It has been nearly twenty five hundred days since I gave up having a full night's rest in favor of being a parent and the experiment is progressing smoothly.
The dark circles and extreme moodiness have dissipated, somewhat, however, I have a growing sense that I'm slowly becoming stupid. My wife has not noticed this tendency in me, as she claims that the same phenomenon is occurring to her.
Sometimes, it seems that perhaps I've overlooked an important trick, but I suspect that parenting, done right, is work intensive and difficult. I've never had an enjoyable or fulfilling job which wasn't also stressful and burdensome. I can't imagine why this should be different.
My eleven year-old is working on his science fair project, and he's taken a rather simple experiment and complicated the task exponentially with the ingenious and creative application of well-timed temper tantrums. I believe that my receding intelligence has significantly impacted my ability to divine an effective intervention when he employs this tactic. He regularly plays the "tantrum card" in response to most long-term projects and successfully complicates every similar situation with near perfect consistency. For example, he lost his book twice on our trip to Tucson a couple of months ago as the result of an extreme emotional upset brought on by the fact that we expected him to actually finish reading the book, with sufficient time that he could spend several days working on a book report. Hence, I have written to a number of peers at Stanford, Yale, and various asylums to see if they have found an effective remedy to the tantrum phenomenon.
Meanwhile, my fourteen year old has discovered that if he refrains from taking his ADHD medication on weekends, his appetite returns and he is then able to consume food with the same enthusiasm that a ravenous pack of wolves might have as they set upon an injured doe in the forest. The unfortunate side effect (aside from our enlarged food bill) is that he unwittingly plays a significant role in furthering the Universal Chaos Quotient. This week in particular, the HD portion of his ADHD has enhanced the complications of the previously mentioned science fair project by providing incessant distraction, whether by means of irrelevant questions and comments pertaining to nerf guns or the delivery of an occasional insult resulting in conflict of varying intensity, none of which furthers the successful completion of said science project.
My six year old is somehow not figuring too heavily into this science fair drama but instead capitalizes on these periods of familial chaos to undertake his own personal endeavors, many of which would be regarded as unsafe by myself and my wife. After having formulated a plan, he quietly undertakes the physical preparations for manifesting his scheme and often we don't become aware of the impending danger until the last minute, at which point, we stop him and suggest that there is no reason he needs to climb up on the icy roof of our house or that standing on an upside down stainless steel bowl placed on a step stool, precariously perched atop a book, resting on the seat of a folding chair might result in serious physical injury.
Ahh the joys of parenting. I believe that soon my experiment for training elite undercover operative via parenting will be complete. Until then, keep the faith all ye parents and stay focused, you never know what will come next.