Friday, July 23, 2010

When I'm a Parent, I'll Never...

Yesterday, Amy the Pregnant Chicken wrote the best guest post the world has ever seen.  She's actually written a little more on it today and you should click on over there and check it out.  Tomorrow, we're collaborating on the last of the "When I become a parent, I'll never..." posts. 

Here are our responses to your awesome comments and emails regarding all the things you said you'd never do.
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Once this baby bursts out of me, I will lose ALL of this weight and KEEP it off.
Yuppitty yup.  We all think that.  But I think the baby must have left some things behind. Luggage, toys? Because I'm doing everything humanly possible to lose this damn wei-- ooh, ice cream.  Then of course, you realize that your body is never going to be the same no matter how much weight you lose.  It's like you are an accordian that played every set at Live Aid.  Never the same again (but good memories).  I mean, I can't sneeze standing up without peeing a little.  My husband thinks that is hilarious.  And with subsequent pregnancies, when you have morning sickness and you puke all the time?  Also peeing a little.  Even in your skinny jeans.

"I'll never have kids who throw fits in public" -- Yeah, right. I broke that rule as soon as my firstborn realized he needed to grab everything in Walmart that wasn't nailed down.
I think back to all those times when I would walk into a store and see that lady whispering feverishly through clenched teeth to the small, shrieking child writhing on the floor...  I have become that lady, the one who is trying not to buy random crap in order to appease the screaming, red-faced, mucous-streaked micro-beast.  The poor lady who is walking that fine line between publicly enforcing some level of parental discipline and avoiding an unpleasant encounter with Child Protective Services.  You know you're awesome when you start laughing and hiccuping in embarrassment at the same time and saying "It's OK! We'll just go the car!  Please look away!" while simultaneously trying to pry away the bottle of Miller High Life your child believes is ginger ale because Uncle Joe told him so. . .

Parents with strollers always used to annoy the CRAP out of me.  I couldn't understand why they always expected ME to move out of THEIR way when they had wheels and could easily turn on a dime. They also blocked doorways and took up precious space in store aisles. Now? I will run people over if they don't get out of my way.
I totally used to be a bad stroller mom.  I mean, I've discussed the sort of kid my baby is.  She's a menace to society *and* South Central and she's not even 2.  She needed to be restrained, and as people tend to look askance at size 24 months straight jacket, the five point harness on the stroller served as just that.  Unfortunately, my stroller was rather on the large size.  But I had to use it because I kept running over all the old ones.  I went from quick, nimble, and unencumbered, to something akin to a city bus during rush hour.  

I swore I would always make my kids wear a shirt at all times.
I did too!  Until I realized two things. One: nothwithstanding the fact that I am from NJ, my son is a redneck and would run around in cut-offs and nothing else if he was allowed.  He'd remember to put a lid on the night crawlers before he'd remember to put a shirt on.  The kid looks like he should be swinging off a rope into a swimmin' hole.  He's like a Nick Jr. version of a 1980's Mountain Dew commercial.  And I can do nothing about it.  And two: My youngest? She likes to strip off.  Rips off her diaper, squats and pees all over the floor.  She strips off her clothes with the determined ferocity of a racoon attacking a closed trash can.  Again - I can do nothing about this except keep paper towels handy and hope for the best.  And sigh.


"Anyone who has kids and keeps Sharpies in their house is just asking for it." Said to my sister after one of her children vandalized her house. Yes, I really did. And years later, my own kids vandalized my property and I realized what an idiot I was.
Encourage them to use their mad Sharpie skills drawing tattoos on themselves and for taking incriminating notes about other people on newspapers. Perfect training for becoming prison snitches. Or, bloggers.

