An apology to my colleagues or I really want to make parenting a toddler sound appealing

Whenever we start talking about kids in the office, a few of us parents automatically devolve to the grossest thing our kid did recently or look up from our fifth cup of coffee in a bleary-eyed state long enough to announce that we're exhausted by yet another night of teething. This leads to several comments like:
  • "And that's why I have cats."
  • "You really make parenting sound appealing. NOT!"
  • "People want to be parents, why?"
I get it. It's natural for parents to commiserate with fellow parents, even when they're children are much older than yours, because they get it. They get why you're excited over a sale on Pull-Ups, they laugh at your tales of trying to properly dispose of the shrapnel left by explosive bowel movements while nodding acknowledgement, they help console you during the third week of Stage 4 teething. You can share without guilt because you know they understand.

Sadly, those without children that are within earshot, often hear our tales of woe and decide parenting must be a level of torture surpassed only slightly by water-boarding or eating at Applebee's. If you fall into that category, I apologize because I really do love being a Papa. The rest of this post is dedicated to you. 

The advantages of being the parent of a toddler

  • Television shows geared for kids are usually better than any of the drivel that passes for prime-time programming anymore. You can take your Real Housewives of (insert city here), I'll keep Wibbly Pig.  
  • You have a built in excuse to go to fun places that aren't cool for adults to go to by themselves, like the zoo, children's museums, or aquariums.  
  • Watching kids discover the world lets you rediscover it. The Kid is obsessed with the moon right now, and we spend a decent amount of time just watching it. She's in awe and so am I because I forgot what it was like to just appreciate how the moon lights up the sky.
  • You learn how to play again.
  • You learn how to be creative again. It might seem goofy, but nothing helps get the creative juices flowing like a good Yo Gabba Gabba video! 
  • Kids are a tremendous excuse for avoiding events. (If you've recently invited me to something, I promise, I'm not talking about you!)
  • Their first attempts at language are hilarious. While The Kid is normally very precise with her annunciation, her version of the word "socks" sounds vastly different to the untrained ear. All kids do this too, my cousin identified his favorite juice box by the frog on it, naming the juice "frog juice." Except his "frog" really sounded a lot more nefarious. 
The best reason though is impossible to fully grasp until you feel it. The unexpected super-hugs. The sincerely given and slightly slimy kisses. The hugging of your leg and standing on your feet while you walk. Having a little person sprint at hyper-speed toward you when you walk in the door because they're so excited you just came home from work. 

It's the snuggle time after you've read the last book before you put them in their crib for the night. It's when they're not feeling well, and you're the only person on earth that can soothe them. It's when you realize you've never been loved or feel love for someone quite like this before. That's why I love being a parent.     

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