Four Things I Don’t Like and May Even Hate a Little

There are four things that I do not like.  One is to be hollered at.  Another is to be hit.  A third is to be ignored.  And the fourth is to be spit on. 

I didn’t grow up with people doing these things to me necessarily, though every child gets ignored by his older brother or sister.  I have one of both.  I also have my share of memories of being hollered at by more than a few people.  Still, along with a friend named Tyler, I’ve learned how much I dislike these four things.

It’s funny because I used to go into my “There are four things in the world that I don’t like” when my wife would ignore me.  It got to the point when it was funny.

I found myself thinking about my long-unemployed mantra a few days into fatherhood.  I wasn’t laughing.

Well-intentioned people brightened when they saw me after Bryce was born.  Their faces wore a number of questions, one of which was “So, how’s it feel to be a dad?”  I enjoyed their interest and happiness, but I secretly hated their question.  I edited the first words in my mouth…  There are four things I do not like, I wanted to say. 

Don’t get it twisted: I’m loving some things about early fatherhood.  I love the way Bryce turns his face to something when an unfamiliar sound pulls his ear.  I’d give my best books to see Bryce smile and laugh after he’s been fed, when the milk fairy dances in front of him and lulls him into another 2-3 hours of sleep.  I love the walks we took those first days so Dawn could sleep, even though they were two hours long and my feet were sore and he was asleep during most of that time.  I enjoy those few times when Dawn cannot quiet him and, like magic or grace or some other miracle, he just goes silent when he comes into my arms.  I hope to trap inside my head and heart the first time I heard him cry because my eyes were wet too, the first time he screamed during bath time, and the way he listened while Bishop G. E. Patterson prayed on my playlist. 

I could continue.  I love things.  I even like things.

But.

I don’t like being spit upon.  I don’t like being ignored, which is incidentally what his little ears are doing when I say “Stop crying” and he keeps crying.  I don’t like being hollered or roared or screamed at.  I can do without being hit, or, in this case, pressed at the arms by tiny feet and little thick legs stretcing into a premature stance because I’m removing a soiled pamper. 

Nobody told me about the moments or days when being a father would annoy me.  They said sleep would end.  They said life would change, that I’d never have time to do things I wanted.  They said that me and Dawn would be great at parenting.  They even said we’d make mistakes.

They didn’t say that I would feel frustrated or annoyed at me and even at this little blessing from God.  Or that my job would consist of pailing wrapped up white packages in a green bag or that taking out the garbage and the recycling would get that much more complicated because of a new resident who’s too young to work and clean up after himself.

So, yes, I love being a father.  There are times I don’t like it much because I have never learned to like those four things which this lovely kid does so well.

What are some things you don’t like?  Let’s make this interesting.

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9 thoughts on “Four Things I Don’t Like and May Even Hate a Little

  1. I’m definitely with you on not liking to be ignored. It makes me just a little crazy.

    And while I’m not a parent, I do a lot of babysitting. An inconsolable child who’s not mine and whose instincts I am not genetically connected to can be really, really frustrating.

    I also don’t like customers who talk on the cell phone while they’re also talking to me, as though I’m a robot who doesn’t need common courtesy. (I guess that goes in the ‘being ignored’ category.)

    I’m sure there’s more. But those are a few attempts at “making it interesting.” 🙂

  2. I enjoyed this, my friend. It’s candid. It’s honest. It helps me to know what to expect b/c I, like you, don’t like to be hit or yelled at–or ignored (the spitting is new on me, but I’m pretty sure I hate that too).

    I’d like to share your blog with some friends too. I’m sure they will enjoy it.

    Blessing to you, Dawn and Bryce!

  3. Truly I enjoyed this Michael! I’m laughing…I don’t like “snoopers” you know, nosey people. However my children are always peeking around the corner, opening things that look interesting to them (but my name is on it), trying to read my facebook page, my email, my cards and one even wanted the inside scope on my paycheck – ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!!

    Love them, but really, there are days when I need them to stay out of my business :-)!!!

  4. I hate when people won’t THINK! It drive me nuts! Grown people who refuse to use the “gray matter”! It’s maddening!

    As for my sweeties, if only the eldest could figure out how to properly clean the dish the macaroni & cheese was baked in, I’d be alright. And for the little one, I’m really annoyed by her fingerprints and smudges on everything made of glass in the house! Love them dearly but these two things annoy the heck out of me……..

  5. Oh Michael, I love this!
    I hate being screamed at, I hate repeating myself, I hate urine, I hate white men’s briefs, I hate spiders and I hate worms.
    BUT I have a little boy…he’s a toddler. He screams (which is 10x worse than crying, let me tell you) when he’s exhausted and when he’s in a growth spurt. IDK if it’s a toddler thing or a boy thing but I swear he has selective hearing. I have to say everything at least 2 times before he does it. “Stop Crying” has never worked. “Go get your shoes” is said at least a dozen times every morning. We’re potty training. Urine. Every. Where. He’s not in tighty-whiteys yet but he will be. ugh. AND he thinks worms and spiders are hilarious and that it’s even more hilarious to see Mommy squirm and scream.

    Ain’t parenting grand? I think the older they get the more we have to learn to get over ourselves and let go of control because EVERYTHING we hate, they will figure out how to do. *sigh*

  6. Wow, you have awakened some emotions I had 10 years ago! lololol… Parenthood is an overwhelming and thankless job at first look. However, to see my child now, and he knows how to conduct himself, as well as to command attention in the softest manner is a joy that you will know in a few short years. But I hate stupid people who think they are smart. I also complete loathe being ignored. I hate cheap shoes. And finally I hate kids in adult bodies and ages that never quite grew up! The spit up didn’t bother me. The kicking aggravates me from time to time, but I have learned to treasure the moments because they go so quickly! Keep writing, it helps me.

  7. Pingback: For Really New Dads « For Fathers

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