Monday, June 9, 2014

Nine Ways Becoming A Parent Has Changed Me

1.  I don't look at other families when their toddler is throwing a fit.
Nay, I do not even so much as venture an eyelash in their direction.  I've been there folks, and that ain't noooo fun. You think stares and shakes of the head from strangers makes it any better?  Hale no. So, when someone else's tot is blowing a gasket, I will kindly act as though my burrito or sandwich or grocery cart is very interesting.  Tantrum?  What tantrum?  No biggee.  Carry on.

2.  I say lots and lots of little "arrow prayers".
That's what my mom calls them.  Short, fervent, pleading prayers, shot like arrows straight from my heart up to the heavens.  The most common of these is "Lord, please help her go to sleep, please, please, please Lord". This is usually whispered while standing in her tiny closet or crouched on the floor at the end of her crib, literally hiding from an infant so she can forget about me and try to calm down, as we embark on various episodes of this thing called "cry-it-out". (Which, by the way, should be renamed "rip-mama's-heart-out".)

3.  I sweat more.  
Turns out a decent chunk of parenting basically boils down to the following activities:
a) Wrestling
Wrestling arms and legs and heads into clothing, wrestling diapers onto wiggly booties, wrestling shoes onto little feet, wrestling medicine into clamped mouths, wrestling a towel around a little boy who wanted to keep "swimming" in the bathtub.
b) Sharing body heat
Or rather, receiving extra body heat.  By the end of an evening with a warm natured baby who, by that time of day, would rather be plastered to me than set down anywhere else...I'm in need of a shower.
c) Hauling
I get lots of looks from other parents at daycare when I've got Brother's backpack on my back, Sister's bag on my elbow, car keys jangling from a hook on my waistband, the CCS subsidy attendance card in my teeth, an almost-two-year-old on my hip and an almost-one-year-old being jostled against my leg in her baby bucket as we pile out to the car like some kind of walking one-man-band laden with children instead of instruments.  Pretty sure the sight of me makes said parents go home, evaluate their birth control plan, and briefly consider sharing it with me.

4.  I've lost 23 pounds.
See #3 above re: wrestling and hauling.  Combine that with #8 below, throw in the stress of a tax season and there you have it...

5.  I'm inside our house soooo much.
Specifically our kitchen, dining room and living room, since we close bedroom doors to limit the area kids can cause disasters get out of our sight, and really only use our back den anymore as a landing zone for various stuff we own that we don't want the kids to get into.   You know, like dog food or a paper cutter.  This confinement to a smaller space has made me want to repaint our living room a happier color, as I've realized I spend 8:00-5:00 in a beige cube and then spend the remainder of the day in a slightly larger beige cube.

6.  I've gotten good at using my left hand, and only my left hand.
See #3 above re: baby plastered to me.

7.  I rarely wear jewelry besides my wedding ring and various stud earrings.
Again, see #3 above re: baby plastered to me.

8.  I often get to the checkout line at the grocery store and realize "this basket is full of formula, baby food and toddler food...but what exactly have I bought for me and Trent to eat?"
Fail.  And by the time I'm at the checkout, it's too late to remedy.

9.  Speaking of grocery stores...that once annoying destination is now heaven on earth where I get to stroll hither and yon all by myself.
The only time so far one of the wee ones have accompanied me to this fairy land of autonomy was one of Brother's "sick" days, aka one of the clockwork times every 3 or so weeks that he spiked a fever greater than the daycare's legal limit, was sent home and required to remain there for the entire next day, during which he showed no signs of illness whatsoever, nor did he from the moment of departure from daycare the previous day.  Anyway.  Brother's calm attention to the novelty of the grocery store lasted all of about 30 minutes before things disintegrated into item #1 above, thereby making me vow to reclaim the sacred grocery store space as mine and mine alone for future trips.

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