Saturday, October 4, 2008

It's Snot Easy

I love my kids. I really do love them more than anything. That's a good thing, too, because I think they are trying to kill me.

Chekhov said "Any idiot can handle a crisis; it's the day-to-day living that wears you out." Though I'm sure that was much truer in the time and place he lived, sometimes I find myself mulling his wisdom, especially when I think of the concessions I have made in my life that I never would have imagined.

There are many things I took for granted when I was single, and I don't want any childless person to become jaded about them. Here are only a few of the things you should know:

1) You'll never have a hot meal again. Someone always needs something when you sit down to eat. If you are lucky enough to get to your plate while it's still warm, choke it down fast before someone needs a diaper change, or wakes up screaming. That way, you can just have indigestion instead of frustration.

2) Forget being alone in the bathroom. I am the most popular person in the world when I close the door to the bathroom. Everyone wants me. I'm a porcelain superstar.

3) You'll never shop the way you used to. There's no more buying $200 purses or gratuitous shoe-shopping. You'll never go shopping for yourself without a twinge of guilt, and you'll never come home without something for everyone else, just to make it "fair."

4) There's no secret snacking. You'll never eat anything between meals without at least one person asking "What's in your mouth?" and the painful "Let me see," once you answer.

5) You will never, EVER, EVER sleep again. You like to think you will, "once the baby's a little older," "once everyone is in their own bed/room for the whole night," etc... The truth is, you will never make it through a whole night again without waking, worrying or wondering.

You think it's great when the baby sleeps for a few hours, until you bolt awake because it occurs to you that he could have smothered himself and you'd never know; or the monitor somehow broke and he's screaming his head off, all alone.

Then you dream that something bad has happened, and you wake up frightened enough to go and peer at their little faces again, one more time before you settle down.

I imagine it never goes away, even when they are grown. You'll always wonder where they are, how they are, and if they are remembering to breathe in their sleep.

6) You will do things that used to horrify and disgust you without flinching. On any given day, you'll touch about 5 different bodily substances. Wash your hands. Wash them again.

You'll sniff your child's ass in public. You'll catch their vomit in your hands to keep it off the rug. You'll pick up dead mice to spare the kids seeing them. You'll wipe noses with your t-shirts and wipe smudges from their faces with your own spit.

It is a dirty, filthy, pissy, shitty business. On good days.

My advice to you: Don't be bored. Ever. You'll be mad at yourself for not picking your ass up off the couch and doing something. On second thought, sit there. Sit there, you lucky bastard with your mouth hanging open and potato chip crumbs on your snot-free shirt. Once you have kids you'll never be doing nothing again.

1 comment:

FoxyMoron said...

LOL at "porcelain superstar". What a great post, I relate to everything you wrote having had seven babies. They do grow up (way too fast) and you do get some sleep. But you never stop worrying about them even when they've left and are out on their own. However you have to learn to let go a bit then for your own mental health.