I stood in the middle of a grassy field today in the humid, blinding sun, waiting in an endless line for Grace to have a free pony ride. I thought to myself “How did I get here? How has it come to this? Never in my life did I think I’d be willing to stand in a ridiculous line so my child could plod along on a poor, hot, defenseless pony”. And it got me to thinking of all the other things I never thought I do, but have to because I’m someone’s mother. Kid’s don’t give a hoot about your personal space, your personal goals, your personal life. As far as they are concerned, you had no life before them, you don’t have one when they aren’t around and you aren’t entitled to have one anyway.
I never . . .
- Thought I would get married. For those of you who have had the privilege to live with me, you know I am moody and messy and fussy and uncuddly. Not exactly wife material.
- Thought I would even have kids. Certainly not two before I was thirty. TWO!
- Thought I would have one of those kids without the drugs. Ahhh, the sweet sweet drugs of the epidural. Do you know what it actually feels like to have a baby? No? Well I do. And I sure as hell never thought I’d know that.
- Thought it would occur to me, for what was much longer than a moment, to leave the baby at the hospital. Who would let me go home with a baby? No really, WHO?
- Thought I would let someone pee, poop or vomit on me. Sure, I was willing to hold your hair back in college when you hit the tequilla too hard. But I never thought I would let another human being do their business on me without throwing them across the room.
- Thought I would let the munchkins watch tv. Ohhhhh no, not my kids! Only enriching activities with wooden toys, made in the USA! Certainly no t.v. as a babysitter. No hip hop on the radio either! Or letting them play with the iPad! I hear a lot of non or soon to be parents say the same thing. Gives me a good giggle. The day Grace learned how to come downstairs (at 6 a.m.) on her own and turn on cartoons was a day God smiled on me.
I never . . .
- Knew that such a small little person could make me so enormously angry in a split second. Never even occurred to me that things like the inability to put on socks would make me so furious. Who knew a person could get so angry at the tabs on a diaper while fumbling with them at 3 a.m.
- Knew I could feel such a fierce protectiveness that tears would sting my eyes when Grace feels left out or Janie gets a toy stolen from her by that bratty little sh*t at playgroup. No really, that kid is a bully.
- Knew that I could feel such sympathy for other women. Never knew you could actually become deaf to the shrill cry of a baby. Never thought I would smile at the lady in the grocery store whose kid is crying and yelling and throwing things at the same time. Hey lady, we’ve all been there. I’m just gonna smile at you so you know that and keep on walking. No judgements.
- Knew that being a mom is about the worst thing and the best thing ever. Never knew it was so hard. IT.IS.SO.HARD. Never knew that talking about how sometimes I don’t like it would offend people.
And yet, there I was in the sun, waiting with Grace for her turn. And she was so ridiculously excited to ride that pony! I mean, really really excited! Over a half dead pony! And I was happy I stuck it out in that line. Awwwwww.
Don’t worry that I’ve gone soft though. One minute after we got back in the car I was furious Grace waited till we got on the highway to tell me she had to pee. RIGHT. NOW.