I used to be that childless young adult that would always throw lines out like “my child would never do” or “I would never let my child…” I guarantee my children have done whatever would be the second half of those two phrases. Now, I get my kicks out of laughing when I am out in public, or not in public, and hear a know-it-all NOT parent.
“I would never let my kid act like that at the store.” Bahahaha. A trip to Target would not be complete without one or both of my kids losing their shit. Tanner, my wee little wild child, spends the entire time IN the shopping cart trying to climb OUT of the cart. No matter how tight or secure you buckle the little cart straps, he always manages to Houdini his way out and into a standing position. The harder I try to get him to sit, the louder he starts to scream in my face. While I am trying to wrangle Tanner, we then have Gavin trying to take off running. Or pulling shit off the racks. Or wrapping himself up in the clothing racks. He’s not even one of those “I want this” or “I need that” kids. In fact, I kind of wish he was because then I could just give in and he would be happy and then everyone around us would be happy. If Gav isn’t trying to run away, it is pretty likely he will have at least one meltdown during our little excursion.
A meltdown is not a temper tantrum. A meltdown is not the same as being as asshole. Gavin often experiences such extreme sensory overload (which mind you, from things that a typical kid may never even notice) that his little body can’t take anymore. He shuts down and loses control, and only a few things can console him. This is not a temper tantrum, although to some it may look like it. When are people going to stop making comments such as: “oh, honey, this too shall pass,” or “cherish him, he will grow up so fast,” or “it’s not that bad, mommy!”?? You know what, you seemingly kind and thoughtful fellow shopper? Move along, I’ve got this.
“My child will only eat fresh, organic, non-GMO” blah blah blah blah blah. I was on that kick for about five minutes until I was just so desperate for my picky eaters to eat something, anything that they ate blue box mac and cheese and hot dogs every night for two weeks. Load ’em up with nitrates and processed cheese product. They love it! And if I want them to eat something healthy and delicious, I will lie straight to their little faces. Anything green is broccoli. Any kind of meat is either a hot dog or chicken nugget. Quinoa? That’s rice in this house. Pasta without sauce and parmesan cheese sprinkled on top is called macaroni and cheese. I guess that one is pretty true. Sometimes I eat junk food out of a coffee mug because Gavin knows that it is “hot coffee” and not to touch it. A mother’s creativity is infinite.
Personally, I have always preached that “my children will never sleep in bed with me.” Actually, I stood by that one for a long time. I breastfed Tanner for the first seventeen months of his life and wished that I could have co-slept during that time. Maybe I would have slept for more than a few hours at night. However, a bomb could go off next to my husband as he sleeps and he would never know. Therefore, he would likely roll onto our infant in his sleep and never know. So no co-sleeping with baby Tanner on the boob. Gavin, on the other hand has made it four and a half years sleeping on his own (on the floor no less) and has just started crawling into our bed over the past few weeks. Usually half way through the night, he barrels into our bed and flops around like a fish until he settles back into sleep.
Picture a queen size bed. Two grown ass adults that probably need a king size bed. Our doggy that is actually part great dane. And now add our always-big-for-his-age Gavin. Sometimes Gav even uses the dog as a pillow. I would be lying if I said that I hate it. I would be an even bigger liar if I uttered the lies of never co-sleeping. Yes, we find ourselves awfully cuddly and close, and oftentimes way too hot and cramped, but if that’s what my child needs right now at this point in his life, then so be it.
So lesson learned. Once babies and kids enter the picture, shit gets real. Shit gets real pretty fast, too. All of those perfect parenting and perfect kids fantasies just fly right out the window.
One day, all of you parenting experts sans children will chuckle to yourself, too.