Failure From The Jaws Of Success

Parenting forces me into a series of constant dilemmas. Not necessarily terrible dilemmas, but ones that are both non-dilemmas but also at their core a serious dilemma.  One of those dilemmas is laundry. Basically, it has to get done. My daughter is four, and doing laundry isn’t her idea of a great way to spend the day. She is an only child and she prefers to spend her days with mom and dad actually interacting with mom and dad. She craves a lot of input and as a parent it’s my job to provide it and to make choices about what that input will be.  Of course, some of that input is terrible (watching videos), some of is good (reading comic books with her), some of it’s great (visiting the science museum with her, drawing of painting with her, going to a movie with her). But me spending the day doing laundry is her idea of a 40 ton boulder being placed on her. And on me as well. Because all she wants out of life is incredibly simple: she wants me or her mom to play with her. That’s it. And doing chores, either her doing them or us doing them, takes away from that. Honestly, that makes me as sad as her about it. Every moment she is a kid when we aren’t playing is really time taken away from both of us to have fun together. Some of that is obviously what you have to do in order to raise your kid not to be a spoiled beast, but when you are doing chores instead of playing with your kid, even when it’s being done because you’ve mostly already spend so much time playing with your kid instead of doing those chores, you still kind of have a pang of regret about it. Even though each of these things is necessary, and frankly, they are successes when you are accomplishing them, they are also oddly their own types of failures in that they each represent something else you could or should be doing.

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