The tricky thing about kids is they are complete human beings. They each have unique wants and needs, coping mechanisms, learning strategies, senses of humor. Being a parent isn't a job, it's a relationship- and you only get to control half. There are no clearly defined parameters and the end goal is undecided. The big picture is still fuzzy. You know you want them to be happy, but life's more complicated than that right? Nobody is happy all the time, so it's more like they need to learn to navigate through the good and the bad, and how that's going to look for them is unclear because they're not even old enough to know what they want yet.
There are plenty of people out there who want to tell you what to do, but you learn pretty quickly that if you try to play by someone else's rules everybody in your house loses. You've got to figure out what works for you and your family, and it changes because PEOPLE change. The kid, sure- but you too. It's time's fault really, but there's no use in playing the blame game now.
Then the next kid comes along and they're completely different and you're like what the fuck?! I THOUGHT I knew what to do here, but that's not working for you! God forbid you have different genders, too, because then you get this comment, "Oh it's because he's a boy." Because he's a boy my ass! I've got a nephew the same age as my son and their personalities are like night and day. They get in trouble about the same amount, but always for completely different reasons. Not to mention the fact that my girls are just as different from each other as they are from my son. It's not that boys and girls are different- it's that HUMANS are different.
So this is a good thing though, yes? A blessing and a curse, as they say. I mean, I could just drop the kids off at the fire station and get a really expensive doll collection. It would be a lot easier, but infinitely less rewarding. No, I'm in it for the long haul. This is definitely the life for me.
I must be crazy.