My tolerence for kids is evidently exceptionally low.
This came up in conversation when I mentioned to votania
that it was too much for me to have more than three hours of the Little Fayoumis's friends. She mentioned that my tolerence for kids was extremely low, and that it would change when I became a parent.
It has already changed. It is at what is probably its all-time height. The Little Fayoumis has already thrown the "I am a parent" switch, and I can put up with him comfortably most of the time. (And he's been trained to put up with me: a simple, "Joanie's grouchy", or "tired and grouchy" means that both of us will be happier if he leaves me strictly alone, and chooses locations far from me to play with his noisy toys. This works for both of us.) (And, randomly, thinking back to today, he *has* been flinching when corrected, in ways different from his old habit of put-hands-to-ears, and I do not know why, and this disturbs me, and I will get to the bottom of this.)
Becoming a parent, or so close that I get mistaken for one on the bus, does do things. I can pick his voice out of a crowd, and tell you if he's hurt, mad, tired, playing, or what. He's *mine*, on most levels except the biological. (He's more votania
's, and that's as it should be, but we've bonded on the "adored stepparent/kid" model.) I can deal with barf in the middle of the night. Helping him wipe his upchucky face off does not make me blow chunks. (Thank you to the good offices of several screwdrivers, and BJ, that one night...) But I still don't have patience with kids-in-the-aggregate.
So, the casual statement, "When you have kids of your own that'll change" rubbed me the wrong way. Not all people who have kids are converted to instant saint like she was. (And she was. She and shadesong
might want to swap tales about "how having a kid changed my life" sometime.) I pointed out that I'd actually gained in patience after adding the Little Fayoumis to my life, and further pointed out that at this point, I had more kid-patience than FatherSir.
This was a definite eeep moment, but there was agreement.
I am unlikely to gain any more patience with kids as an actual biological parent. (Also, the older the kid is, the better I deal with them. I am not interested in babies, and think most of them fearfully ugly, and horribly useless. This is mostly because I cannot have interaction with them that I consider meaningful.)
No, I think the next threshold of my gaining kid-patience would be the Grandparent phase, which I think FatherSir has already reached. (It was horribly frustrating when FatherSir had more time, attention, and patience for other people's kids than he had for his own.) Grandparents are supposed to be bomb-proof, no?