So Vivi’s daycare called today because she had a fever. I picked up her and Archer, who incidentally was magically covered in hives on his legs by the time I got to the daycare for Vivi. ~sigh~ My children.
Anyways, I get them home and Vivi is in rare form, refusing to be put down as sick children do tend to do. As I was juggling her, a burp clothe, a clean binky, putting together the nipple for the bottle (cue the giggling from a few of my friends ~looking at Haley~ saying “she said nipple,” yes I did… I have kids… they drink from bottles as babies. Nipple Nipple Nipple Nipple. You are welcome. Now you have had your fun for the day.), putting the formula and rice into the bottle and getting the water cut on so it will eventually spit out warm water (think around the time of the second coming… I hate our water heater), I realized something. I don’t have many skills from my life before my kids, but Damn, I have serious skills now.
Sure, I went to law school, worked for the Smithsonian, studied archaeology, worked on a few digs, was published on zooarchaeology, and generally was academically skilled, but NOTHING I did compares to what I have learned and can do now that I have kids. So I thought I would list the skills my kids taught me or other little kid related learnin’ in the hopes that it will actually spur comments on this blog from my friends. Soooo here goes. Please list your mad mommy/daddy skills that I have either a) forgotten I had; or b) not yet acquired from the kids.
1. I can juggle a baby, burp clothe, binky, hot water, and can make a bottle with rice in it all at once. Cause if I didn’t none of my kids would be alive.
2. I have some seriously gross reflexes. For instance, what do you do when you hear your baby gagging and you know it’s about to puke? Do you run for a bucket? Or do you cup your hands together and lunge towards the baby to catch it in your bare hands. Yeah…. my reflex is the latter, and I’m not alone. Ew, but handy when on carpet or over upholstery. Note: Try to not catch Chemo-puke with bare hands. I have permanent burn scars from that incident. Chemo burns your skin, did you know that? I didn’t… I do now.
3. I can open or close a car seat buckle in my sleep. Cause I have had to. 1 hour bouts of sleep with an newborn for months, three times so far, and the pediatrician wants to SEE that newborn at regular intervals for shots and check ups, and I’m supposed to buckle her in and drive? I can’t even remember the first few trips. Probably not good, but we are on the up side of it and I’m DONE with having newborns, so YAY for this strangely acquired skill.
4. I can convince myself that I’m feeding the kids something healthy if I didn’t burn down the kitchen and something green is involved, even if it’s the green gummy worms from the candy bag. Why? Cause the house didn’t catch fire, and the kids not burning in a huge fire has got to be healthier for them than the alternative, right?
5. I amuse myself with kids things, toys, movies, books, in the most inane and likely inappropriate manner. Teletubbies aren’t teletubbies if you squint your eyes, imagine them with a British accent and play the Benny Hill intro music in the background. And don’t get me started on Barney… Sponge Bob Square Pants? Holy cow, you watch that the right way and you wonder how on EARTH it was approved for children!
6. I am blind to messes/dirt/food stuck on the wall or ceiling/drool stains on clothing/bruises (cause toddlers walk into things like walls, trees, tables, and somehow, their own hands or feet)/ any number of horrible messy awful things. Before the kids? “OMG, There’s a STAIN on my FLOOR!!! WHERE’S THE BLEACH WIPES?!?!?”
Me now: “Just let me know if there’s blood.” (to one of the random kids when there is screaming/flying food or some fluid or something.) The exception to this, of course, is the large, chihuahua sized dust bunnies that threaten to carry off the baby. THOSE I see.
7. I can much more easily let it go (though that might be extreme in my case because of Sophie). Me with Sophie as a baby (granted she was really sick) “NO ONE IS ALLOWED TO SNEEZE IN THE SAME BUILDING AS MY BABY!”
Me with Archer: “Rub some dirt in it.” (speaking of an open wound to the crying boy. It’s not that I don’t love him as much AT ALL, it’s that at this point I have become aware that he can take it and it’s good for him. Still not safe for Sophie, but Archer can take it.)
8. I DO have the ability to restrain myself from cursing, even when under extreme pain. I have been pinched and punched and kicked in some very sensitive places by the kids. Dan has too, though his accidentally inflicted injuries are likely more damaging. I don’t want them to grow up thinking I hate them and MAN some of the swear words that my brain invents when I get pinched in a particularly bad place…
BUT I grind my teeth and growl a little.
9. Kids think it’s funny when you growl.
10. Perfection is totally overrated. The house will never be clean. Dinner will look like brown slop with something green on the side… might be gummy worms, might be spinach. Who knows? It’s like playing roulette for dinner. The kids are going to have sand in their hair and pockets and their diaper (WTF Archer?!?!). The floors/walls/bookshelves/furniture will be scratched, possibly even drawn on. And that’s okay, cause we have 24 hours in the day and I just don’t have the time to care about that petty crap anymore.
11. The best morning cereal is still coated in sugar and filled with marshmallows and no amount of sit ups or running will make me give that up. Take that Beachbody.
12. Coffee is a reasonable substitute for sleep and a much more tolerable thing to serve than a prison sentence.
13. I can now totally get out of talking to people by talking about my kids. It’s the aspie DREAM. I have a weapon now that makes people leave me alone!! When talking to your single/childless friends/neighbors, if you bring up your kids, you can watch their eyes glaze over as they sort of look like they are looking over your shoulder, nodding and saying “Mmmmhmmmm.” It can be fun to test the whether they are hearing what you are saying by tossing some crazy crap into what you are saying about your kids. It’s fun to see if they catch that you have helped your first grader do her science fair project this year by helping her design an enormous volcano made of nuclear material you got out of the backyard composter. You throw in the fact that your first grader plans to blow up Russia so that she can become the next Putin. If you get nothing, you can probably sneak off and they won’t even notice you have gone. And apparently, the friends/neighbors that DO hear you say these crazy things take you seriously and laugh about you raising little miniature dictators. While it may be true that I am raising exactly that, it’s not necessarily common knowledge.
14. There can be only one remote to the TV and one of the kids will have smuggled it in their diaper or, in Sophie’s case, backpack. And then subsequently lost the backpack.
15. Children are crows. They are attracted to and collect thousands of tiny, sharp, shiny things for you to step on as you go to kiss them goodnight in their bed.
16. If you say no, that’s kid speak for “Sure. Whatever you want once my back is turned.”
17. You can and WILL have a child just like you. You mother will laugh her @$$ off at that defining moment when your kid pulls some epic something that is EXACTLY what you did, like when she decided at the age of 7 to go by her middle name and leave you struggling with what to call her short of “hey, you.”
18. Parenting ROCKS. But it’s effing exhausting and the government should just pay me to keep them alive and in a good school.
19. Pre-kids, the best time of day is the evening when you get done with school work or get off of work and you can hang with your boyfriend or friends and drink and laugh and dance. Post-kids, the best time of day is that 5 minute span after you get all of them in bed, you have checked and they all appear to be unconscious, and you sit down thinking you are going to accomplish something before you fall asleep. I say 5 minutes, cause honestly you are asleep 5 minutes later, whether you meant to be or not.
Okay, so I might add some later… but this what I have. Please feel free to put your motherhood/fatherhood lessons learned in the comments! I KNOW I’ve forgotten something. OR just give me feed back. Maybe some tips on how to avoid getting my feet cut up by the little crows I’m raising.