You can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your kids

I had to burst my kid’s bubble the other morning.  

Mornings are rough over here as it is with the early morning alarms going off, dealing with a pre-teen trying to get her hair just right, my youngest having to follow me around every inch of the house and then my sloth of a middle child who just does not want to get out of bed, period.  

Well, her not wanting to get out of bed has us running late and amid the chaos, I forgot to pack her lunch for school. Cue… complete mental breakdown.  

I mean, school lunch cannot be that bad. I used to look forward to eating lunch at school. I can still taste those bread rolls. Oh, and I cannot forget the hexagon shaped pizza and the beef tips with rice.  

But here we are, running behind, screaming kid in the backseat with the youngest now joining in on the fun just for the hell of it – a two-year-old apparently needs no good reason to throw a fit- and then my oldest rolling her eyes as far back as humanly possible while holding her ears. 

The inciter in the backseat who just lost her marbles over a non-packed lunch, dries it up real quick and looks at me dead in the eye through the rearview mirror. She then proceeds to say, “When I grow up, I am going to have a better house than you, better furniture and better KIDS.” 

This is where the bubble bursting comes into play.  

I tell her that I hope she is right. I hope you do have a better house and furniture, but you do not get to pick your kids. Just like you do not get to pick your parents. You are kind of stuck with what you got, kid. 

I do not know if she had a brief moment of self-awareness – that she was indeed not being all that great at that moment or if she was just trying to one up me. 

In case it was the latter, I informed her that she was a pretty great kid when she wasn’t acting like a complete gremlin over a lack-luster PB&J sandwich, a bag of chips and a couple Oreos. But again, I hoped her kids were great, but do not expect them to be great all the time.  

I know I probably had my mom wanting to take a 30-day hiatus to the nearest psych ward a time or two or ten. These three of mine are absolutely no different and I am sure hers won’t be either. It’s the way of parenthood.  

Sorry, there’s no such thing as Build-a-Kid, kid.

(Paige Nash is a wife, mother, publisher of Bienville Parish Journal and Claiborne Parish Journal and a digital journalist for Webster Parish Journal, who knows she can’t pick her kids, but somedays is willing to try.)