Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Parenting, For Realz

When I was in my early 20s, my best girlfriend was in her late 30s. She has 3 kids and had been married a couple or 6 times. I've always admired her faith in love and marriage...if not her choices in men. At that point, I was recently divorced with no kids. She would tell me about things that went on in her life and I watched how she handled her kids.

I often asked her "do they hand out crack in the delivery room so you can keep up with those kids??" I was amazed at how much she did with them, how little she slept, and how high-maintenance kids are in general.

Imagine my horror when I discovered that there are, in fact, no stimulant prescriptions handed out in the delivery room.

What I did discover, though, is that with my role of "mom" came a sense of responsibility that outweighs stuff like sleep, illness, and the general sense of "I don't wanna." There's all this unimaginable love and protectiveness and stuff. Not to mention all these stupid principles I have that make me feel guilty if I'm not a responsible parent giving my best effort to nurture good, responsible individuals.

The things that get done? Get done because they have to be done. My inconvenience? Is irrelevant.

Poopsplosions must be managed. The unending step-sibling argument storm must be weathered (seriously, do siblings ever get along??).

When Boo gets up at 3:45AM, decides it's "morning," and begins getting dressed, I must haul my happy ass out of bed & get him back to his bed. Without waking the rest of the household. Except the dog loaf. It is impossible to get out of bed without rousing the dog loaf and inciting the 120 decibel ear flapping.

Lunches must be made, homework must be done, notes to teachers must be written (and if they are to be written legibly I must write them), appointments made, chauffeuring to be done, peace maintained, medication dispensed, backpacks assembled, "whys" answered, laundry done, meals prepared, punishment doled, and snuggles stolen.

Sleep is foregone. Showers are skipped. Privacy is eliminated. Money pours out like a blast from a fire hydrant. Corporate casual must be pulled from the wrinkled heap in the laundry basket that has been waiting for a week to be put away and hopefully has not been peed on by any members of the household. Grown up TV is relegated to illicit late-night viewing. The illusion of maturity must be maintained. Swearing must be curbed. Phone calls from angry teachers and parents regarding the swearing must be dodged. Sex is relegated to clandestine secret ops only to be completed by the most elite of special forces. The good snacks must be stashed to be consumed only during ugly AM hours or while engaging in illicit late-night television viewing.

All of this for the loving gratitude of my darling children. Ahhh, listen to the sound of that gratitude...

(crickets chirping)

"I don't like these pants."
"these shoes are too tight."
"I don't want to wear socks."
"but I wanted that one."
"I don't like that food."
"you're mean."
"I don't want to go to bed."
"how come you didn't get me that one?"
"I want that."
"I want that, too."
"he's looking at me! Make him stop looking at me!"
"can't you do that instead?"
"I don't wanna."

Sigh. You're welcome guys.

I think I'm beginning to understand the reason parents push their adult children to create grandchildren. It's not because they so love the pitter patter of little grandchild feet.


It's revenge.

(insert creepy pipe organ music and maniacal laughter here)

No comments:

Post a Comment