Thursday, October 18, 2012

How life changes after becoming a parent.

I have been a parent now for six years. That's long enough for it to seem like forever, but not so long ago that I have completely forgotten what it was like to be a childless individual. I started thinking about all of the things that have changed in the last few years...

Single people, you will be in denial and say this stuff will never happen to you, but I and the other parents will assure you, it will.

And your adorable little monsters will take over your world and leave you searching for the pod that your new, sock-stuck-to-your-ass-wearing-two-different-shoes, self hatched out of.

First of all, when I was childless and heard a baby cry, it did nothing. I didn't pay attention to it. At most, maybe it was irritating. Now, when I hear a baby cry, I panic. Usually because I have a momentary lapse in judgment and for a split second, get a pang in my stomach and think that this baby is something that I have to attend to. I know it's not, rationally, because I don't have an infant. My kids are toddlers and older. Usually, they will yell about one of them hitting the other, or how they have to pee, but there are no more baby cries in my house.

But you see, having had three kids, I spent the better part of these last less-than-glamorous six years running into rooms the millisecond that my miniature people started screeching at the top of their lungs.

Many of those years meant seemingly unending nights of being jolted out of glorious sleep and having to bend to a baby dictator's every whim. Sleep deprivation is a torture tactic and if I had whatever information those little interrogators wanted, I would have given it up faster than a teenage girl with low self-esteem.

So when one of my neighbors' babies cry, I get war flashbacks. Fortunately, my brain kicks in right after and I have, what has to be the greatest realization in the world:

It's not MY problem

Sorry to anyone who currently has a newborn. I'm not gonna sugar coat it, it's pure hell. And every time I hear a baby cry, it brings me right back into the foxhole.

Heil Baby.

Second, my standard for what I will wear outside of the house has lowered.
Oh, did I say lowered? I meant disappeared.

That's right, I now have absolutely no standard for what I will wear outside of my house. I have become one of THOSE Walmart people. You know, the hefty lady who wears her pants up to her boobs like it's a shirt, because apparently you don't need a shirt on if your pants are stretchy and you're sexy enough.


Alright, I'm not that bad, but I'm getting there.

And it's not that I don't care, it's just that I no longer have room in my brain for shame.

Slippers to the store?

Yup, I've done it.

Shirt coated in chocolate/coffee/poop?

I'll still wear it.

Pajamas around the house AND at parent teacher conferences?

Yes sir.

As a matter of fact, I have so little awareness about what I typically leave the house in, that I sometimes, forget to even put a bra on before doing school drop off.

I'm pretty sure the entire school has gotten a glimpse of what I'm working with.

No. Shame.

Sorry kids, but right now, I am the target demographic for pajama jeans.

I vaguely remember what it's like to use styling instruments. Now I'm lucky if I have time to brush my hair. At least I remember to cover the important parts.

Also, when I see moms in heels, it makes me chuckle. Cause with three kids running in three different directions, I would make it all of 30 seconds before I would have to kick them off in order to catch whoever was running directly into traffic.

Third, my brain ain't what it used to be. I used to use it for things and stuff. Like college papers and thinking really hard about theoretical crap that totally would have made me rich if I wrote it down (God, you are a GENIUS when you smoke enough pot).

Post kids, I have to wipe a second time because I can't remember if I wiped or not after I just peed.
Or why I came into whatever room I wandered into.

Or which kid I was supposed to ground when we got home later, cause they did something that I kinda remember pissing me off.

And that we are supposed to do something, I think, sometime this weekend, but I cannot remember what day, or what it is that we are supposed to do.

They say you never can really make up for sleep debt. So you can thank your children for killing off all the necessary parts of your brain.

That shirtless Walmart lady probably has lots of kids.

Fourth, I panic about everything. Partly because I'm insane, but mostly because I'm worried about my kids.

I'm worried that they will get hurt, that they will be hungry, wet, tired, thirsty, catch the swine flu... That we will be well enough equipped to handle the Zombie Apocalypse (we gotta get on that plan of stockpiling guns already, Jude).

I am constantly thinking of how to prevent disastrous scenarios.

Because every time your little pile of cuteness stumbles out into the world, a million things could go wrong. They could fall and crack their little baby head open like my Cora did. We had to get her head glued last year when she fell off of the BOTTOM step of a slide and smashed her head on a set of steel steps. Which gives her a leg up experience-wise for getting into the WWE, but gave me a heart attack.

They could have their cute little ball roll out in front of a Mack truck and get hit and die and have to be resurrected in a pet cemetery, only to come back as a creepy, murderous version of their former self. 

Okay, so maybe not the pet cemetery scenario (although I am HORRIFIED to let my kids play ball near the street now. Thanks, Stephen King.) But you get the idea.

Which leads me to my fifth and final contribution (mostly cause I have to go to bed).

I love my kids so god damned much that even seeing fictional children, or kids that I don't know get hurt, killed, etc. makes my brain explode and tears shoot out of my face at 100 mph.

When I see pictures of kidnapped children on Facebook, or read stories about babies who get cancer, I blubber like an uncontrollable moron. This has singlehandedly ruined my enjoyment of Law and Order and any other show where they have an affinity for doing story lines about raping/murdering children.

Not that I should, in theory, enjoy that sort of story cause obviously it's kinda sick.

I'm just saying that it would be nice to be able to enjoy a good baby murder now and then.

But now I get flooded with all this stupid emotion

Thanks kids. I can't hear a baby cry without bugging the fuck out, I look like hell, I'm brain dead, I have panic attacks over everything, and I can't even watch someone snatch a fictional child without doing a quick headcount and sniffing back a tear.

We haven't even hit the teenage years yet and if this were Tekken, I would be in the red right now.

Face it, we're all screwed. The one thing that keeps me going is the notion that one day they are all gonna be wiping my ass.

Oh, and wine. Ass wipin' and wine. Mommy fuel.

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