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Nicholas Dibble: Kids -- can't live with them, can't travel without them

If you've raised children, you'll relate to many of these points.

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Post Bulletin columnist Nick Dibble June 9, 2021. (Ken Klotzbach / kklotzbach@postbulletin.com)

My wife reminded me the other day that at the age of 42, I only have 8 more years until I can start using the facilities at 125 Live. At 42, I have firmly entered middle-age ground, and with her help I have been raising our three young children.

Along the way, I have made some observations and generated some questions of my own about parenting small children that were not mentioned in the plethora of books, blogs, Instagram accounts, and YouTube super parents who have amazingly clean houses, and are always beautiful and in-shape.

If you will soon be a parent, are considering having or even visiting small children, I am glad you are here. If you are a parent with older children, I hope you made it ok, and you will be in familiar territory.

1. Can you die from being asked too many questions by young children?

It does feel like you could potentially die from it, so the answer to this question is yes. Starting at age 2, the average child will ask you over 3,000 questions per day. Most of these questions will be the same or slight variations. Rochester has a high number of medical professionals who can assist in these situations. Simply direct your child’s question to the person standing next to you in line at the store and they will gladly help.

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2. Date night will turn into grocery shopping without kids.

After countless hours of preparing breakfast, lunches, dinners, washing and folding clothes, you and your partner will inevitably want to get a sitter and spend some time together with just yourselves. This time will be spent at the grocery store. Your first hour or so away at dinner with your spouse will be spent talking about how great it feels to go out and have a wonderful dinner, conversation, reminisce about old times, and spend quality time together. That conversation will soon veer into how great it would be to shop at Costco without kids, and this is what you will do.

3. 80% of parenting is explaining why animals cannot or do not want to take a bath with you.

As a parent, you will spend well over half of your life explaining why the family pet cannot take a bath with your child. It has been proven in double blind research studies somewhere on the internet that small children want to take baths with everything. This includes all family pets.

4. Small children become dehydrated philosophers at bedtime.

Bedtime activities will range between 20 minutes and 6 hours. As the last stories are read, pajamas worn, teeth brushed, and kisses given, an interesting pattern will begin to emerge. Your little one will become so incredibly thirsty they will require copious amounts of hydration, all while asking the deepest questions about the meaning of life. Why is the sky blue? Why are some bikes red? Why won’t kids go to bed?

5. The stages of traveling without kids.

When your kids get a few years older, you may want to take a trip with your spouse. A few months prior, you will arrange for a sitter or family member to take the kids for a few days. Several weeks prior and as the trip gets closer, the excitement will start to build as you anticipate a short reprieve from the often-demanding schedule of raising small kiddos. The first day you will enjoy your time off while occasionally pondering how the kids are doing and checking in via text or phone call here and there. By the second day, you will be a terrible emotional mess, wondering how you ever survived on this earth without those little ones running around making demands every two seconds. That's when it hits you how incredibly lucky you really are. As the adage says, “The days are long, but the years short.”

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Nicholas Dibble is a native of Kasson and a lifelong resident of southeastern Minnesota. Send comments on columns to Jeff Pieters, jpieters@postbulletin.com.

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