Anybody remember the MTV show Punk'd?  Celebrities would be in seemingly impossible situations, and then Ashton Kutcher would jump out behind the bushes and yell, you got punked!

As a parent I feel like I am constantly being punked.  Many times a week I am looking around, seeing who is playing a practical joke on me.  Surely my child did not just lick the garbage can at the mall?

My first experience with this sensation was when my first child was a newborn and I found myself cleaning poop off the wall.  I have since continued to feel this way when cleaning up vomit at restaurants, returning contents of diapers to where they should be, and hosing down car seats on the driveway (the best way to get any grossness out of them BTW).

A new version of this problem started when my son became old enough to have an opinion about the things that his older sister was doing.  Screaming fights happen over who gets to open the front door, who gets to push the button in the elevator, you get the idea.

When first dealing with these situations, I would think about them for days, how I couldn't believe that this was now my life.  I have started to believe (mostly to make myself feel better) that my kids are putting me through this for a reason.  In addition to providing fodder for war stories with other parents, these moments make me a better parent, and give me more confidence in who I am as a person.  When my son pukes in a restaurant, I don't leave the table for someone else to deal with it.  I jump in without thinking because his well being is at stake.  If you told me before I became a parent the things I would become comfortable dealing with I would have laughed in your face.  Now it is second nature.

When I think about this it can be applied to other areas of my life.  Heck if I can successfully referee a screaming match over who gets to ring the doorbell, I can certainly handle most anything, don't you think?


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