By Heather O.
I have thought a lot about Andrea’s post about enjoying parenting, and quite frankly, I was surprised by the number of people who agreed with the quote that if you are not enjoying parenting, you are doing something wrong. Seriously, we have to enjoy it all the time? Every minute of every day? Really? AAACK!
Now, this isn’t a post where I am going to say, “Hey, I’m RIGHT, and the rest of you are WRONG, so BACK OFF, YA HOSERS!” That would not be polite or humble, and I am nothing if not polite and humble. Or at the very least, I’m nothing if not currently possessed with an insatiable lust for traffic on my blog, and saying things like, “I am ALWAYS RIGHT!” might seriously negatively effect our site meter statistics. Can’t have that. Oh, no.
So what am I going to post about? Parenting. My parenting. What I like, what I don’t like. What I love, what I hate. Joy, love, despair, the circle of life. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, it’s gonna be better than Cats (who, by the way, have officially been labeled as the sign of the Devil. Devil= Not my snake. Devil= Cats.).
Ok, so on with it already!
I’ll make these lists short, because unless you’re a lawyer who wandered over from T&S, I know you don’t have all day to blog.
THINGS I LIKE ABOUT PARENTING:
#1. Having an excuse to eat fruit roll-ups . I used to love those things as a kid, and now I’m tickled every time my kid shares with me. I couldn’t eat them before I had a kid, because everybody knows those are just for kids. And their moms.
#2. Having an excuse to be dirty. Yep, dirty slob, that’s me, but everybody always assumes it’s because I have a 3 year old. Never mind that the stain on my shirt is from the Jello Pudding Cup I snarfed as an afternoon snack and spilled on myself when I missed my own mouth, my kid always gets the blame. And the bonus is that the messier I am, the more exalted I am, kinda, because it means I’m involved.
#3. Finding lego toys in my bed. Those little toys mean that Jacob was hiding under my covers, pretending he was in his cave, playing with a spaceship that he made out of said legos. I’m sure he was having a grand old time. He was also doing it without me(even better! Independent play! Woo-hoo!), and the whole thing makes me smile. Then I just huck the lego across the room and climb into bed, and I can leave the toy there for 3 days and nobody minds. Why? See #2 above.
#4. The comedy factor. Let’s face it, kids say the darndest things, and are always good for a laugh. The other day, I turned down Jacob’s request for company while watching a video because I had to make dinner. He insisted that he couldn’t be upstairs alone. I informed him that he wouldn’t be alone, that Bobo and Lola (our snake and our bird, for those of you who aren’t keeping up) would be up there with him. He started to cry and said, “But I need somebody with arms and legs!” I got a chuckle out of that one for days!
#5. Naps. Ok, granted, we are past the phase where both me and my child sack out every day for an hour or two, but I get misty-eyed just thinking about those days. Before you have kids, if you are under the age of 95, if you take a nap during the day, you are lazy. But once you become a Mommy, you get, “Oh, the poor thing is all tuckered out. No wonder–she has her hands full”, and you automatically get a ticket to ride the “I’m so tired” train for as long as you like! Of course, usually you ARE so tired you haven’t a clue if you are actually on a train or not, but we’ll get to that part.
Ah, yes, now the things I don’t like about parenting:
#1. Being tired all the time. I’m tired. Really tired. All the time. I even worked nights for a while, and Mommyhood is at least as bad, if not worse, than that sleep deprivation. Besides, when I worked, I got paid to be tired, and even got my weekends off to party and be tired because I was up all night flirting with boys at the single’s dances. Now I’m too tired even to flirt with my husband much. Good thing he likes my clavicles.
#2. Other people’s kid’s poop. My kid’s poop was only gross when he fingerpainted with it. Other people’s kid’s poop is gross all the time. But you’re expected to deal with it because hey, you’re a mom, you can deal with all kinds of yucky stuff. The other day while ‘volunteering’ at preschool (a.k.a “Help cut out these silly crafts to aid in your child’s brain development or we’ll charge you through the nose for all this cardstock”) I had to deal with 2 very unpleasant potty incidents that did not involve my own child’s bodily fluids. Ick.
(*NOTE TO PARENTS OF THE UNPOTTY-POTTY TRAINED: Don’t send your kid to school in Pull-Ups he clearly has no real use for. A poopy Pull-Up is particularly nasty to change, and really, you’re not fooling anybody.)
#3. The ever present, “Wow, my child is going to be scarred for life because of this” feeling. I think most of us are dolts, really. Well-meaning dolts, to be sure, but can any of us really be trusted to raise another human being? Hardly. Sometimes I think I should be saving up for Jacob’s therapy bills instead of his education. (I can hear him now, “Everybody told me it wasn’t the sign of the devil, but I could hear him hiss at me, mocking, tempting me. Why didn’t my mother ever tell me?” and his therapist nodding sagely saying, “I see it all the time. Your mother should have protected you better. Cats. Evil creatures.”)
#4. “What’s for dinner?”
#5. Movie rental late fees.
(OK, that last one doesn’t actually have anything to do with parenting, but we hates them, oh yes, precious, we hates them, so I had to include it.)
This is by no means a comprehensive list. I haven’t even touched laundry, ear infections, whining, and other kid’s mothers. I haven’t discussed apple picking on a beautiful fall morning, tight hugs with sloppy kisses, and pictures lovingly drawn of you where you have no neck. I guess Andrea’s real point was that if parenting becomes overwhelming drudgery, day in, and day out, some adjustments need to be made to find the joy, because it’s in there. Really.
Just remember to return your videos, and never get a cat.
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