I swore I would never make threats I couldn't keep.
So far they've learned Christmas never gets canceled, I don't have God's phone number, it's impossible to stop time, I'm not capable of taking anyone out of this world despite my ability to bring them into it,  and we've never actually had worms and dirt for dinner. Apparently, I'm also incapable of stopping this car right now or giving anyone anything to cry about. They appear to know that I don't have Santa's address.  My sole power rests in the ability to count to three. Really slowly. Sometimes with halfsies or Mississippis.

I'll teach my children sign language so they can communicate more effectively with me quicker.
The only sign that has managed to actually stick in their brains is the aforementioned "all done." By god, do they love to tell me they are all done with things. All done with bath. All done with bed. All done with their sibling. All done with food. All done with car ride. All done with diaper change. All done with doctor's visit. All done. Yeah, we get it kids, you're done. Me too.
"Good Morning" is a particularly useful phrase to know in sign language. Maybe because it's lovely and kind and an appropriate greeting. Mostly because it's justthisclose to "F*** You" - which they don't know yet, but a hostile Good Morning when they can't be bothered to talk kinda makes my day.  

While a mommy of one I was showered, dressed and on the go all the time. My little precious was dressed in head-to-toe Gymboree with matching shoes and hair bows. I arrived at playdates with fresh baked muffins, and juice I picked up at the store on the way. I loved my fellow mom's, but they looked frazzled. There kids were wearing mis-matched clothes, hair not brushed, drinking day old juice out of sippy cups they found in the car.

Fast forward... I haven't actually gotten dressed in about two years. My day clothes and sleep clothes have pretty much become the same thing... My oldest daughter seems to be getting dreads, that is a good look, right? My middle daughter is a fashion nightmare, dressed in every bizarre outfit imaginable, with leg warmers on her arms for extra flair. My son has marker on his face and arms, it is washable, he just hasn't been washed in a while...
I understand because I used to be cute but now I'm a trainwreck.  Just last week, my husband came home and found his son running around with no shirt on - again.  His youngest, bare-assed and squealing.  His oldest in (no joke) 27 bracelets and silly bandz, as accessories are critically important to happiness of 7 year old girls.  And of course there was me.  With my skirt on inside out.  My husband was like: "Hmmmm... Your skirt is on inside out.  Other husbands would be concerned about that.  I'm just guessing your yoga pants were dirty."

When I was a wise single girl I swore that I would NEVER let my children wear character shoes or clothes. Today my three year old is wearing a faded Handy Manny t-shirt for the third day in a row and I have no plans to try and talk him out of it. I also once once bought the ugliest pair of plastic, light up Yoda sneakers that you could possibly fathom because my son refused to put them down in Walmart.
Kate's kids (the Indoor Homeless People) hate her "No Endorsements" rule. Until Ben Ten, Yoda and the kids from High School Musical pay you to put their faces on your clothing, shoes and backpacks, sorry, we're not doing it for free. And then I realized Disney, et al - after taking a gander at my loud, filthy, vagrant children - would probably prefer to pay us NOT to wear their clothes. We're still waiting for our first check. Should be coming any. day. now. Yep.

I swore I would never let my kids go out of the house dressed inappropriately. One morning my little cupcake baked by the devil (my new fave way to describe my kids, thanks ladies) decided it was very important to wear his I love Hooters beads from the Mardi Gras Parade to Baptist preschool.
There's not much I can to add to this other than to say RIGHT ON.  Because mine just likes to get naked at church.  So you win.

"I'll never be one of those moms who arrives late to everything. How hard IS it to arrive somewhere on time?" Turns out it's not as easy as just adding another 30 minutes to your prep time, because even when you've planned everything perfectly and you're heading out the door right on time, the baby throws up and then she needs to be changed and fed and burped and whoops, YOU need to change too, and now she's falling asleep and should we wake her or just cancel the whole outing? Sigh. Maybe tomorrow ...
Lydia is late to everything.  Why?  Two words... Turtle herding.  Because little kids can do nothing quickly.  It's awful.  Are they trying to kill me?  Why does it take 45 minutes to go from the living room to the car?  Why does the baby have to have a blow out as she's walking out the door every single time?  I have no idea.  But I have sadly come to expect that this is my life.  I haven't been on time for anything since early 2005, unless you count the delivery of two of my lil' terror suspects.

