A word or two about that parenting column

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 5, 2003

Some of you may have read a column entitled, &uot;One kid is not enough&uot; that ran this past Sunday, authored by my publisher, Andy Prutsok. For those of you who know me, or read my column regularly, you know my husband and I are in the process of adopting a baby boy from Guatemala. And, as Andy mentioned, it can be a trying experience, but well worth the aggravation and despair that sometimes presents itself in this grueling and joyous process.

The gist of his column was basically this: to be a &uot;real&uot; parent you need at least two children. Without two children, there can be no fighting, screeching, shouting, and general agony. Therefore, your true ability to &uot;parent&uot; can not be put to the &uot;test&uot; until there are at least two kids to contend with, referee and juggle.

Further, Andy stated that parenting one child was much like parenting a dog. Feed it, take it to the bathroom every once in awhile and the rest is cake.

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Well, I’ve got to tell you, I thought the column was a trip! But, before reading it, Andy said, &uot;I hope you know it was written in ‘fun.’&uot; So, not knowing what to expect, I quickly ran to my office to read it.

Perhaps my reaction was atypical, but I thought his column was pretty dang humorous (even if it was poking fun at me). But before 9 a.m. Monday, I had several co-workers and employees (all mothers of single-child homes) in my office yammering and slightly hot under the collar (well, sort of) about Andy’s column. They too, were complaining in jest and egging me on to &uot;get him.&uot;

Andy had stirred a hornet’s nest and I was going to marvel in knowing he would have to do some fast talking to convince these women that raising an only child was not at all difficult or challenging.

To know Andy is to know his humor (which stems from his darker side). I would say &uot;dark side.&uot; But of his two sides, they are both dark. One is dark and the other is darker (so he claims anyway). He has a terrific sense of humor that is dry and witty. So, to keep up with him you have to be well read and versed in politics, and in all things controversial. He can’t help it – it’s the &uot;news man&uot; in him.

Anyhow, I’ve decided that I would love to parent two children so I can put Andy’s theory to the test. Andy is correct in saying that my husband and I can provide a satisfactory home for our child – but being a parent requires more than a clean place to live and a station wagon in the driveway.

If it were as easy as Andy claims, why then must we have background checks and home studies?

Someone thinks parenting even one child, is a fairly significant responsibility and requires great skill and commitment. So, now feeling a bit bold – I am going to tell Andy to bring it on! We are up to his challenge!

I’ve decided if Andy would like to finance our next adoption, we will gladly accept. He can stroke the $25,000 check to Adoptions from the Heart. I am sure they would be more than glad to help us locate another wonderful child to adopt. And, if he hurries with that check – perhaps we could get two babies at the same time. How wonderful would that be? We could really put Andy’s &uot;parenting test&uot; to the challenge.

But, don’t let Andy fool you about his parenting theories (or nonsense – depending on your position). He is a great dad. I have seen him in action. He worships the ground on which his little girl walks, and he talks about his son with great pride (especially after a golf lesson – as his son is turning out to be quite good).

But as they say, behind every great man/father – there is an even greater woman. That would be Andy’s wife, Cathy.

As far as I am concerned, she is a parenting goddess. She is an extremely committed mother. Cathy’s world revolves around making her kids happy, healthy and well-adjusted little people. She is a woman of many talents – but child rearing in my estimation – is her best. To see her children – you’d know it’s true.

Andy may lead you to believe that he likes the calm serenity and surreal silence of his home with one child off to Grandma’s – but you can bet he is counting the days until both children are under the same roof with him again.

And, as Andy’s column was written in jest – so is this one. Well… except for the part about the $25,000 check….


Rebecca Hill is the advertising director and a regular columnist for the News-Herald.