The older I get the more I realize that when I was little, I
really kinda-sorta sucked. You know those five-year-olds that interrupt you at the playground while you Facebook stalk your ex-boyfriend and watch your kid fall of the monkey bars? The ones who pepper you with questions about your child that are equally annoying when adults ask them? That was the kid at the playground this morning, and that was me about 27 years ago.
I never tried to run away from home as a child. And after a couple of hauntingly awkward conversations with pseudo-kids like me, I realize it is a fact that is probably much to my mother’s chagrin. I wouldn’t want to live with one of them. Ever. In fact, I shiver after five minutes of having to deal with them and their Brenda Starr interrogations.
I’m not so sure I want my child to be one of those perfectly behaved kids who are all mature and well-mannered all the time, either. (A sentence that makes me want to chop off my fingers as I type it.) When a kid doesn’t have a little bit of adventure, mischief, defiance, and that little glimmer of shithead in their eyes…well, it’s creepy.
There are some days when parenting is a joy-filled experience, worthy of the Von Trapps singing on a damn mountain side. Those days never coincide with the ones wherein you leave your child unattended while eating applesauce, nor do they occur anywhere near the span of time when your child becomes absolutely fascinated with their own bodily functions. But there is usually at least one moment each day that gives you a tiny, crusty-fingerprint-covered heart swell. Moments that make you think you could deal with this person for another 16+ years without ending up in a straightjacket, rocking in place, mumbling about mashed potatoes.
And then there are days that leave you completely exhausted, emotions raw. Your hair slathered in smashed grapes, and breath rank from having that tiny, precious, seconds long window of tooth-brushing opportunity snatched from you by an overly curious child digging through every drawer and shelf that doesn’t have a lock on it, ensuring that you understand the few shreds of privacy you may be clinging onto are but a mere illusion. Days when your child climbs up on a bar stool to start bashing the keys on your computer, before turning it off while tediously spent hours of unsaved work vanish in a long forgotten pattern of light on your screen.
Days when you just want to run away from home.
I may not want a perfect child, but how on earth can one tiny person manage to fill a whole day by only doing every.single.thing. they shouldn’t be doing?