Child rearinginstructions not included By Cal Bryant 10/26/2006 Tuesday was a proud day in the Bryant household. Despite a typically long Monday at the office, I arose early Tuesday morning to accompa

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 26, 2006

Tuesday was a proud day in the Bryant household.

Despite a typically long Monday at the office, I arose early Tuesday morning to accompany my daughter to the Driver’s License office in Ahoskie. There, my sweet daughter would make an attempt to earn her license to drive.

In an attempt to keep her spirits high, I never brought up the fact of her feeble attempts as a child to operate a moving object. She mastered the tricycle thing just fine, even though she kept running into things. The bicycle was another story. It took me forever to convince her to remove the training wheels and experience the thrill of the wind in your face as you maneuver, at breakneck speeds, your two-wheeled, petal-powered device around the neighborhood.


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And don’t even get me started on the battery-powered Barbie car she got one Christmas from Santa Clause. She was like a smaller version of Ernie “Swerving” Irvin n a little Hades on wheels running into and over everything in sight…trees, bushes, ditches and my feet.

Thank goodness for years of maturity as Danielle is now quite the accomplished driver. Seeing her motor out of the driveway on Tuesday, all by herself for the first time behind the wheel, made me swell with pride.

It also reminded me of a recent e-mail I received regarding raising children. While Danielle has matured far past the escapades mentioned in the electronic mailing, I couldn’t help not to think back to all those trying times; not only with my own flesh and blood, but watching other parents struggle with child rearing.

Whenever your children are out of control, you can take comfort from the thought that even God’s omnipotence did not extend to His own children.

After creating heaven and earth, God created Adam and Eve. And the first thing he said was &uot;DON’T.”

“Don’t what,” Adam replied.

“Don’t eat the forbidden fruit,” God said.

“Forbidden fruit. We have forbidden fruit,” Adam inquired. “Hey Eve, we have forbidden fruit.”

“No way,” Eve exclaimed.

“Yes way,” Adam replied.

But the voice of the father was ever present.

“Do NOT eat the fruit,” said God.

“Why,” asked Adam.

“Because I am your father and I said so,” God said, wondering all the while why he didn’t stop creation after making the elephants.

A few minutes later, God saw his children having an apple break and he was ticked!

“Didn’t I tell you not to eat the fruit,” God asked.

“Uh huh,” Adam replied.

“Then why did you,” asked the father.

“I don’t know,” said Eve.

“She started it,” Adam said, thus opening the door for back-and-forth banter between the children.

“Did not!”

“Did too!”


Having had it with the two of them, God’s punishment was that Adam and Eve should have children of their own. Thus the pattern was set and it has never changed.

But always remember there is reassurance in the story.

If you have persistently and lovingly tried to give children wisdom and they haven’t taken it, don’t be hard on yourself. If God had trouble raising children, what makes you think it would be a piece of cake for you?

Here are some things to ponder about raising children.

1. You spend the first two years of their life teaching them to walk and talk. Then you spend the next 16 telling them to sit down and shut up.

2. Grandchildren are God’s reward for not killing your own children.

3. Mothers of teens now know why some animals eat their young.

4. Children seldom misquote you. In fact, they usually repeat word for word what you shouldn’t have said.

5. The main purpose of holding children’s parties is to remind yourself that there are children more awful than your own.

6. We childproofed our homes, but they are still getting in.

Words of advice for all parents: Be nice to your kids. They will choose your nursing home one day.

And finally, the last piece of worthwhile advice: If child rearing has resulted in loads of tension and stress and your head is pounding, simply heed the advice found on a bottle of aspirin n take two and keep away from children!

Congratulations Danielle on getting your driver’s license. You may want to keep this column as a friendly reminder of what to expect when you decide to start a family.