Let's be real, while there are many wonderful, blissful, memory-filled moments of parenthood, there are others I would gladly trade. I don't want to wish away these years of having babies in the house. I know I'll look back and regret not spending more time with them and feel nostalgic about chasing after them at family get togethers and answering 1000 questions during a 20 minute drive.
But, there are some aspects of parenthood that don't build character or make you stronger. They just suck:
1. Stepping on cheerios and other food bits
Every forth step you take in our house has you wiping the cereal, playdoh and shredded cheese off of the bottom of your foot off. Sweeping 3 times a day is the only way to avoid this and that's pretty impractical.
2. Loading the car and packing bags
Each destination is such an effort. Diaper bags have to be packed along with snacks and juice for the car, toys, Jude's meals, extra clothes, entertainment for the drive. And then all of this has to be unpacked and sorted when you return home. I can't wait to go somewhere and just say "get your stuff, we're going!"
3. The laptop struggle
Kids love computers. All those buttons, bright lights and pictures of them on your desktop make them think that you placed your laptop there for them to ruin. We can't even open our laptops with Jude in the room. The loud screeching sounds can be heard throughout the neighborhood when you're swatting his hands away. This same struggle occurs with the buttons on the side of the TV, the Kindle, our cell phones, Adam's work pager, the PS3 controller and the thermostat. Ugh!
4. The daycare bill
Having two children in full-time daycare plus one in preschool is so expensive. I look forward to spending that money on other things...like shopping. I've been told that kids only get MORE expensive as they get older. I prefer not to believe that. Instead, I fantasize about blowing that money each month of extravagant trips to fine retailers (like Target and Ikea) and filling my closets with poorly made junk.
5. Sleep, or the lack of
I don't even want to hear anyone tell me that you lose sleep when they're older but for different reasons revolving around your concern for their treatment in [insert prison, school, soccer camp, their chosen gang]. Jonah didn't sleep through the night until he was one and then even that only happened occasionally until he was three. Jude will be two this week and is up at least once each night banging on his door. He doesn't need anything but to be put back to bed. If you let him bang on the door, it can go on for HOURS. HOURS! The lack of sleep we get is awful (you may remember me blogging about this in the past). I know the future holds more and higher quality sleep for us. Don't argue with me.
We talk about poop. The absence of poop. The smell, texture and mess of poop. I don't want to talk about poop anymore. Ever.
7. People staring at us
Does anyone else think people stare at parents when they're out in public. I feel it. I feel a thousand eyeballs on me when we are shopping or out to eat. And it's not because the kids are screaming and throwing fits. It's when they're good too. I know, I know, I know...my kids are the cutest creatures in the world and it's hard to not stare but it's more than that. I know I'm not alone here on this subject. It makes me feel self-consious. I think it's pity. They pity us because in a few minutes our food will be delivered and we will have to inhale it like we swallowed a Dyson vacuum while simultaneously picking up toys thrown on the floor and keeping them from opening sugar packets. Why do they put those on the table? Kids destroy them!
Or at the grocery store. Holy cow, that is the biggest spectacle of all. Don't stop me to talk to my kids because in 41 seconds they are both going to start screaming, because I won't let them buy a cheap impulse toy hanging in the cereal isle.
I already know I'm not handling the situation well and I don't want people observing me doing this. So stop staring at the family that is teetering on the edge of insanity next time you go out to eat or shop.
Parenting is such a mixture of torture and pride and unconditional love and exhaustion and humor. I fear that the teenage years will be more like a mixture of torture and anger but I'm holding out that our kids will be perfect little angels like I was at 13, minus the mood swings, overly emotional reaction to everything, insecurity and general dislike for anyone that thought I didn't know everything in the world. And then there's Adam's teenage years and that's a whole blog post of it's own. We'll get our payback...