Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Your Children Are Certifiable

Your children are certifiable. My children are certifiable. Children are just crazy. Watch them for a while and see for yourself.

Here's a small example of what my insane 2 yr old has done lately:
Sit on the potty for 10 minutes singing, not go potty, then immediately take a shower and poop on the floor
Ask for something, then scream when I gave it to her.
Say no when I offer her something, then scream because I didn't give it to her.
Ask for a pink cup. Then when I give her one, scream that she wants a purple one.

Here's a small example of what my insane 3 yr old has done lately:
Talk nonstop about imaginary events for 30 minutes straight. 
Concoct an imaginary birthday party that will happen 6 months in the future, then get upset when I tell her the party isn't really happening this week, and please don't invite over any more of her preschool friends quite yet. 

Now, I'm no psychologist. I'm no licensed mental health provider. But if a grownup did these things on a regular basis, they would earn them self a DSM Axis II diagnosis and a trip to McLean Hospital. The terms "personality disorder", "logorrhea", and "delusional" come to mind. If you had to interact with them and care for them every day, you'd be working in the locked unit of a mental health facility.

But they're our children. Their behaviors are "developmentally appropriate". We're supposed to help them learn to be not crazy. And I've heard it takes years.

This is just one of the things that makes parenting hard. The world says your child is "normal", but you can't help but feel like they're insane.

And you read funny articles or blog posts that try to make light of the phenomenon of parenting and are just SO TRUE!. And then you get commenters who snippily say things like, "Well, I know that they're only young once, so I CHERISH EVERYTHING they do." This just isn't helpful to the psyche of parents. Lady, I'd love for you to come over and cherish the poop stains on my rug any time.

Of COURSE our children are blessings from God. Of course they're only doing what's in their true nature. But paranoid schizophrenics are only doing what's in their true natures, as well, and God loves them too. Staff clinicians on psych wards are allowed to say that their jobs are sometimes hard. Are we not?

I wonder if this is more difficult to manage in a demographic group where we're all encouraged to go to college. So we can get jobs where we don't get stuck working for demanding narcissists who don't pay us much. And we pay lots of money and work hard to get great jobs. And we do! We know stuff. People seek out our opinions and knowledge. We don't have people following us around all the time or standing over us. We're independent! We accomplish things!

And then we have kids and start working for tiny demanding narcissists who don't pay us much. Or anything, actually...

I adore my girls. They are special treats, and I love watching their personalities blossom. 

But they're certifiable.  


  1. I am in tears laughing! I have an almost 7yo and she is still certifiable and I remember those years you are talking about above. It was a challenge, but it gets better and the made up stories get funnier!!! I think the best is the pink/purple cup...somedays I remember wondeing what the heck is WRONG with this kid!!!

    1. I love seeing their developing imaginations, and can't wait to see how much better it gets! 6 yrs old must be a blast!

  2. I remember the Easter my 2-year-old was eating a hard-boiled egg (at an egg hunt/Easter potluck on the farm of some not-quite relatives) and handed his dad the yolk because he didn't like them. DH proceeded to pop the yolk in his mouth & eat it. Screams & much upset ensued BECAUSE THAT EGG YOLK WAS HIS; it only ended when the hostess distracted him by taking him out to the barn to find the Grand Prize stuffed bunny. We also were the center of attention at VBS when some kid grabbed his cookie & ate it. He wanted THAT cookie back & wouldn't let them palm off some other cookie on him. Funny now.... not so funny when you're the pastor's family & "can't control your children"!

    1. Too funny! Did you cherish every moment of it?

  3. It's like living in a parallel universe. I've been around my two so long that these things don't even surprise me anymore, it's just the way things are. Is it scary that I can even anticipate/understand their craziness most of the time? I'm afraid of what it might imply for my own sanity...
    Perhaps growing up in a family with more than one member who's more than a standard deviation away from the mean in terms of craziness served to prepare me for motherhood in a unique way. And yes, I know that everyone thinks their family is crazy. But mine really is. I hope my kids get lots of dominant genes from my husband...

    1. Hahaha!
      I think you also know my family well enough to start to see who's getting dominant genes from whom!