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.

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.

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

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

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