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Living Next to the Joneses

(Grace Jones pictured is not my neighbor.)
(The title should be read phonetically, I believe.) Our next door neighbors at the condo are “perfect.” The mom is my age, has had four kids and is skinny. All of the kids tan. The son can do any sport he wants and the four year old girl just road a two-wheeler for the first time today. The 12 yr old girl is getting into competitive cheer. They have a suburban, not a mini-van.

My kids burn. James hates sports. We were trying to ride a two-wheeler today and he got very discouraged. We are trying to tie shoes as well, and it is taking a few tries. Katherine doesn’t care if she rides a bike or cheers as long as people are paying attention to her, and if Seth is bad at a sport, he just head butts or bites the kid with the ball.

I feel like Steve Martin in “Parenthood” where his kid likes to put a bucket on his head and run into walls. Rick Moranus says, “you must be so proud.”

This is the part of parenthood I don’t like. I don’t like sounding things out phonetically, running along side a bike and trying to explain how to balance, talking about bunny ears going around a tree and going through the hole to tie a shoe, or feeling inadequate in any way. Why is it baby animals are born with innate abilities and human kids aren’t? If a duck can swim and fly without being taught, why can’t my kid be born riding a bike? Doing cartwheels? Eating vegetables and liking it?

I miss law school where I would write a crappy brief and my professor would say, “This is a piece of crap,” and I would nod and leave cussing her out. It would be over and done with. Parenthood is a process. I really hate processes. I was never meant to be a factory worker.


  1. Annie says:

    One time, my mom was driving a bunch of girls to camp in our Suburban. We rounded a corner and squashed a mamma duck and her ducklings that were crossing the road (a highway). Those baby ducks weren't that smart….

  2. Jen says:

    I feel your pain. My ward has more silicone than Microsoft. AND if you are not currently training for or have completed in a Triathlon, you should just move.

  3. I hear you. I blame in on their father's genes. However, I bear some responsibility too. Riley can't peddle yet so don't feel bad. We also just found out she is profoundly deaf in one ear so I quess I am out of the Mother of the Year Contest since we did not pick up on this earlier. She is 4.5 for heaven's sake. Oh well, maybe next year.

  4. Heidi says:

    I love the part about how her kids tan! Like you can teach that!!! Your kids will ride bikes and make friends and maybe even cheer (HEAVEN HELP YOU). Just give em a minute – they're thinkers. Like their Mother.

  5. Nichole says:

    Does it make you feel any better to know that Dallin can't ride a bike or tie his shoes? We can feel inadequate together.

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