptying a dishwasher, sweeping the kitchen floor, folding laundry, or doing any number of mindless chores in need of completion.  

I can't imagine why anyone would just sit there and talk. It's like they're trying to be unproductive. 

This is not a telephone, so how does my son know that this was once a telephone?

My wife sent me this photo of my son from a recent visit to a children’s museum.

Yes, my family gets to go to children’s museums during the week while I slave away in the mines.

When I saw the image, I couldn’t help but wonder how Charlie understood how to use this device. It’s so unlike any telephone that he has ever seen in his life. The rotary dial, the cord, the immobile base, and even the separate, oversized, oddly shaped handset are all foreign to him.

Yet there he is, holding it to his ear, pretending to make a phone call.


Then again, I’ve also seen my son pretend to make phone calls using bananas and shoes, so perhaps imagination has a lot to do with it.

Yet somehow bananas and shoes more closely resemble the phones that Charlie has seen than this thing. Think about it:

  • Bananas and shoes are the same shape as our cordless phone.
  • Bananas and shoes are portable, like every phone Charlie has ever seen.
  • Bananas and shoes have no cords dangling from them.
  • Bananas and shows have no finger wheels affixed to them.
  • Bananas and shoes have no numbers on their surfaces, which our iPhones don’t have, either. To Charlie, most of the phones that he’s ever seen have clear, black surfaces. He’s probably never even seen an the number pad on any iPhone. 

I have to assume one of two things:

  1. Somehow the ancient, rotary phone has insinuated itself into human genetic code.
  2. My son is a genius.