I made Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies with my five year old daughter a couple of weeks ago. She wanted to make Chocolate Chip. I wanted to make Oatmeal Raisin. We made a compromise. With no tears. Like not even one. I think that right there gives me a pass in parenthood from here on out. No matter what crappy decisions have gone by, or those that have yet to occur, I get a special dispensation. Woohoo. I can be the crap parent I always wanted to be. Or was anyway.
Of course she fell off her stool at dinner today, because she had both arms inside her t-shirt. Just coz. I was sitting right beside her. Did I stop her? No. Parenting Award over here please. Yesterday at dinner, two out of three lemmings did not prefer tortellini with ham. During the survey, one lemming, moaned, complained, and cried for thirty minutes. Despite lemming’s female parent switching between ignoring and asking said lemming to STFU, lemming continued for 30 minutes. Female parent gave up sanity 29 minutes earlier.
Female parent may or may not have engaged, and engage on an ongoing basis in the art of cursing. Female is Irish, and so said activity is innate. Female parent has kept lemmings #1, #2, and #3 from cursing with the ‘When you’re 38 you can curse‘ line. A line female parent’s male parent repeated ad nauseam, about everything in female parent’s childhood. Irish curses are somewhat allowed. Probably because female parent uses them, and then says ‘It’s not a curse in America. It doesn’t count‘. The lemmings then proceed to use this as their defense when Irish curse words fly from their mouths. The lemmings seemed to have taken the ‘when you’re 38‘ rule as a reasonable rule. Until today that is. Lemming #2 is 9 years old. He’s sweet as can be a lot of the time. The rest of the time, I believe that he was created and put on this planet, to drive his parents up the wall. Today we heard f*** and s**t numerous times. I’m trying to decide what battles to fight. I’m not sure about this one. It’s difficult for me to say do as I say, not as I do. However, I’m not going to let them drink, smoke, drive, vote, go downtown on public transport on their own. They have to abide by society’s norms, and our rules. I had hoped the cursing thing would work. Maybe it was just a bad day.
Going way back. Nearly nine years ago, when lemming #2 was a dot. Maybe 8 weeks old. I was at the zoo with #1, who had just turned two, and newborn little lemming boy. It was really hot, as August in the Chi can be. I undid the straps of his car seat and lifted him out to strip him down a bit. I put him back in the car seat, and continued to look at the f***ing animals with lemming #1. We finished up and got to the car, all three of us had survived. I was really knocking this whole ‘parent of two‘ thing out of the park. About three miles from the zoo, I pulled over and ran to open baba lemming’s door. Holy s**t. I had left him I unstrapped in his seat. I burst into tears. I was not supermom. I was stupidmom. I felt so bad. I put my new little being in danger. Of course it was an accident. Of course I was sleep-deprived, but no mother is going to accept those lame reasons for nearly killing her child. Slight exaggeration there.
Oh. This one is a doozy. Dad parent didn’t check after he flushed. Dad parent didn’t close the bathroom door. Lemming #1, who was just over one was wandering around the apartment. She wandered into our room, in which both of us were. Oh look. She got her hands on some chocolate. F***! That’s not chocolate. Oh my God. My lemming baby’s gonna die! Female parent called the pediatrician.
Pediatrician: What seems to be the problem?
Female Parent: Lemming baby ate her dad’s poo.
Pediatrician: How did she get her hands on the dog’s poop?
Female Parent: No. Not the dog’s poo. Her DAD’s poo!
Pediatrician: hahahahahahahaha. Sorry. Hahahahaha. Sorry. Well how did that happen? Hahahahahaha. Sorry.
Yes. We sucked. Well thankfully male parent sucked more than female parent that time.
Christmas two years ago, the lemmings were 9,7, and 3. All the gifts were wrapped and in our bedroom, waiting to be put under the tree. It was 23:00. I was tired and wanted to go to sleep. We decided – let’s do it. We brought all the presents down, and went to bed. About a week later, lemming #1 comes to me to tell me there’s no Santa. Of course there is, I lied. Who do you think gives you all those presents? You know daddy and me wouldn’t. I saw you. Oh s**t. And so we ruined Christmas. Worse than this was the fact #1 shared this newfound information with #2. He believed her no bother. So two children’s Christmas fairytale blah blah blah. I don’t care really anymore! Sorry. Not sorry.
Let’s not forget the time #1 and #2 were wrestling on the couch. I think #3 must have been very small. Or maybe just turned one. Anyway. It was parents, #1 and #2. They were beating the crap out of each other. It was Saturday night, and mammy and daddy were dying for the kids to go to bed so we could tuck into a bottle of wine. #1 somehow hurled #2 off the couch. He landed on his shoulder with a loud cracking sound and burst into tears. We let the crying die down, asked him to move his arm, and determined he was okay. We gave him some Tylenol, and he went to bed a while later seemingly fine. The wine was uncorked, and the grownups (in name only) relaxed for the first time that day. That first sip. That first exhalation. A couple of hours later we heard screaming upstairs. #2 had woken up and was in agony. Of course we were over the legal limit, so we had to wait three hours before I could drive him down to Lurie’s Emergency Department. Yes. He had broken his collarbone. So not only did we initially miss it, we also had to ‘sober up‘ before we could drive him there.
When #1 was two or three, she needed her tonsils out. She was in overnight and received pain medication every four hours throughout. We left the hospital with a prescription for more of the same. I was instruction in the hospital to give her one tablespoon every four hours. I picked up the prescription and gave her just that. After a few days, I went back to the pharmacy because we’d run out. When I mentioned one tablespoon he freaked out. It was supposed to be one teaspoon! I felt like such a s**t mom. I know it was one tablespoon in the hospital because I saw the nurse administer it each time. He told us one tablespoon, but the doctor must have written for a stronger concentration. I didn’t read the label. I have been on prescription meds for 32 years. I know how to read labels. I felt like the biggest failure. I could have killed my child.
She had a rough year that year. Her brother was a few weeks old. She and I were just outside the back door. There were five or six concrete steps down to the basement. She was near the top, so I approached her to get her to come to me. She was mad at me and tantrumming for some reason. Is there ever a reason when they’re two? I could see her stepping backwards, getting closer to the top of the stairs. I tried to reach out to grab her before she fell, but I was too late. She fell backwards down the steps, hitting her head on the concrete. Nothing worse than having a newborn, the baby blues, and f***ing up at parenting.
I’m not going to flesh out the Christmas ‘dinner’ that #3 ate in 2016. It was a cinnamon raisin bagel, with felt turkey inside. Hey. At least it was turkey. In 2017 we had Chinese takeout. As you can see, Christmas dinner is the most important meal of the year. I blame Thanksgiving. I do a slap up meal for it, so a month later, I’m not ready for another. Oh. Also every day in between can shag off too!
I’m sure there are a million more things I can’t remember. My memory is non-existent since becoming a parent. Oh. That’s another thing I do… Blame having kids on everything. Hey – if you’ve an excuse, use it. I’m pretty sure that’s a parable – that parenting makes you dumb as f***. All I ask, is that you don’t forget the cookie dispensation!