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SALT LAKE CITY — Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have the perfect child? Would it be male or female? Imagine being the parent of the perfect child and being able to tell everyone you know and show off him or her.
Now back to reality: in my experience, children are an exercise in patience. They do so many things that make us want to pull our hair out.
Take, for example, these moments: coming home and seeing the entire package of Oreos stacked neatly on the table … minus all the filling; trying to figure out where all the silverware has gone, then one night observing your child calmly putting his dishes in the sink … and his silverware in the garbage.
Other occasions serve as good examples, as well: listening to a son sing the three words “Bob da Builder" over and over and over while running around in circles for hours on end; watching him dip his chicken nuggets in your honey mustard sauce … just to lick the sauce off and reuse the same nugget until the sauce is gone.
Hair loss could result from these instances, too: when the child watches “The Karate Kid” then goes around karate chopping everything from glasses full of soda to every DVD he picks up for the next week. Or when you get your child out of sopping wet blankets and sheets and ask if he wet the bed … only to be told that it was the bed that wet on him.
These things can drive a parent crazy. But they are also the very things that make the child perfect. At least he stacked the Oreos; tried to help clean up by throwing away the dirty silverware; practiced his singing voice so he can someday win on "American Idol;" used the same nugget so there are more for you; gave you an excuse to get new glasses; and reminded you that it’s time to do laundry.
Yes, children may do things that stretch our patience to the breaking point. Yes, they may wake up and make you breakfast using every dish in the house.
Just remember that our parents went through everything we are going through.
That phrase our parents used to use, about how they couldn’t wait until we had kids of our own, makes sense now. And that whole “because I said so” excuse you swore you would never use is starting to look pretty reasonable.
But were you to ask your parents if they would do it all again, I bet they wouldn’t hesitate to say yes.
At the end of the day, when your children are asleep in their beds, go in and take a long look at them. Their peaceful faces as they sleep are all you need to believe that ALL children are, in fact, perfect.
Eric Sachs is the father of three and recently became a grandfather.