There are a lot of things to hate (and to love) about parenting. I could go on all day about giving up my independence, losing my freedom, hanging onto my identity with the skin of my teeth, but the important thing to remember is that these things are all passing. They are as fleeting, in fact, as the five things I’m about to list here…the five petty things I hate about parenting at this very moment.
5) I hate the neverending monologue, the only purpose of which is to build up to a tantrum. You know the one. Where they want you to repeat what they said back to them, and then do it, even if it’s impossible. And if you don’t respond, or respond in an undesirable way, the chant continues on and on and on. They’re like Energizer bunnies. Until, finally, they, too, have have enough. Then they melt down. There is hardly ever a happy ending to this particular type of babble.
4) I hate begging them to eat. I know, I know, I’m supposed to put the food out and let them eat it if they want. But I just can’t do that. I mean, I can, but it’s almost as hard as begging them to eat. They’re so skinny anyway, you see, and now that they talk well, they’re always telling me, “I’m hungry, I’m hungry.” I don’t know what that could mean other than…I’m hungry, but apparently it means something else. Anyway, I hate the games we play, the stories we have to tell, the pleading to get them to take one more bite or just stay in their seats until their father and I are done eating. Enough. Just eat, okay?
3) I hate the theme songs that constantly run through my head. When I get a moment alone, the last thing I want to find myself doing is humming along to “Dora, Dora, Dora the Explorer.” My mind even makes up words to fill in the gaps. Like, I guarantee you the nexts line is not “Boots has super shoes so sayonara,” but I put that in, every time. I want to sip my coffee in peace, thank you. At the very least, give me the latest Ke$ha bullcrap or something. But, no. It’s always, “this is the song, la la la la, Elmo’s World!” Argh! And how do I even know “Whoooo lives in a pineapple under the sea?” My kids don’t even watch SpongeBob. Enough, brain, enough.
2) I hate never being able to consume anything at its intended temperature. I happen to like my coffee hot and my ice cream cold. I also enjoy sitting down to eat at a leisurely pace. I do not particularly care for standing in the corner of the kitchen in the dark, scarfing down a handful of sugary cereal so that the babies won’t see me and complain about their cheerios. I also am not a fan of eating my dinner cold and alone after everyone else is finished because I had to stop a million times to redirect a child and remind her to put food in her mouth…oh, and then swallow that food.
And the number one thing I hate about parenting at this very moment:
1) The proximity of my face to poop at any given time. One of my daughters is having a bowel movement problem. Unlike baby poop, which I never thought smelled that bad, or even toddler diaper poop, in which my hands were doing the dirty work, but my face was still a good two feet away, a potty seems to exacerbate excrement smell by about 20 times. Seriously, how much stench can come out of one little thing? And it wasn’t so bad when they were doing their business, and I was called in at the last minute for cleaning and disposing. But now, my poor daughter needs comfort on the potty. She needs to be hugged through it. She needs to put her little arms around my head and force it down toward her stomach so that my eyeballs and nostrils are mere inches (if that) away from the seat itself. I get a front row seat to the sounds, the smells and the movement of a long, hard pooping extravaganza. If that isn’t love, I don’t know what is.
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