When I was nine months pregnant I could barely move. I’m 5’2 and the baby just had nowhere to grow. I waddled when I walked and snored when I inhaled. “Soon, he will come out. It will get better”, people would say.
My baby was great in the hospital, but the second he came home he did nothing but scream. He screamed when he was hungry. He screamed when he was full. He screamed
when he wanted to be picked up. He screamed when he wanted to be put down.
The only time he didn’t scream was when he was projectile vomiting.
I was sleep deprived and quickly going insane. Unlike a pet, I couldn’t give the kid away because it wasn’t working out like I thought.
I’d call my friends with kids and they’d assure me, “It gets easier”.
Apparently they lied bc as soon as my kid slept through the night he started teething. The drool and blow out diapers wasn’t good for the fashionista in me. I mean who knew that poop could leek out the top of a diaper.
People, would laugh when I was overwhelmed. “You will miss these days,” the’d say.
They were right. Because later that year came the separation anxiety, the phase where nothing could be childproofed enough and a second pregnancy.
The ‘Terrible Twos’ are pretty much a blur, although think I may still be suffering from PTSD from the potty training. The high one gets from getting their child to pee in the toilet,is quickly thwarted by the nerves that come when that child needs to be put in a carseat, or has a playdate at a park. I quickly learned that garbage bags made great slip covers and a place with no potty was way better then one with a disgusting one.
The three’s brought tantrums. Giant ones. About absolutely nothing. I once caught my kid with his tongue in the phone jack outlet. I moved him away and he screamed for 4 hours. He would be excited to go out, but when Id try to get him in the car seat,he’d go limp, like spaghetti. Suddenly he became an insanely picky eater. Food was too hot, or too cold. Too crunchy or too soft. My days were spent avoiding pissing of my kid by any means possible.
Four and Five were furious. My kid had a big vocabulary and knew how to use it. He followed me around like a puppy dog. I longed for the days were I could go to the bathroom alone. He would get mad at me when I told him to do something and would threaten me that he was going to ‘lock himself in his room forever’. (I never argued against that one.) This is the age where my kid would rather walk up a flight of stairs for my kids to hand me his trash, rather than throw it out himself.
I figured once he was in school full time, My life would be easier. It just had to be.
Clearly, I have terrible intuition because now that my kids are school age, I am more stressed then ever. First of all waking kids at 6:15am to go to school is a punishment they should give the prisoners in Guantanamo. My one son has curly hair and wakes up looking like Doc Brown from Back to the Future. I don’t even bother trying to argue with him about brushing his hair. I save the battles for getting them to wear clothes that semi- match and to get them to brush their teeth.
Once they are at school, I dodge volunteer requests from the PTA and try to make my house look like civilized people live there.
At three o’clock is the dreaded carpool line.
If you ever want to see people at their worst, carpool line is the place. Between crossing guard yelling, people cutting the line and confused kids who cant remember their number, its shocking that there aren’t deaths here daily.
Once the kids are home there is the fight about homework, where they tell me I cant help them because, even though I was a middle school math teacher for years, Im know nothing.
School age kids roll their eyes, and listen to your conversations, they have weird teeth which makes them not as cute, and in turn makes being forgiving much more difficult.
The are gross and talk about poop and flip their eyelids inside out. They avoid showering. They talk incessantly nothing and they whine about everything.
In hindsight, I can’t believe I have made it this far into parenting without a nervous breakdown. I am assuming thar in time parenting will not get easier; just difficult in different ways. And the more experienced I become, the more I am able to laugh at it all.