And sometimes you’re done by noon.

Parents of children that are in their second year of life know the constant roller coaster that accompanies daily parenting. There are moments of humor: My daughter, who can’t get up from the dinner table until everyone is finished, trying to disguise her voice as our 6-month old to say, “I’m finished” then pretending she’s innocent in those antics; There are moments were it seems like we’ve got the most intelligent kid in the world: “No, daddy, mama teaches math”; There are moments we’re raising the most empathetic kid on the whole planet, one who is going to change the world in a tangible, positive way: My daughter soothing her brother saying, “I’m here Jack, I’m here” in the sweetest voice.

Then there’s the two year old who is upstairs during nap time yelling, “Daddy! Dad! Dad! Daddy!” over and over and over again because she does not want to sleep. There’s the two year old who did everything in her power to run away at the playground, through the gates and to the parking lot, from me and her brother this morning. There’s the two year old that did the opposite of anything I said today, doing the things I told her not to and not doing the things I asked her to.

So that’s that. By noon time today I was done. Flummoxed. Beaten. Out of (figurative) breath. The dishwasher needs to be emptied, dinner needs to be prepped, and based on the smell down here, I think it’s me that needs to shower. I’m also 30% sure I pulled my groin wrangling that small filly that stampedes around my house.

That’s how it goes, I guess.

I don’t have to tell anyone who had kids that it can be simultaneously soul-sucking and the most rewarding task with which you’ll ever be charged. We face tantrums and fits and tears and we’re belittled daily by little people who will end up getting an “I love you” and a hug  and tucked in at the end of the night; We’re screamed at and disobeyed by the same people about whom we share only the sweetest parts of their days. The funny, the heart-warming, and the moments of genuine curiosity or generosity typically trump those tantrums in the daily rewind of the day.

Man, they suck when they’re happening, though. Later, I’m going to have a beer in silence … If I can make it that far.

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