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Last Sunday night, Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers strolled into Seattle to play the Seahawks coming off a 400+ yard performance against Green Bay, while Seattle had barely knocked off the Panthers. Kaepernick had every reason to believe he would find similar success against the Seahawks.
What Kaepernick found out was that the game plan doesn't always go as expected. The Seahawks fans actually set a Guinness World Record for loudest stadium. Kaepernick was forced into using hand signals instead of shouting out play instructions, and was constantly thrown off his game - changing everything on the fly.
Kaepernick will find his unpleasant Sunday night experience to be a bit like parenting. Everything is about calling audibles and changing plans as you go. When your kids are very little, it's all about phases. As soon as you've mastered one phase ("I got the kid to go to bed at 7pm!!!"), another will begin ("I'm afraid of the dark. Can I sleep with you?")
When they get older, if you have more than one child, you'll be the referee in constant sibling rivalry matches. Just this morning, I navigated my son torturing my daughter while brushing her teeth ("Does it annoy you when I do this? How about this? This??"), while my daughter regularly questions her brother's credibility ("No, that's not how it goes. No. That's not right. You're wrong".)
Just as Kaepernick will find great joys, like throwing for 400 yards, there are great parenting wins - such as when your kid excels at sports or brings you a piece of their artwork. But more often than not, you'll be calling audibles day after day after day.