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Check back tomorrow for the Pregnant Chicken/Rants from MommyLand collaborative post of awesomeness!  And if you have any really great "I swore I'd never.." stories to share, leave a comment or email us at lydia.and.kate@yahoo.com

xo, Kate & Lydia
(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

26 comments:

  1. LOVE IT!!! I always swore that my kids would be well behaved in stores, yeah, I am THAT mom screaming "GET BACK HERE RIGHT NOW!! NO YOU CAN NOT HAVE THAT!! PUT IT BACK!!!!"

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  2. Love you guys!! Rolling right now and just nodding my head in agreement and understanding.

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  3. HILARIOUS! This comes just days after my 3 year old Duck decided to utilize a tube of neosporin as hair gel. He came down stairs with a hair do not unsimilar to The Flock of Seagulls reverse mohawk/SFLB (short front long back aka the mullet aka business in front, party in the back). So.... knowing that repeatedly washing his hair to get the muck out was as likely as dressing an eel in formal wear.... I took him to get The Buzz. Which was cute. Until we got home and he decided to use a red magic marker all.over.his.face. He looked like a sadistic clown. The stuff of horror movies. And for the record.... "Washable" crayola is horse crapola. Anyhoo.... Thanks for the blog. I.AM.THAT.MOM. (And p.s.... the reason I call my kids "Ducks" is b/c I have a coozie that says "Having Children is like being pecked to death by Ducks") I use that coozie frequently.... for my Ginger Ale.
    Valerie

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  4. This is so good!!! I also am in love the "cupcake baked by the devil" description. =)

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  5. ROFLMFAO!!! I LOVE it!

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  6. As a married without children, I always thought to myself as I read those magazine articles about not wanting s*x after the baby, "What the freak! Like that's ever going to happen." Ummm, yeah, happened. But yet, I know that some of it has been going on because these two other beings didn't not just magically appear after the first. Do I just blame them on "The Blur" (best description of this time ever)?
    Leigh Ann

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  7. My sole power rests in the ability to count to three. Really slowly. Sometimes with halfsies or Mississippis. Best line ever! I count down from five...slowly...and have somehow made my kids fearful of ONE! Of course, this means that they usually don't start moving until I reach two...

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  8. I was never going to let me kids wear "character clothing" either. Until she was introduced to Dora, and then Cinderella, Ariel... and on. Now half her wardrobe is character stuff because it makes her happy, and when she is happy I'm not pulling my hair out. :p

    I loved reading these. It makes me feel like I'm not a bad mom after all.

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  9. Counting to three really, really does work! And I've discovered that IT'S OKAY to answer a whiny "whYYyyyyyyyYYyyyyyYYYYyyyyyyY?" with "Because. I. Said. So."

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  10. I'm so glad to know I'm not the only mom who HATES character junk! It looks so cheap, and there's no potential resale value down the road. Thankfully my "cupcake" is only 14 months, so I can still control her wardrobe. I *dread* the day she insists on a pair of Dora shoes! But alas... I know its coming :-(

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  11. Wonderful post ladies. Aunt Mary was given a book at the birth of her first child. "When I have a little girl". The very sweet premise is that all the stray cats can come home, the milk man can move in, etc. Aunt Mary also has a no endorsements rule. Being tied for meanist mom in the county, she stuck to it. Aunt Mary is proud of her meanest mom in the county title!

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  12. Before kids my husband and I had an actual conversation about how we would still go out and eat at fancy restaurants WITH our kids- how crazy is that idea?! We told ourselves that OUR kids would be well behaved angels who would sit and color quietly while we enjoyed our meal- WTF were we thinking????!!! I pull my hair out bringing my kids to McD's or Chick fil-A half the time. I would rather have my fingernails pulled out with tweezers one by one than take my two "angels" to any restaurant that doesn't have a drive thru or play area.

