- Your children know how to read HTML code but can’t operate a vacuum cleaner.
- Your children tell you that you said “yes” and you don’t even remember the question.
- You go to the grocery store and find yourself having a good time.
- Your husband asks how your day went and you rate it on a scale of 1-10 repeats of “stop that!” or “no!”.
- You can’t remember the last time you didn’t have to share your drink.
- You mistakenly tell the kids it’s “sanity” time when you meant to say “bed” time.
- The laundry seems to have taken on an evil nature and you begin to feel that it’s out to get you.
- You dread hearing the phone ring because it’s a sure sign there’s about to be trouble amongst the children.
- It’s finally your turn on the computer and “Touched by an Angel” is just coming on.
- You go to sleep with “I’m bored” or “I’m hungry” still ringing in your ears.
(Notes pinned to the pillow of a mother who has the flu by a well meaning husband who has inherited the house and kids.)
- Monday A.M. Dearest: Sleep late. Everything under control. Lunches packed. Kids off to school. Menu for dinner planned. Your lunch is on a tray in refrigerator: fruit cup, finger-sandwiches. Thermos of hot tea by bedside. See you around six.
- Tuesday A.M. Honey: Sorry about the egg rack in the refrigerator. Hope you got back to sleep. Did the kids tell you about the Coke I put in the Thermoses? The school might call you on this. Dinner may be a little late. I’m doing your door-to-door canvas for liver research. Your lunch is in refrigerator. Hope you like leftover chili.
- Wednesday A.M. Dear Doris: Why in the name of all that is sane would you put soap powder in the flour canister! If you have time, could you please come up with a likely spot for Chris’s missing shoes? We’ve checked the clothes hamper, garage, back seat of the car and wood box. Did you know the school has a ruling on bedroom slippers? There’s some cold pizza for you on a napkin in the oven drawer. Will be late tonight. Driving eight Girl Scouts to tour meatpacking house.
- Thursday A.M. Doris: Don’t panic over water in hallway. It crested last night at 9 P.M. Will finish laundry tonight. Please pencil in answers to following:
- How do you turn on the garbage disposal?
- How do you turn off the milkman?
- Why would that rotten kid leave his shoes in his boots?
- How do you remove a Confederate flag inked on the palm of a small boy’s hand?
- What do you do with leftovers when they begin to snap at you when you open the door?
I don’t know what you’re having for lunch! Surprise me!
- Friday A.M. Hey: Don’t drink from pitcher by the sink. Am trying to restore pink dress shirt to original white. Take heart. Tonight, the ironing will be folded, the house cleaned and the dinner on time. I called your mother.
Yes, parenthood changes everything. But parenthood also changes with each baby. Here are some of the ways having a second and third child differs from having your first:
- Your Clothes
1st baby: You begin wearing maternity clothes as soon as your OB/GYN confirms your pregnancy.
2nd baby: You wear your regular clothes for as long as possible.
3rd baby: Your maternity clothes ARE your regular clothes.
- The Baby’s Name
1st baby: You pore over baby-name books and practice pronouncing and writing combinations of all your favorites.
2nd baby: Someone has to name his or her kid after your great-aunt Mavis, right? It might as well be you.
3rd baby: You open a name book, close your eyes, and see where your finger points.
- Preparing for the Birth
1st baby: You practice your breathing religiously
2nd baby: You don’t bother practicing because you remember that last time, breathing didn’t do a thing.
3rd baby: You ask for an epidural in your 8th month.
- The Layette
1st baby: You pre-wash your newborn’s clothes, color-coordinate them, and fold them neatly in the baby’s little bureau.
2nd baby: You check to make sure that the clothes are clean and discard only the ones with the darkest stains.
3rd baby: Boys can wear pink, can’t they?
1st baby: At the first sign of distress — a whimper, a frown — you pick up the baby.
2nd baby: You pick the baby up when her wails threaten to wake your firstborn.
3rd baby: You teach your 3-year-old how to rewind the mechanical swing.
1st baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics, Baby Swing, and Baby Story Hour.
2nd baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics.
3rd baby: You take your infant to the supermarket and the dry cleaner.
- Going Out
1st baby: The first time you leave your baby with a sitter, you call home 5 times.
2nd baby: Just before you walk out the door, you remember to leave a number where you can be reached.
3rd baby: You leave instructions for the sitter to call only if she sees blood.
- At Home
1st baby: You spend a good bit of every day just gazing at the baby.
2nd baby: You spend a bit of every day watching to be sure your older child isn’t squeezing, poking, or hitting the baby.
3rd baby: You spend a little bit of every day hiding from the children.
- The Baby Book
1st baby: Every single page is filled out, and you add tons of pictures, locks of hair, and other mementos.
2nd baby: You log only the highlights and put in a couple of Christmas and birthday pictures.
3rd baby: Yeah, you have one. Blank with nothing in it. Who has time with 2 toddlers and a baby?
I just realized that while children are dogs – loyal and affectionate – teenagers are cats. It’s so easy to be a dog owner. You feed it, train it, boss it around. It puts it’s head on your knee and gazes at you as if you were a Rembrandt painting. It bounds indoors
with enthusiasm when you call it.
