Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Parenting Craziness

I believe, that no matter what you do, parenting makes you crazy. Not insane, like my last post... you can hide insane and be functional in the world. I mean crazy like pull your hair out, scream like a banshee, call the ambulance & tell them to bring a straitjacket: Crazy.

It starts in pregnancy: all the do's & don'ts of taking care of your body and setting up the space for the baby and how all of this will effect your relationship, add the hormone hell a woman goes through... excited, but crazy.

Then you have the child and it comes home; bigger do's and don'ts and how-do-I's. Add the well-wishing guests that drop by without calling and say and do things to make you want to kick them all the way out the door and down the driveway mainly because of the new round of hormone hell you are in and the severe to the point that Navy Seals are dropping like flies exhaustion...excited but tired and crazier.

Then they become toddlers: more expansive do's and don'ts, the kind that involve poison control numbers, electrocution, and emergency trips to the er & doctor's office. They need bigger badder gadgets that take Mensa membership to assemble. They start watching educational television, which is very good for them and yet, melts your brain like soft butter on a full open burner. They walk and get into everything including, but not limited to; the cat food & litter box, the kitchen cabinets, dvd & cd collection, bathroom cabinets, the toilet and anything else that is 3 1/2 feet high or less. Unless you've got a climber, and then the cut off height and the level of panic goes up exponentially...excited, tired, brain-dead and crazier.

Then they start school. Now the do's & don'ts are less common sense and more personal-style invasive. You are angry with their classmates for not being nicer to your child on the playground and frustrated that the teacher doesn't get to paddle children that don't share the blue crayon with your child. They can't wait to start loosing their precious baby teeth like the big kids, and you can barely remember how they got from newborn to school-aged so fast. You run around every morning like a chicken with it's head cut off to get everyone out the door on time...excited, tired, half brain-dead, hyper-protective and crazier.

Next thing you know, they're in 5th grade. They fight over doing homework, want money for lunches instead of taking one cause it's cooler, and have multiple permission forms that need to be signed and returned or you're child will sit in the Principal's office with a book cause their parent didn't remember to put the slip into the backpack that weighs 37 lbs. Instead, their parent handed it to them and expected them to put it in their own backpack. They start talking back in a tone that makes you want to knock the rest of their baby teeth down their throat. You have become an embarrassment overnight and they get away from you with the speed of a roller-derby queen on meth to go to any other aisle to pick out their own movies at the video store. They will try every time to get at least one R-rated movie past you. You are chauffeuring them to so many non-school activities that you have a calendar on the fridge to keep everything straight & heaven forbid you forget to make 75 cupcakes for the underwater-basket-weaving team which you didn't know until last night that you were responsible for bringing...enthused, forgetful, trying to keep up and be hip so they will still throw you a hug from time to time as long as it's not in front of anyone, and crazier.

Before you've blinked twice, it's senior year. You're arguing about college applications. You're wondering if you can get college funding, but first you're wondering if you can get senior picture, yearbook, cap & gown and prom funding. You see more of the back of your child's friends' heads in your refrigerator than you see your own child, in fact it's been so long since you've seen your child that you wonder if their friends ate them for their X-Box and just haven't left yet. You pass your child's room and see a circle of friends around the computer chair, and you hope your child is in there and is not cyber-bullying anyone or being cyber-bullied by anyone or looking at anyone naked. Then you remember that you actually saw them two days ago mumbling something about needing $40 dollars as they were scrounging in your wallet. As it has been two days, you know you will see your child today for more money from the Parental Unit Bank & Trust... where they trust that the parental units will always be their endless supply of cash to supplement their income as they bust their butts at work -- all 12 hours a week at minimum wage. You thank your lucky stars they can afford their own gas and manage to find their shoes. Every night they come home sober you fall to your knees and thank God for keeping your child safe and then immediately worry that they weren't sober earlier, they were just smart enough to come home sober. You take a deep breath and try to be thankful that at least they're that smart and at the same time worry what they're up to that you haven't caught on to yet or heard about being done by kids their age on the 'Panic Now News'. You're interested, have old-timer's disease, are trying to stay out of the way so you don't get run over while also figuring out how to pay for it all, and crazier.

Then one day, you get the call... that they are going to be a parent, and you smile to yourself as you hang up the phone. First, you know about all the beautiful wonderful memories and the way that having a child will change you and your life and your world forever and you are thankful that they'll get to experience the wonder of it all. And then you smile even bigger as a chuckle escapes your throat, because the mother's curse always works ("I hope one day you grow up to have a child that acts just like you!"), it always comes with interest, and now they get to be crazy too.

1 comment:

Georgie said...

I totally agree with youespecially about the hell...