Never get too comfortable. That’s the biggest piece of advice I could ever pass on to another parent. NEVER get too comfortable.
One moment you think they’re 100% potty trained, and the next they’re unleashing 2 quarts of urine into a highchair in an Applebees 10 feet away from the bathroom. You might think you’ve taught them to efficiently wipe their own ass, but a year later you’re still finding 10 car pile-up level streaks in their underwear.
I know I’m going with all the most disgusting comparisons– but you see what I’m getting at. You always have to be on your toes. That’s why we’re so exhausted all. the. time.
It could be my anxiety taking the lead all the time, but I rarely ever let my guard down. Once I do, something always goes wrong. Something gets broken. The kids decide to start World War III up in the play room. I get distracted by their antics and don’t realize that the reason dinner isn’t cooking is because I have it on the wrong fucking burner.
The entirety of winter break, I felt on my guard. Every other minute it seemed like there was a fire to put out… luckily not from having the wrong burner on. I could. not. wait. for it to be over. Many people were counting down to the new year, but not me. I was counting down the hours, minutes, and seconds until I got to send the kids back to school where they could annoy anyone other than me for the majority of their waking hours. I started the car early to make sure it was warm. I had the lunches ready to go. Their outfits picked out.
Does wanting to get rid of my kids back to the hallowed halls of elementary school sound awful? Ask any parent who gets stuck indoors with their spawn for two weeks and ask the same question. You’ll basically be categorizing 99% of parents on earth as awful, because we’re all going insane. Get cooped up inside of a house with anyone for that long and you’re bound to feel some friction.
I was so excited for the kids to gtfo, and that is where I made my mistake. I was so comfortable in the notion that they’d be going back to school, and I’d finally be able to get back to my routine of getting work done without having to pause to break up fights, take toys away, and solve menial problems that are considered by children to be the absolute end of existence as they know it, that when–2 hours after I’d dropped the kids off– I got an email about my 10 year old starting FAMILY LIFE classes soon, I about fell out of my chair.
I AM NOT PREPARED!
It’s not his first family life class, or even his second–and it’s not like I’ve shielded him from anatomy other than his own for his whole life. No. We’ve had plenty of conversation about penises and vaginas. I made sure to let him know early on that girls do not pee and poop out of the same hole (trust me, there are plenty of GROWN ASS MEN who believe that)- but this isn’t just “Oh hey look, you have a peepee” kindergarten level, and it’s not “those saggy things are testicles” last year’s level. This is his last “family life” class before middle school- where shit gets really weird, voices start cracking, and interest beyond friendship develops.
Thing is- I’m happy about anything he learns from someone who has experience teaching kids about it that is NOT me, but I am woefully unprepared for him to come home spouting off knowledge about sperm fertilizing eggs and giving me that horrified look like “oh my god, you and my father have sex.”
If you need me, I’ll be hiding under a table and forcing his father to deal with the aftermath.
Originally published on www.holdinholden.com