I am a serious man.
This is a self-assessment typical of my generation, which dates back to the 1480s when young princes, whose existences ran counter to established interests, were locked in the Tower of London. As we grew taller, stopped wearing blond hair and velvet and progressed politically in the 1950s, children were still legally required to give three-weeks' written notice before running or jumping. This was stern, but manageable.
The guide for childhood education used in the 1950s was compiled by King Henry VII of England, a standard reference book in schools until Dr. Benjamin Spock --a Vulcan-- found its pages blank. This was because the author's son, Henry VIII, destroyed all records of his father except for the word "oodle" on page 56 and some enthusiastic promotional blurbs from Richard III on the back cover. VII and III, as they familiarly called each other, fell out for some reason before they got out of their 20's, I think. It's an awkward age.
VIII and III are really Roman numerals. Here is a picture of Romans.
They are soldiers, centurions --even though they look much younger-- and they do roll call like this: Sound off! "Aye!", Aye aye!", "Aye aye aye", "Aye Vee!" and so on until "Cee" at which number you have a full compliment of centenarians.
I remember, age 30, and sympathize with Henry VII and Richard III, when friends seemed to involute socially and withdraw, cling to their own rocks like whelks. It was an unpleasant surprise. But even that failed to prepare me for what happened 30 years after that. When I retired I thought I had scads of work friends, which narrowed down immediately to mere oodles, then one. Basically, when out of sight, one is also out of mind, heart and invitation rosters.
I might as well have got locked in the Tower Of London.
Now I just fart around wondering things like, how many oodles make a scad. Most of my friends have been around most of my life, and I love them, but I sure miss the ones that wandered mindlessly away. I guess the trick is to overstock early, like maybe 50 or 100 scads, then you might get an oodle in your 60s.
Or you can get to know new kids. Cool them off. Let them call you Gramps and like you. The world doesn't have enough likeable old characters called Gramps, even though old movies are lousy with them.
But as for raising kids, just let their minds stay healthy and they'll raise themselves. Each of them is all 10 of the things we only need to know 1/10th of and they want to be happy. Take it from Gramps. I'm Gramps and I'm a serious man.