Back in my baby-less days, I used to engage in the type of conversations that I now find insulting and inconsiderate. I’d rant on about how parents should control their children’s temper tantrums and complained whenever a child so much as breathed in public. I would shoot parents the death stare and wonder why in the world they weren’t able to take hold of the situation…little did I know…in fact, I didn’t know SHIT.
As parents, some of us are blessed with kids that we can take everywhere; kids that find restaurant highchairs awesome hangout spots and are willing to sit through an entire meal. Those lucky fucks only propagate the image of the “poor parenting skills” of the rest of the percentage of the parental population; whose children think a restaurant is in fact an obstacle course and that menus are flying boomerangs conveniently placed at arms reach just waiting to be hurled across the air. I’d so wish I could claim that my child belongs to the prior set of well-behaved souls, but in actuality I think she is the founding member of a new breed of excessively hyperactive and “curious” species of little humans. Back in my days of pre-parental close-mindedness, when I too was independent and free of the pressure of keeping another being alive, I thought that kids were a product of their parents; that as parents you are responsible for each of their character traits. I was wrong. As a friend of mine once pointed out, these things come pre-wired and we’re simply here to try to channel their energies and personalities in a certain direction.
Soooo, when we say that our child is strong-willed, what we’re really trying to say is that they’re bat-shit crazy and we simply have no clue how to control them. The thing is, we have no power over how, when or where our little gifts from above are going to decide to have full-on meltdowns because you didn’t let them plow through a rack of perfectly organized shoes. And furthermore, just because they do this doesn’t make us bad parents, it makes us really really patient motherfuckers who have the self-control to calmly address and tame the flailing spasm that is our child, instead of pretending like they’re not ours and running in the opposite direction. You see, people are too quick to judge (I speak from experience). ”If that were my child, I’d have it trained like a horse.”…”Ugh, why can’t these people control their child, what are they animals?” Well lady, guess what…you come try telling my utterly determined 13-month old that no, she cannot walk around on her own and that she has to stay strapped to a stroller so as to ensure that your shopping experience is pleasurable. Not gunna happen, bitch. (Ok, that needed to be let out…)
Believe me, for the most part, when we take our children out into the world it’s because we’re suffering from a severe case of cabin fever. There’s only so much entertainment a house full of toys can provide a child (and mom) day after day. So we pack up our cars and diaper bags with all the useless crap you could ever possibly need and head out for a few hours of public humiliation. Believe it or not getting kicked square in the face at PetCo because I refuse to take my child to see the fishies for the umpteenth time is not my idea of fun. Nor is finding out you’ve basically stolen half of Gap Baby ‘cause your mini me was stuffing random items into the stroller while you were shopping for a birthday gift. Almost going to jail for petty thievery just isn’t part of my bucket list.
With all that out in the open I’ve come up with a few arguable points that call into question whether most parents are selfish assholes or selfless super humans…you be the judge:
- Under no circumstances will you EVER disrupt your child’s naptime. The house can be burning down, Aunt Mae’s last dying wish could be to spend precious few moments with your son/daughter, you name it…if it’s during naptime, you can stick it where the sun don’t shine.
- After well over a year of NEVER being able to go out with your other half on an adult date, you finally decide it’s time to overlook all the babysitting horror stories most first time parents cling on to for dear life and ask your niece’s significant other to babysit…only to find out she’s broken up with her and you’re back at square zero. While I believe getting pissed at your niece is irrational, is it too much to ask that she extend her unhappiness for just a little longer so you can at least go out to dinner? (C’mon people, I think this merits a universal…FML!)
- Your gym offers a questionable daycare service that, again, you have never opted to go for. Then, 13 months into this whole baby ordeal you decide the day has come to when you no longer want to go to the gym at 5am while baby is still asleep. Instead you are going to go at the perfectly perky hour of 10 am. You pack your kid in the car, arrive ready to tackle a workout while actually awake…and you’re met with the surprise that the daycare people are nowhere to be found. So you have to leave your human version of the Energizer Bunny strapped to her stroller while you simultaneously squat and sing the ABCs…
Need I go on…? I will just for craps and giggles…
- Bath time has now become a communal occasion in which you have to actually shower with the offspring (because apparently staying in the tub is so boring compared to running around in the shower)…let me put it to you this way, I don’t mind teaching my child about body parts, but I’d like to avoid having those body parts poked and pinched as I’m doing so. I have soap in places I never thought possible on a daily basis.
- And finally, when you ask me or any other mother to “meet up” for fill-in-the-blank or go over to your house at a certain time and we show up an hour late. Please understand that for that past hour we have been 1) waiting for our child to wake up from their nap, 2) stuffing said child’s face as quickly as possible so that we can 3) chase him/her down, clothe them and pick up the mess they left behind before walking out the door. Also, if we show up looking like a train wreck, please revisit the three steps we had to go through to get here and keep all comments to yourself.