My youngest is 5. Now when you are 5, EVERYTHING IS AWESOME! You know, like the song, which I know my parental brethren have heard more than enough times needed to commit the song to memory. At which point you may feel the urge to stab yourself in the eye. That’s the natural response, no need to worry if you were afraid to talk about it. It’s perfectly normal, just nod and smile, nod and smile. Sneak away for a breather, you’re going to be okay. We’ll get through this.
Today, Five is super excited because he knows tomorrow, his class is going to be given popsicles for snack. He does a dance when he tells you. And sings, “It’s gonna be a pah-tey, it’s supa awesome. Yeah, yeah, yeah.” Side note, Five’s favorite song is Runaway Baby. You should see his dance moves.
So at 5 years old, the mere fact that you are getting a popsicle is a reason to throw a song and dance party. Because as everyone knows, popsicles are NOT on the approved healthy snack list. Please make sure always to cross reference the healthy snack list provided by your common sense, with the long list of things that kids are allergic to these days. Your child may not be allergic to anything, but I heard one second grader burst into flames at the sight of her friends crab legs before the lid was off the cocktail sauce. Who eats shell-fish before 6 p.m. anyway? I mean really.
My middle guy is 8. Between 5 and 8 practically anything can happen. Anything. No. Anything. You could build a zip line from the top bunk to the floor or duck tape yourself to the ceiling for surveillance purposes. I’m not making this up, these are actual suggestions from my son. The sky’s the limit, dream it, be it.
The incredible suggestions or reasoning does not even stop by age 10, oh no. Why, just this morning at the bus stop, Ten worked it out that there has to be fish poop in the rain, BECAUSE the ocean water comes from the rain. IT EVAPORATES! WTF? Are you sure this is my child? This is the same child that told me that 15-7 =10, BECAUSE you can’t subtract 7 from 5 so you just put 0 and then you have to drop the 1 so it’s 10. I, I nearly had an aneurism trying to explain to the child how very-very-very very very-very wrong he was. Thank god for Xanax. I may need one now, just from re-living it.
You see they changed how they teach math in the schools and those of us who are parenting elementary students have no idea how to right the wrong. I know the teacher did not tell my child that 15-7 =10, but however she presented the information was clearly flawed because my child nearly drove me to the insane asylum, determined the answer was 10. I in fact informed my children that men in little white coats would be along shortly to escort me away.
This is not new either. The bastards did this to our grandparents as well. The schools introduced “New Math” and then our grandparents had to fight with our parents about it. And since in this scenario our kids = our parents, that means our parents can not understand our point of view AND they are so old now they have forgotten having the fights in question with their own parents, WHICH MEANS they can’t help you.
So at age 10, you obviously know everything. I mean, double digits, somehow ensures you have the correct answer. Fish poop. He forgot to factor in gravity, no big deal.
Quick recap: 5, everything is awesome!, 8, anything is possible!, 10, I now know everything I need to know, I’m good.
Skip ahead to 26. 26 is the magic number because it takes 25 years for your brain to develop into the final product. True story. I read it somewhere. I’m sure it was a reputable source, but I’m too lazy to check. It was a while ago, and I’m old now you see. You’ve got Google, go ahead and check it. Or we’ll just go with “approximately” if you’re gonna be that way about it. Besides between 10-25 it’s all pretty much hormones and rebellion, I think we can agree. Unless of course you yourself are 10-25, in that case you are, I’m pretty sure you are legally obligated to disagree with me, because I’m “the man” in this scenario. I know, yeah, no. I don’t think I can get away with the “the man”. Respect my authoratAY!
Anywho, 26. One day when you are 26 the timer goes off and your brain is done cooking. So now suddenly the haze starts to fade. You find yourself saying “We’ll gee whiz Wally, I guess Mom and Dad were right about that.” GODDAMMIT!
Now you must go through the emotional turmoil associated with becoming your parents. Every time I say something my mother said to me I want to punch myself. It just comes out. You can’t help it. If you haven’t been there yet, again wanting to hurt yourself in this situation is perfectly normal. Nobody wants to turn into their parents. It’s okay if you need to cry a little, we’ll wait. Just breathe. It just happens. I think if it happens to you, it means your parent’s maybe weren’t so bad after all, maybe they actually did know some things. GODDAMMIT!
It’s not so bad at first you’re 26, you’re starting to get ahead at work and in life. You’re getting really serious about someone you want to settle down with. The bar scene is old.
So you commit. It’s exciting. It’s an adventure! Especially….. if you’re a homeowner.
Things start breaking. Who fixes broken things? How do we know if they’ll do a good job? Well how do we know we can trust him? Suzie used him? She spent how much? No, no I don’t think so. I’ll google it. Yeah, no, I’ll just YouTube it and figure it out. No I can’t ask mom and dad for money you know what that’s like, they’re worse than the bank. (When did google and YouTube become verbs, it’s like a whole new universe.)
And then you decide it’s a good idea to unleash your spawn on society and you reproduce.
It sounds so icky when you say it like that.
At first the babies are so cute. Tiny humans, that somehow look sort of…. alien like. It kind of feels like you’ve got an alien in there right before you pop. No more room inside you, your organs are all squished up. Tiny feet pushing against your lungs making it hard to breath. Rock Star and his band used to practice in the basement. When they would start to play I could feel Ten rocking out to the rhythm in my uterus. He got the hiccups every day after a certain point. My belly would bounce with each hiccup. Growing a person inside your person is, an interesting journey, shall we say. Not for the faint of heart. Am I right Mommies? Amen.
