“Totally mad. Utter nonsense. But we’ll do it because it’s brilliant nonsense.” Douglas Noel Adams
All I can say is, I’m going to assume Adams was talking about parenting here. It is nonsense. It’s totally mad. And half of the time, in the midst of it all, (whatever brand “it all” decided to be that day) I still feel like asking myself, “How did this happen?”
I don’t mean this as in where did they come from, but this as in how in the heck did I get so far off point?!? How is there a sock there? How is that what you thought I meant? How is the cat choking on a pencil? How did the dog get peanut butter on her? How did that coat get that stain? How did your retainer end up in the recycling bin? How? How? How?
I’m not going to lie … I have a great many goals in my life, but one of my utmost is to be a “cool” parent. Let me offer a little disclaimer here; I do not equate “cool” with “easy.” I believe in high expectations and being a parent before being a friend – but I still dream of a day when my kids say to their friends, “It’s all good … my mom’s cool.”
Well, life’s a fickle friend because try as I might to up my cool factor, something inevitably happens that horribly screws it up. And still I try … but fail. Here’s a little bit of what I mean:
Cool: I let my kids have a friend over on a whim, unplanned even!
Uncool: Said friend takes the opportunity to tell me that two out of our three bathrooms have, “un-flushed toilets” and that, “one of them is poop!”
Try But Fail: I thank the kid, and we end up having a need-to-remember-to-flush discussion.
Cool: I invite their favorite sitter to take them to school.
Uncool: They (including the awesome sitter) find a run-over dead mouse in the garage on the way to the car.
Try But Fail: I decide to “man up” and remove the mouse myself since my husband was out of town, and my kids remind me to “use double gloves and a garbage bag” and leave me outside to clean up.
Cool: I say we can have a family sleepover and cozy-up since daddy’s away, and “Sure you can have another juice since your throat hurts.”
Uncool: Finding out that apparently mom’s bed isn’t immune from an accident after someone small was drinking too much before bed.
Try But Fail: I respond, “It’s alright. It happens.” And child responds, “Maybe I’ll just sleep in my own bed tonight.” Mhmmm. I see how it is.
Cool: I decide to drop everything and play dolls with my daughter.
Uncool: It has been WAY too long since I played dolls and every single one of them is sporting a prominent row of dreadlocks.
Try But Fail: I decide to use the miniature barber chair seriously and give one of the dolls a new do! Unfortunately, that was a big don’t as my daughter cried that her hair was too short and ruined … she is now reduced to wearing tiny hats.
And on and on the battle wages. I try, I fail, I try again. There is an unknown quote that says, “You are making it difficult for me to be the parent I always imagined I’d be.” Ah, well. I’m going to hope that maybe cool is overrated after all.