5 unexpected joys of parenthood

Continuing on my theme of talking about the good stuff, I’ve been thinking about some of the hidden joys of parenthood. Sure, some things you expect: cuddles from a very small human, them saying the darndest things, and eventually someone to visit your nursing home on Venus. (What, they are reinvesting in the space program, right? And it’s hotter than Florida). But there are the upsides I didn’t see coming:

1. Ticket to the playground

The park is the best. Teenagers know this, which is why they invade ala vampires the moment the sun goes down. But as an adult, they are pretty much off limits. Anyone can see the joys of lying in the grass, climbing on picnic tables and leaping off swings. But just try lurking near the zip slide as a childless adult and see how long it is before the cops are called. Kids are the ticket!

2. Easiest excuse out of any unpleasant social engagement

“Oh, I’d love to help you move/visit your church/join the scrapbooking club but I’ve got the kids. . . .”

3. Children’s Books

I love to read, and pride myself on tackling some serious tomes, but I can’t deny that my favorites right now include a heavy dose of Boynton and Willems.

4. Someone to blame for things that go missing, move about mysteriously

I used to believe in spirits. Why these other-worldly energies were spending their time moving my checkbook and hiding all the pens and serving spoons, I can’t really tell you. But now, thanks to the wisdom of Family Circle cartoons, I know that every mysterious household incident can be blamed on my child.

5. Kids improve your diet (and other ways you stop being a slouch)

Nothing holds a mirror up to your habit of, say, eating cereal for dinner like having a little person at the table. Some people say eating off your child’s plate will gain you ten extra pounds, but for me, it’s more likely gotten me the recommended amount of vegetables. This effect can also be seen in other areas: spending more time outside, less TV watching, and 100% more frequent sheet changing.

What parenting joy surprised you?

2 Responses to “5 unexpected joys of parenthood”
  1. Skinny Sushi says:

    My unexpected joys… she always wakes up with a smile, turning me into an unexpected morning person. I never realized how much I would like her… like hanging out with her… she’s already my best friend. I actually learn things from the animal show she watches, and it’s fun to sing the songs with her. Kids books rock, like The Monster at the End of This Book.

  2. campingshop says:

    I love the ticket to the playground my son and I have such fun going down the slides or see-saws. The other unexpected joy I have discovered is having an excuse to go and see children’s movies – i no longer have to wait for kids movies to come out on DVD now my son and I often go to the movies and we both love it!

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