So now you’ve got little people and all the sudden, they’re walking and talking. They are hilarious, because they are like miniature drunk people.
Then they learn the word NO! Not so cute anymore. Okay mostly still cute, but you better check that attitude mister.
If you kids don’t stop pushing my buttons….”what buttons? I don’t see any buttons? What color are they? Can I push the button? Where are they?” And this is in stereo because there all talking at the same time.
“What do you mean we can’t have ice cream! It’s 8:57! It’s not 9:00!! HOW- COULD- YOU DO THIS TO US!”
“YOU ARE THE WORST MOTHER EVER! I HATE YOU!”
“Hey Mom remember um when you were upset before?…” Do you mean 10 minutes ago, when I said you couldn’t X because we had to go and do Y, and then you screamed at the top of your lungs that you hated me? Yeah…. Yeah I remember that.
Breathe in. Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
Breathe out. Hummmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
Breathe in. Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
Breathe out. Hummmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
A wise man once said to me during my first pregnancy. “1 is like 1, 2 is like 2, 3 is like 7.” And he was right, which is how I know he was wise.
And now you are 35. And you have absolutely no idea how you got there. Pure luck my friend. Pure, dumb, luck.
Your doctor tells you now that you are 35 you need to be taking a daily multi-vitamin, calcium, vitamin D to help absorb the calcium, vitamin-C, extra Iron and get a mammogram. And….a colonoscopy. Really? Are you sure you’re reading the timeline right there doc?
You’re walking around in a haze. I was like 12 years old a minute ago, um not really sure how I arrived at this point. Is there like, is there a text-book? What’s a google?
Somewhere along the way real actual physical mail turned into just a pile of ads and email turned into the mail you need to check every 5 minutes. I know this, because my computer at work was programmed to tell me every 5 minutes that I should check my email. I thought it was safe to assume that I won’t have new mail coming in at 5 minute intervals, as I am not a news editor nor the president of a country.
And then your parents start falling down! I actually had to send my sisters a text that said “Mom fell down and she can’t get up.” It was too funny to pass up. I still laugh about it. It was a commercial. Google it.
Yep, your parents are now in their 60s or even 70s. 50% of them are divorced, so there is a good chance that one or more of your parents live alone. Both of mine live alone. My Dad will be 71 in October he live on 100 acres in the middle of nowhere in a log cabin style house. 8 1/2 years ago he had to be air lifted from his house to the hospital. He collapsed while on the phone with his friend. Double pneumonia. His lungs were white. They told me when I arrived that I’d better call anyone who needed to say goodbye to him.
Eight was 1 month old. I spent the rest of my maternity leave in the hospital waiting room. Then I went everyday I could after work. Since my parents are divorced and I’m the oldest, I’m his next of kin. So I’m trying to deal with this new baby and a 20 month old and doctors are calling me talking about organ failure and blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.
Let me fill you in on a secret. You see, an unborn baby is a parasite feeding off of a host. I’m not being mean, that’s scientifically what is happening. An enormous amount of energy that the mother’s body normally uses to function, has now been diverted to grow the baby. Your whole body is in flux , your short-term memory is shot and you have absolutely no control over it. When that much energy is diverted away from the host the brain starts getting a little screwy, especially when you repeat the process. It is a good thing he recovered, because that was probably not a good idea for me to be in charge of end of life decisions at that point in time. M’kay.
He was in a medically induced coma. I had to go to his house and find all of his stuff, pay his bills. He was there for 8 weeks. (While he was in the coma, we gave him a pedi-cure and shaved off his comb over.) Ha ha.
You see kids, it’s not a mid-life crisis because you’re in the middle of your life. It’s a mid-life crisis because you’re in the middle OF life. You’ve got these little people at home, and you are in charge of making sure they are not rapists, murderers, or racists and that they don’t get, or get anyone else, pregnant. That’s not intimidating at all right? At the same time you all the sudden have people working for you who were born when or after you graduated high school. It seems incredible that they could be in the workforce but there they are and you are training them to do your job. The music you grew up on is playing in the background ON THE OLDIES STATION. You have to resist the urge to punch that 20-year-old in the face on a daily basis every time he calls you ma’am. Forgive him, because his mother raised him right. You gave up on religion years ago, let’s be honest, AND all of a sudden you realize you haven’t heard from your Mom in three or four days, which is unusual since she now wants to spend every waking moment with you, so you wonder if she’s dead. So you call her and she’s not dead and now you are stuck talking to her.
Then your old people start dying. My 93-year-old Grandpa passed away the morning of my 40th birthday. Nothing like death to remind you how old you are. Two weeks and one day later, which happened to be yesterday, my 91-year-old Great Aunt died. We had one funeral on the 18th and the next one is the 30th. My Mom’s Dad and my Dad’s Aunt, so a double whammy for my sisters and I. You start realizing how old your parents really are and how you likely need to care for them.
Your parents = your children. FUCK.
Well I am here to tell you friends, that it will be okay. You may have to spend a couple of years on antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications sure, possibly some antipsychotics, but this too shall pass.
Now listen to this.