In what crazy bizarro world did I think choosing a hobby that involved sitting down to organize my thoughts without interruption would be a good idea? Sitting down? Organization? Who are you? It’s like I don’t even know you anymore. These two words are but a small memory now, no longer in a mom’s vocabulary. I think they made their exit the same time as that gross pile of afterbirth.
The days when you were allowed to sit down and actually enjoy any type of social activity without interruption are behind you. At least for the first chunk of your life with child. I seriously can’t remember the last quality conversation I’ve been able to have with anyone, and I really miss feeling like a human. The first few years of your child’s life sort of turn you into a zombie. New moms and dads could be cast as the extra’s on AMC’s The Walking Dead because they wouldn’t even need to fake it.
Although I may be physically present when we visit our family and friends, it is a real physical strain for me to give anyone more than 50% of my attention at any given time because the demands of a toddler are much too intense. I can no longer look people in the eye when they are speaking to me because the moment you take your eyes of your kid will be exactly the moment they dive into a pool, escape the front door, fall down the stairs, or get into some other kind of trouble that you could have otherwise avoided.
There are days you will wish to be the circus side-show who could actually grow that second set of eyes in the back of your head. You know, the ones your mom always threatened to have? I would welcome extra eyes and all the creepiness they offer. Growing eyes in the back of your head is a skill that every parent should be able to tap in to. There are, of course, also days when running away with the circus doesn’t sound like a bad idea either.
Babies are easy to take out in public settings in the beginning. They sleep more, they don’t walk yet, and most importantly…they don’t speak. Because of this, you are fooled into believing you have the most well-behaved kid on the planet and your kid can handle any social situation without embarrassing you. Then something happens. They…turn…two. My god it is a real thing. Your kid has a 2nd birthday and that very day they go through some crazy metamorphosis. Their body goes through a change (like menopause for babies) that leads them to believe the world and everything in it revolves around them. At any given time you may find yourself looking at them, fearing their head will start spinning simply because they did not get their way. You must accept the fact that you now live with a small human who suffers a dissociative identity disorder of sorts and it is now their will to set forth and complicate anything that used to be enjoyable to you.
Do you enjoy napping on a breezy fall day? Do you enjoy going to social gatherings and actually socializing? Do you enjoy eating dinner in a nice restaurant as a family unit without a member of your party yelling “I have a big poop!”? Do you like being able to actually sit down and chew food? Do you enjoy car rides that don’t involve outbursts from the back seat loud and long enough to make you visualize driving your car through a tree? And seriously, if you enjoy sitting down longer than five minutes you may reconsider procreation altogether.
We don’t really do the family dinner at a restaurant thing much these days because it is always a risk. Three bites into my meal tonight and we made our not so graceful exit after my daughter thought it would be funny to announce loudly that she has a big poop. She was totally lying, but she kept repeating it over and over. Louder and louder. I am somewhat impressed that she was crafty enough to fabricate such a detailed plan to get us to leave.
This holiday weekend has me realizing it’s going to be a very long time before I’m allowed to do things at my own pace, on my own schedule, and when I please. It’s been a weekend full of emotional outbursts, temper tantrums & public humiliation by a 2-year-old who is trying to find her place in the world. The mental brilliance of a 2-year-old is strangely calculated and I think I should consider seeking shelter from her storm, possibly under a rock until she reaches age 3.
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