Being a parent is f*ing hard, and to be honest, outright a pain in the ass sometimes. Don’t get me wrong. I love my kid. Obviously. But seriously. It’s hard. There are those great moments when they actually ask to hold your hand and walk with you, instead of immediately jetting down the building stairs and out to the sidewalk before you realize their shorts might be on backwards. But most of the time I find myself screaming “RED LIGHT!!!” down the block at my free range kid, in hopes that he will stop. A mom can always hope right?
Speaking of “free range,” there are so many different types of parenting that are constantly debated back and forth every day between all these parents who think they have got their shit together. And maybe they do have their shit together, and I’m the only one who’s a mess. But to be honest, I’m not the one sounding like an asshole saying “I have my three month old sleep trained. I don’t understand why my best friend has such trouble with her four year old boy.” *rolling my eyes so far back in my head they may get stuck* But really there’s helicopter parents and free range parents. Well I’d love to throw another one into the mix. What about “Electric Fence” parenting? It’s kind of like the same thing as the electric fences for dogs. They don’t have any visual restrictions and the false confidence that they are able to roam freely. However, if they get too far for your parental liking *ZAP!*
I’m kidding. Obviously I’m not strapping a collar to my kid. I definitely understand kid leashes a lot more now than I ever did before though.
Then there is the entire subject of food. I have what would be considered a Self-Proclaimed Vegetarian. He refuses any meat even though he’s never tried it. “I can’t like it.” Really? You are a four year old and you can’t like a hotdog? No, you’re just being a pain in the ass because there is nothing else at this restaurant to order you besides a side order of French Fries and you know Mumma and Daddy are starving and will order them because we need to eat.. now. I never in the world thought I would have to argue with a child to take a bite of chicken nuggets! And while I bitch and moan about trying to bribe my healthy child with unhealthy food, most parents would think I’m crazy. Seriously, he will eat raw spinach and broccoli before even thinking about biting into a burger. But when you are out to eat, NO ONE is serving raw veggies on a plate. No one. Believe me. I have asked.
Then there is the whole parrot personality. This we learned happens even before they turn two. I can remember the moment when I took my eighteen month old child around the block to pick up some things in the pharmacy. As he began walking down an isle waddling and holding onto my wallet, I said “No sweetie, follow mumma this way.” He looked me dead in the eye, threw my wallet to the ground and said “Oh shit.” And the parrot phase began. I wish that was the worst of what he said. But then came the day that he was playing with his trains alone in his room and we heard “Choo choo, watch out. The fucking four train is coming through.” NO! Those are bad words! Don’t say that! Well that’s what I would have said, but I knew he heard everything he’s learned from my husband and me so that wasn’t going to work. Instead, I started to say, “No, that’s an adult word. When you are as big as daddy you can use it.” And it TOTALLY worked! Mumma -1, kid – well, he’s obviously still winning.
Also, why can’t kids learn what a hangover is early on, and how to not annoy but help a mumma through it. No? Fetching Tylenol and water isn’t something to teach your preschooler? Ok. Fine. I’ll wait until he’s a bit older then.
UGH! Then there’s the STRANGERS! Not the ones you need to warn your child about. (That is seriously my biggest fear and I cannot even begin to joke about “stranger danger.”) I’m talking about the random people on the sidewalk or in the grocery store who want to give you advice on your screaming child who just smacked you in the face because you wouldn’t buy him Apple Jacks. No, ma’am, I don’t care that you raised five children and that they never did anything like this and maybe he just needs some extra love and attention. I just played 7 hours of a Paw Patrol board game at home via his request. Now we have to do grocery shopping for the week and I’m obviously not putting sugar into my already rambunctious child. Also, HE is a boy. I know he has long hair and I know I didn’t brush it this morning. But to be honest, I didn’t feel like fighting. And I really think the dreads that are forming on the back of his head will make him the cool kid once school starts next week.
All jokes and complete sarcasm aside, parenting is hard. We’re all in it. Some of us deeper than others. I see a kid having a tantrum in the store, and I immediately look at the mother or father. Not to cast judgement, more to telepathically emit my sympathy. We’re all in it together. Some days are better than others. Most days we can’t complain at all. But it’s real. It’s hard. And it’s our lives. And, seriously, I wouldn’t change a minute of it.