There are so many wonderful things about parenthood and raising a child that they are hard to list. The magic in your child’s eyes when they are truly happy, the moment when the light bulb goes off and they learn something new; those moments are sometimes like the one perfect golf shot in a horrible round. You faced your fair share of frustration but those few key moments make up for them all and continue to re-enforce your love of the game.
I think all of that emotional junk is truly wonderful and great rewards to parenthood but I think it is time we discuss one of the more tangible wins that parenthood provides. I want to talk to you about the bonus nugget. That’s right, the 6th nugget of a 6 piece meal. That little reward for being a good dad. Not all gratification is instant but every now and then there it sits, giving you a little wink and saying, “atta boy, I’m all yours.”
It may sound silly but when that lone nugget remains and your kid has moved onto the playground or decided to finally attempt in public their Houdini high chair escape they have been perfecting at home, you grab that little reward, dunk it in polynesian sauce, and relish in parenthood sweetness. But don’t take too long chewing a victory lap, your kid is about to bust their head open when her feet get tangled in the high chair straps. get in the game buddy, the party is over.
The Bonus Nugget is totally sweet.
The first time I ever wandered into a warehouse membership store (Costco, BJ’s, Sams, etc.) I wasn’t married, didn’t have any kids, and still left with a three gallon tub of mustard. Somewhere along the line I got caught up in the hype and the thought of being the mustard king for only six dollars was a bit intoxicating. Two years later I threw away 2.5 gallons of old crusty mustard that had not been refrigerated after opening. Who has room for a keg of mustard in their refrigerator?
Now that I am a family guy we take advantage of the local discount club and tend to have a better strategy when it comes to running an inventory of household necessities. Some products like paper towels and diapers are stockpiled into a seemingly endless supply and some inventory like milk run in a” just in time” inventory management system. There are benefits to both and they each have their drawbacks as well. The only thing worse than being out of milk is having milk within 2 days of the expiration date (on either side), and where in your house is there enough room to store a pickup truck load full of paper products?
The worst part of the buying in bulk strategy is that it lulls you into a false sense of security with your seemingly infinite supply. You start letting the baby empty an entire box of tissue because it is cute and when a drink is spilled you just put the entire roll of paper towels on top of it and step down until the quicker picker upper finishes its magic. My wife isn’t a huge fan of this type of behavior but when our basement looks like a nuclear fall-out shelter full of supplies some of that stuff needs to be used.
It seems like it will last forever but guess what? It doesn’t. And though it may take months, when it is gone it always catches you off guard. Walking into your bathroom and seeing an empty roll holder and a stack of yellow Wendy’s napkins on the back of the toilet is totally weak.