Then around age 13, your adoring little puppy turns into a big old cat. When you tell it to come inside, it looks amazed, as if wondering who died and made you emperor. Instead of dogging your doorsteps, it disappears. You won’t see it again until it gets hungry — then it pauses on its sprint through the kitchen long enough to turn its nose up at whatever you’re serving. When you reach out to ruffle its head, in that old affectionate gesture, it twists away from you, then gives you a blank stare, as if trying to remember where it has seen you before.
You, not realizing that the dog is now a cat, think something must be desperately wrong with it. It seems so antisocial, so distant, sort of depressed. It won’t go on family outings. Since you’re the one who raised it, taught it to fetch and stay and sit on command, you assume that you did something wrong. Flooded with guilt and fear, you redouble your efforts to make your pet behave.
Only now you’re dealing with a cat, so everything that worked before now produces the opposite of the desired result. Call it, and it runs away. Tell it to sit, and it jumps on the counter. The more you go toward it, wringing your hands, the more it moves away. Instead of continuing to act like a dog owner, you can learn to behave like a cat owner. Put a dish of food near the door, and let it come to you. But remember that a cat needs your help and your affection too. Sit still, and it will come, seeking that warm, comforting lap it has not entirely forgotten. Be there to open the door for it.
One day your grown-up child will walk into the kitchen, give you a big kiss and say, “You’ve been on your feet all day. Let me get those dishes for you.” Then you’ll realize your cat is a dog again.
- There is no such thing as child-proofing your house.
- If you spray hair spray on dust bunnies and run over them with roller blades, they can ignite.
- A 4 years old’s voice is louder than 200 adults in a crowded restaurant.
- If you hook a dog leash over a ceiling fan, the motor is not strong enough to rotate a 42-pound boy wearing pound puppy underwear and a superman cape.
- It is strong enough, however, to spread paint on all four walls of a 20 by 20 foot room.
- When using the ceiling fan as a bat, you have to throw the ball up a few times before you get a hit.
- A ceiling fan can hit a baseball a long way.
- The glass in windows (even double pane) doesn’t stop a baseball hit by a ceiling fan.
- When you hear the toilet flush and the words ‘Uh-oh,’ it’s already too late.
- A six-year old can start a fire with a flint rock, even though a 36-year old man says they can only do it in the movies.
- If you use a waterbed as home plate while wearing baseball shoes, it does not leak-it explodes.
- A king size waterbed holds enough water to fill a 2000 sq foot house 4 inches deep.
- Legos will pass through the digestive tract of a four year old.
- Duplos will not.
- ‘Play Dough’ and ‘microwave’ should never be used in the same sentence.
- SuperGlue is forever.
- McGyver can teach us many things we don’t want to know.
- Ditto Tarzan.
- No matter how much Jello you put in a swimming pool, you still can’t walk on water.
- Pool filters do not like Jello.
- VCR’s do not eject PB&J sandwiches, even though TV commercials show they do.
- Garbage bags do not make good parachutes.
- Always look in the oven before you turn it on.
- Plastic toys do not like ovens.
- The fire department in San Diego has at least a 5 minute response time.
- The spin cycle on the washing machine does not make earth worms dizzy.
- It will, however, make cats dizzy.
- Cats throw up twice their body weight when dizzy.
- Quiet does not necessarily mean ‘don’t worry’.
- A good sense of humor will get you through most problems in life (unfortunately, mostly in retrospect).
The Bathroom Door is Closed.
- Please do not stand here and talk, whine, or ask questions. Wait until I get out.
- Yes, it is locked. I want it that way. It is not broken, I am not trapped. I know I have left it unlocked, and even open at times, since you were born, because I was afraid some horrible tragedy might occur while I was in here, but it’s been 10 years and I want some PRIVACY.
- Do not ask me how long I will be. I will come out when I am done.
- Do not bring the phone to the bathroom door.
- Do not go running back to the phone yelling, “She’s in the BATHROOM!”
- Do not begin to fight as soon as I go in.
- Do not stick your little fingers under the door and wiggle them. This was funny when you were two, but not now.
- Do not slide pennies, Legos, or notes under the door. Even when you were two this got a little tiresome.
- If you have followed me down the hall talking, and are still talking as you face this closed door, please turn around, walk away, and wait for me in another room. I will be glad to listen to you when I am done.
- And yes, I still love you.
- BEFORE Children: I was thankful for the opportunity to vacation in exotic foreign countries so I could experience a different way of life in a new culture.
AFTER Children: I am thankful to have time to make it all the way down the driveway to get the mail.
- BEFORE Children: I was thankful for the Moosewood Vegetarian cookbook.
AFTER Children: I am thankful for the butterball turkey hotline.
- BEFORE Children: I was thankful for a warm, cozy home to share with my loved ones.
AFTER Children: I am thankful for the lock on the bathroom door.
- BEFORE Children: I was thankful for material objects like custom furniture, a nice car and trendy clothes.
AFTER Children: I am thankful when the baby spits up and misses my good shoes.
- BEFORE Children: I was thankful for my wonderful family.
AFTER Children: I am thankful for my wonderful family.