An Annoying Child

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One of my dear children, and I refuse to say who, is going through a bit of a phase at the moment. This child, though still sweet and loving and wonderful, has picked up some habits lately that I’m not so proud of and in the process become a tad… annoying.

I know, I know, it’s as hard to write as it was to read. This is my own flesh and blood, for crying out loud! It’s so very wrong to admit it, but it’s true. (And, tad was a complete understatement. This child is annoying with a capital A.)

We’ve been ignoring the behavior, hoping it quickly passes and brushing it off as a phase. What else are we supposed to do? The kids grew out of pooping in the tub and out of control pacifier habits and eating nothing but grilled cheese sandwiches, so this must be same kind of thing… right? Lately, however, the possibility has hit me and it’s hit me hard: Maybe it’s not just a phase. Maybe I’m actually raising an annoying child. It’s a horrific thought.

As parents, we work so hard to instill common sense, basic knowledge, and core values in our offspring, but what about their personalities? Is one of our most important jobs really making our children as likable as possible? I’m beginning to think it might be.

I’ve started picturing all of the unbelievably annoying adults I know and realizing that likely their parents are to blame. Parents just like me who naively assumed that the annoying habits would disappear, but instead, they stuck around forever. The children with mildly annoying habits became those horribly annoying adults who nobody ever wants to be around. The overachievers, the center of attentions, the loud eaters, the incessant question askers, the ones who always have to win, the ones who can’t make a decision… All of those horrible habits could have been derailed by well intentioned parents not wanting to overreact.

Well, I may not be able to teach my kids how to dance and they certainly won’t benefit from my mathematics skills, but I’ll do my best to make them likable, dammit. Annoying phases are one thing, but annoying people with my DNA? That’s just unthinkable. Now, I just need to come up with a plan of action, but I know one thing for sure: Things are about to change around here. It’s the least I can do for them.

OK, for me.

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