I was a Road, or 14 Things You Do After You Become a Parent That You Never Did Before:
1 .At some point, you stop sorting your laundry. Blacks, whites, yellows, greens, purples, reds-they all go in there together. You don’t have time for that sorting shit. And honestly, you don’t really care.
2. You catch vomit in your hand, or choked up food. That’s right, you know your kid is going to puke, and you’re in the store or even just sitting at the table, and something compels you to put your hand under there and catch it like an idiot. And it kind of doesn’t even really bother you. You just dump it out in the sink and wash your hands like it’s no big deal.
3. You say things like, “Don’t put spaghetti on the cat”. Sometimes you can’t believe the things that come out of your mouth. You think you’re in the Twilight Zone.
4. You talk about shit more than you ever have in your whole life. And not funny talk about it but you really, seriously discuss it… “Did he go poop today, was it diarrhea or normal? Or was it too hard?” You might talk about it daily at times over the phone when one of you is at work, when there might be a “problem”. Poop can be a daily conversation for a while. And as if talking about it so much wasn’t enough, you have to look at it too. There’s so much looking at crap. You look at it, and then at some point when she is older, your kid wants you to look at it, so you look at it again. You might even take it apart to see if there is a lost first tooth that got swallowed in there. Oh, and sometimes, they want to see yours too. Before you had kids, you would never show other people your shit on purpose. It’s weird.
5. You will lie about having to go to the bathroom. That’s right, you will say you have to go to the bathroom just to get a minute to yourself, but you really don’t. You will sit on the toilet like a dumb wit and maybe get some time on your phone, or just sit there and have some peace and quiet. Before kids, you would never have to lie to say you have to go pee. It’s weird. But after kids, you just go in there and have some time. It doesn’t last long, someone always barges in anyway, but at least you might have sixty seconds. You fucking lie about going to the bathroom.
6. You pretend you are things you never would have thought. Once I was a road. I never thought I would be a road. If anyone had asked me when I was younger if I ever thought I would be a road I would have said oh definitely not. I laid on my back with my arms and legs spread out on the carpet, and my son drove his cars on me. But as far as pretending goes, it was pretty cool because I didn’t have to exert much energy. Every once in a while, I would have to close my hands on a car and “get” it, or raise my legs to make a mountain, but other than that I just had to lie there. It was a sweet gig as far as pretending goes. You will pretend much longer than you thought you could. Sometimes it will go agonizingly slow.
7. When company is coming, you will take all the freaking paperwork and children’s drawings and what not and throw it into a Trader Joe’s bag and put it in your room along with stray clothes, books and other items lying around your house that you don’t know where the hell to put. You may have done this before kids, but not to this extent. Your room will end up looking like a fucking storage unit but who cares because you will close the door and no one will see it. The rest of your house will look lovely! Except for the sticker your son put on the bathroom wall that won’t come off without a sledgehammer. Oh, and yeah, if they look under the couch, you’re screwed.
8. You will get shit on, vomited on and peed on-sometimes all at the same time, but it will definitely happen at some point. Generally, this wouldn’t happen to you before you had kids. Unless you had some seriously screwed up friends.
9, You can’t SURVIVE without coffee. That’s right, before kids you actually enjoyed your coffee, you liked it, you might have even read the Sunday paper and sipped it leisurely with a contented smile. But now you NEED it. Not only do you need it, but if you’re out of it and you realize your kid is going to wake up soon, you go into a panic. You try to go about every way possible to get your coffee before they wake up. You drink coffee like a badass. It might take you all morning to drink it because you keep getting interrupted and have to warm it up a dozen times, but you seriously need it.
10. You become a linguistic detective. Never before have you had to figure out what someone is saying or trying to say on a daily basis. And even when you finally know what they are saying you are like, what?? You don’t even know what the hell it means. Sometimes, when they are learning to talk, you spend so much time and effort trying to decipher what they are trying to get across and then when you talk nobody gives a shit. It’s exhausting.
11. At some point, you and your significant other spell words to each other out loud in front of your kids so they won’t know what you’re saying. You would never spell words to each other before. It’s weird. If you went on a first date and started spelling words they’d think you were nuts. Here you are in your living room spelling a word to your husband. It might take him a minute to get it and your kid is looking at you guys like you’re crazy. Honestly though it’s kind of cool to be able to get away with that for a period of time. Once they can spell, you’re screwed.
12. It would be really weird for one of your friends to say, “Hey, look at me! Look, look what I’m doing, look what I did!” every five minutes. But after kids, you get used to hearing the word “look”. Sometimes you pretend to look, but they know. Sometimes you look and pretend you’re excited. Sometimes you really are, but generally not. Sometimes you cannot look and you say so and then you feel guilty. Never before have you been asked to look at another person so much. Especially when you’re doing the dishes. It’s weird.
13. Sleep is a total luxury. This is a big one. Before, you would just sleep. You would go to bed, sleep six or seven or eight hours, and get up. Like normal people. It was no big deal, you would just go to sleep and get up. Simple. Now, night time is like a freaking circus. If you do go to sleep at a reasonable hour, you’re likely to get it broken up a couple of hours later. Sometimes you switch beds, sometimes you and your partner and your kids all switch beds, it’s like musical chairs but with beds. It’s like a game but it’s in the middle of the night and you can’t fucking take it. Sometimes you lie next to your kid in bed until they go to sleep which seems like a freaking lifetime and then when you’re walking out you find out they were awake the whole time and just faking it. Then you have to start all over again. The bastards. You might stand there over the crib rubbing her back for what seems like hours. You might finally be getting some shut eye and then you hear a cry or the word “mom”. Or you’re sound asleep and you feel something next to you and you’re surprised to wake up and freak out like who is this person- and then you realize it’s your kid. A lot of times you’re like a zombie and that is why you need coffee. See number nine.
14. You had never stepped on a Lego. Enough said.
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