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  13. Hey I took my kid to a nice restaurant...when she was 6 days old. You know, the stage when they just eat and sleep. One feeding and she was out the rest of the time. Ah, fond memories...

    It used to be our favourite restaurant, the kind where they remember you. We go there less often now (like once a year), because we want to keep those waiters smiling when they see us...not the rictus of terror look.

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  14. I LOVE you guys - keep the laughs & reality checks coming!!!
    xoxo
    the mama.

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  15. I was HUGE on no character stuff before kids. That just flew out the window. It's cheap and the kids want it. Enough said.
    And thank you for the walk down memory lane with the Mountain Dew commercial!!! It even looks like my Oklahoma redneck childhood.

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  16. Hooter's mardi gras beads at Baptist preschool vs naked at church. Both ideas had me roflmao! Thanks. Realizing that I am very blessed with my two girls.

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  17. Oh..I so missed you guys. I've been off the grid for a couple of weeks with people in town and such. Today is the first day back in reality. your blog and two glasses of wine are making it all much more bearable.

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  18. Aaaah being a mum is so easy............you could got days without sleeping and never notice it.I love being a mum and maybe i one day i'll stop saying someone shoot me when my baby misbehaves in public.

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  19. One of mine was, "I'll never let my kid run around with a crusty nose. How hard is it to wipe the snot off for crying out loud?!". Well, when the snot keeps coming and coming all. day. long. and the kid screams bloody murder every time you wipe it - not to mention by day three of the never ending winter cold his skin is so sensitive it's downright painful to wipe it - well, I get it now.

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  20. I LOVE THIS! @Michelle, I hear ya sister on that snotty nose thing. Yeah, my kid was not going to be the snotty, crusty nosed faced kid. That worked until he was born, then downhill.
    I have a theory that when you are childless or pregnant you have a lot of "I'll nevers..." and many of them go out the door with baby #1, but you still get to live a little bit in a lala land. Once you have baby #2, more go out the window and any more kids and it's a free-for-all. (For the record, I have a 22-month old and #2 on the way in July. I'm much more careful about my "I'll nevers..." though).
    \

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  21. One of the funniest posts I've ever read! :) The 'all done' was also the ONLY sign my daughter remembered as well! Thanks for making me laugh!

    I used to HATE it when my friends would make me talk to their kids on the phone. I had no idea what to say to them, and frankly it annoyed me to no end...

    Fast forward 2 years and I am now doing the exact same thing to everyone I talk to! I understand the reasoning now - when your 2 year old is tugging on your clothes saying "phone, phone, phone, phone, phone..." over and over and over... I give in. I don't even wait for an answer, I just hand over the phone and let her babble to them. :)

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  22. It is unbelieveably funny how spot on this all is. I ALWAYS feel so normal after reading stuff like this. I want to print this all out and staple it to the walls for my husbend to see that I am normal and not a terriably unorganized mom! LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE you ladies!

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  23. Thank you, thank you, thank YOU! This is awesome! (sigh, wipes tear) Good times!

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  24. My daughter would strip at any given moment, at home fine, christian daycare...not so much, She had to have her overalls on backwards, and if she was wearing normal jeans and shirts, i had to Safety pin them together. SO glad those days are over!

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  25. "herding turtles" <----This!!! rotflmao. I read a post recently about how you're not supposed to say "hurry up" to your kids, it takes the joy out of the world, blahblahblah... Not realistic in my life. Please, just get in your seat. yes, I see the cars going by, no we left your other trains at home, I have you snack, daddy is right there in the driver seat, you can't have that cup because it's been sitting in the car for 3 days, please HURRY UP and. just. sit. the. F. DOWN!.
    A thousand thank-yous for making me feel normal!

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