The Children Binge

by Regis Boff

I treat my children as entertainment. I hadn’t clarified this realization until Netflix. Raising them was strenuous and poured life from me like Morton salt but without them, I might as well have been wearing plaid in Miami and eating dinner at three-thirty in the afternoon all these twenty years.
I thought at first parenting would be like any other task with a perceivable career trajectory. Acquire skills then build on them to buttress against whatever to climb the project throws at you.
The hoped for product; it reasonably followed, was a lubricated and happy relationship with your child
This algorithm does not apply to children. The simplest example of this phenomenon was the changing of diapers. At one point I considered touring my skill, playing in small venues across the country. I was so crackerjack that I could toss my daughter in the air, and a fresh diaper would be on her before she hit the ground.
Then she stopped needing diapers. I had her down for her nap like she was a rock band taking the stage. Then she gave up naps. I build fences out off empty beer cases for her to safely crawl around in while I rested and watched. Then she learned to walk. This tail chasing has continued to this day.
Nobody is good at being a parent. It is not a skill. It is like Netflix, a binge.