I had a realization this week that feels obvious when typed out here: it’s impossible for kids to understand what being a parent is like.
I don’t just mean that they are being obstinate or immature. I mean they literally can’t understand. They have no frame of reference for understanding. I’m not sure why that took so long to sink in. And it made me feel better about some of their reactions to (what they see) as my constant, annoying reminders or worrying. All they understand is the outcome. And they don’t often like it. And that’s ok.
Their reactions and inability to understand isn’t their problem. It’s my problem. It’s the burden of parenting. So I just have to Dad-up and deal with it and ask them to empty the dishwasher again, or turn off that light again, or put on their helmet, or go over the flash cards, or give them an embarrassing hug in public one more time.
Even if it’s baffling to them and obvious to me.
Wait, maybe that’s how they feel about glitter?