For my childless friends and anyone else wondering, “Should I have children?” Or perhaps for those of you questioning, “Why the hell would ANYONE have children?!” I offer you this explanation:
Last night while trying to herd my 10-year-old son to bed, I had some revelations. In the abyss of my sub conscience, somewhere along the way, I had to have thought, “Self, You MUST have children so you can become an intolerable nag and ask the same questions repeatedly with negative results for 18 years. That would be the tits.” The hilarious part is, somehow I sold my children’s father on this idea, too! Hahahahahaha, SUCKER! I’ve truly missed my calling – I should be in marketing.
As I told my dear sweet flighty boy for the 87 thousandth time, “Go brush your teeth!” I thought, “What the hell is WRONG with you, woman? How many times have you said this over the course of 15 years (10 for him, 15 for his sister)? God invented dentists so mothers around the world could stop sounding like oral hygiene-obsessive-bitches. Why fight with kids daily when you can go once every six months and pay hundreds of dollars to avoid the argument? It totally seems like a good trade. When the first tooth rots out of their heads, they’ll learn.” Then I remembered the parent-shaming happening in dental offices across the globe. “Is Johnny brushing his teeth? Three times a day? Flossing? No juices or soda? Milk consumption at a minimum? Do you have village water? Are you using fluoride supplements? You should really consider sealants.” Oh hell…”MAX, GO BRUSH YOUR GODDAMNED TEETH!”
He flits upstairs, singing and humming, oblivious (or immune) to my insanity. He emerges from the bathroom ten minutes later, still clad in only underwear. “Where are your pajamas?” (Eye roll and turn on heel to retrieve pajamas), “Did you brush your teeth? Let me smell. No you didn’t! What have you been DOING up there all this time?!”
“Well…I had to POOP!”
He sings while he poops? Wait, “Did you flush? I didn’t hear a flush. Did you wash your hands? Let me smell. NO YOU DIDN’T! Get back upstairs! Flush, wash your hands, brush your teeth, and put on your pajamas…IN THAT ORDER! Don’t brush your teeth or touch your clean pajamas with your poopy hands!”
Five minutes later, the boy emerges looking like a finishing school graduate: Toilet flushed? CHECK! Hands washed (and smelled for verification)? CHECK! Teeth brushed (and smelled for verification)? CHECK! Plaid pajamas on? CHECK! BONUS: He wet and combed his hair.
Why? Why must I lose my ever loving mind before this happens? Why doesn’t this happen the first trip up? The first time I ask? So we can do something fun like…go to bed earlier! Or play Apples to Apples, or read a book? Why does he make me feel like insane-crazy-psycho-losing-her-shit-Mommy? I can’t remember signing up for this. Then he grabs my face in his hands, kisses my cheek, and asks, “Mommy, can you snuggle me just a few minutes so I can fall asleep? You’re always nice and warm and I’m freezing.” We lie in bed and he tells me a story about something he learned at school, a new move he perfected in hockey, or how he wants to be a great inventor when he grows up. And there it is. I remember. I remember the exact moment I decided stark-raving-lunatic would work for me; and I wouldn’t change it for the world.