I have never been one to boast. Boasting happens to be one of my biggest pet peeves. I’m worried that I am being boastful about not being boastful. I prefer to do the opposite of boasting, which is tearing myself down. (It’s okay. I talk about it with my counselor. He has me working on it.) Boasting is one of my many issues with social media. Social media makes it incredibly easy to fabricate a perfect life. Like when I tell my kids to stand on the part of the floor that isn’t dirty so I can take a picture for Instagram. Or when I don’t smile in pictures for fear that everyone will see that my teeth are crooked. And I would have to explain to them that I didn’t wear my retainer like I was supposed to because, let’s just be honest, retainers are not cool. The struggle was real with my glasses and frizzy hair. I couldn’t be expected to keep up with a retainer too. Rude.
We have packaged ourselves nice and pretty for the world to see, but it isn’t real. I would love it if real life had a filter that blurred out my uneven skin tone, but it doesn’t … yet. I have a lot of trust in scientists. I don’t want my Instagram account to reflect a life that isn’t my reality. I just want to be real with people. Which is why I have compiled some parental experiences that accurately portray my awesome parenting skills.
When my son was a few months old, I was washing him in a baby bath tub. He was giggling and kicking his feet, thoroughly enjoying bath time. He was my first child. My child-washing experience was minimal. Probably, non-existent. I was 18 months old when my brother was born, so my mom never let me bathe him. Good call on her part, because I would have tried to kill him. Little brothers are the worst. While bathing my son, he started making some grunting noises. My heart started to race. I knew what was coming, but I was not at all sure how to handle it. You see, I don’t do poop. Or throw-up. I’m just really bad with bodily fluids in general. When my son pooped seconds later, I screamed for my mom and backed away from the tub. Let me make this clear: I left my infant child in a tub of water. I wouldn’t even touch him. My mom had to come in and clean up my son and his tub. I wouldn’t be part of any of it. This happened again with my daughter. My reaction was almost the same. The only difference was that I was married and my husband had to take care of the poo and the baby. Parent of the year for me, right?
Let me give you another example to further explain my level of disdain for all things the body releases. One afternoon, when I still lived with my parents, my son had a pretty bad diaper. He was about six months. You know the time when solid foods start wreaking havoc on diapers? That was where we were in life. I knew this particular diaper was bad before I even opened it up. My eyes began to water, and I bit the inside of my cheek, something I thought would help distract me from the hazard I was about to unfold. It worked only briefly. While trying to cleanse the drama that was his bum, I started gagging. I swallowed the first few down and tried to push through it. Ignore the stink. Go to my happy place. I commanded myself to be brave. There was just no use. The odds were against me. In the end, I gave in. I let my body accomplish what it needed to. I puked everywhere. I puked on myself. I puked on the filthy diaper. I puked on the clean diaper. I puked on my son. Once again, I had to scream for my mother to come help. She cleaned up the entire situation while flat-out laughing in my face. I was so grateful that God had not allowed me to be one of those independent single mommas. I needed help. Otherwise, who knows how long my child and I would have sat there in our own filth.
After having my daughter, I figured I had grown a bit as a parent. I thought that I had most of it figured out. My daughter is a genius of sorts. She started walking around her eighth month of life. She crawled for roughly two weeks and then took to straight running. There was no stopping her. I figure this is why she is so clumsy now. She could have benefited from gaining her balance a bit before running marathons, but that is just not how she is built.
One sunny day, I decided to take both kids to the zoo. We had been inside quite a bit due to my son’s potty training. He had gotten the hang of things pretty quickly and had absolutely zero number twos in his underwear. I was feeling pretty confident about taking him in public that day. The entire trip, I was asking about potty breaks. I would drag the entire wagon into the family restroom and make him try. We did this half a dozen times that day. Before we left, I was rewarding my children for their good behavior with some Dip-n-Dots, when my son said he had to go to the bathroom. Because of my poop fear, I took his admission very seriously. I tossed the over-priced balls-o-ice cream into the trash and quickly loaded everyone back into the wagon. I pulled that wagon towards the nearest restroom as fast as lightning. I almost ran over a young man as I did so. I was not playing, people. There would be no soggy drawers on the car ride home. I was gonna make sure of that. I had run about 20 feet when I heard someone screaming. It wasn’t a blood-curdling scream that indicated an injury, but rather a panicked, high-pitched squeal. I stopped and turned. I looked in the wagon to find only my son. Looking behind me, I saw my daughter screaming and running towards the wagon with her arms stretched out before her. My eyes widened as I realized I had completely forgotten to buckle my children in. The man I had almost mauled with the wagon earlier was walking past me now. “Did you see her fall out?!” I screamed. “Yes,” he said, flatly. I yelled at him for not bringing it to my attention and for not even caring about the safety of children in general. I wanted someone to blame. At the time it seemed more his fault than my own. In the end, my son made it to the bathroom and my daughter suffered no physical or emotional damage. She was about 14 months old when this happened.
Some of these stories probably seem a bit traumatic, but I assure you I am fine and suffered very little.The jury is still out on how my kids will end up. If they don’t make it to college, I will blame these occurrences. I could go on for 30,000 words about how badly I parent at times, but no one wants to read an entire book about this drama. Entertaining as it may be, I fear I would get into trouble with the authorities. Feel free to ask me anything in regard to how I parent so well.