The very first time you feed your baby ice cream, it’s adorable. You watch their little face scrunch up in shock at how cold it is and then warm up to the luxurious goodness.
You might as well have just stuck a needle full of smack in one of their chubby arm rolls. It is liquid kid crack and now you’ve just opened the door to a lifetime of agony and suffering, trying to ween them off the sweet stuff unsuccessfully for eternity.
A granola bar will never be enough again. Now, they will want chocolate.
You will try to switch to sugar-free popsicles only to find the allure of sweet, sugary ANYTHING is too great. You’ll try to save it for special occasions like holidays and birthday parties, but find that bribing them to consume a single kernel of corn will be worth a single Whopper.
But, you’re wrong! Moments later, like a ticking time bomb they will transform into monsters. Alma is a she-devil, a banshee, demanding more, more, MORE! Huxley is a Tasmanian Devil, doing a crack dance to rival the best-of sites on Youtube. (See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7Go6q9i1T4)
They get that crazed look in their eyes like they might turn Dahmer for just one more bite of cake.
Even if you do succeed in denying them sugar most days, they’ll come back from your in-laws hopped up on PCP. (Pink CuPcake)
Then there’s those evil bakery ladies at Publix, just waiting to ruin your entire grocery trip with a free cookie for each kid. Like it isn’t tough enough to get everything into the cart and keep your kids grubby paws off the stuff. Now their paws are REALLY grubby, melted chocolate chips crusting onto the corners of their mouths like little savages who ripped through the ripe flesh of a chocolate-bleeding creature.
The ride home is AMAZING. The nap you hoped they would take is a distant memory thanks to some miserable bitch in a hairnet.
I just asked Alma if she likes chocolate and ice cream. Her response, “I want a piece of chocolate because I ate all my dinner and my belly is full.” You can’t even mention it without her getting the shakes.
“My name is Hannah. I gave my kid ice cream and chocolate.” (She’s never gonna make it through the withdrawals. I gave her a popsicle. She’ll want chocolate again in 10 minutes)
I wasn’t just a Kmart kid growing up. I was a thrift store kid. While my mom was shopping for clothes at the local “Kidney Store” in the ghetto in South St. Pete, I would be rewarded for good behavior with the thrift store goodie bag. It’s a plastic bag for a buck that’s crammed with stuffed animals with matted fur, plastic toys missing parts and the occasional plastic gator or frog for the swimming pool.
Not only did the thrift store have a particular smell, like that musty nursing home death smell, but so did the goodie bag. Should’ve poured bleach in the bag and given it a couple good shakes before playing with it. I guarantee one of the bonuses packed inside was the pox or the plague.
You would think it would make me appreciate the fact that my children have all new toys to play with. But, I am beginning to realize my kids don’t appreciate ANYTHING and neither do we. Toys are broken, discarded and tossed in the trash by the kids before I even notice they’re gone. Stuffed animals are loved passionately by my daughter for a few days before sitting unused in her closet for months.
My stuffed animals were loved until they were unrecognizable. A stuffed bunny would become a lump of brown fake animal flesh missing eyes. Gone are the days of horror story dolls missing limbs and beheaded Barbie Dolls.
Our kids are spoiled with new, new, new.
It’s missing a part?
Toss it in the garbage.
It stopped working?
We’ll buy you a new one.
You want to look like “Lulu, Ladybug Girl?”
We’ll spend $100 making that happen. It’s not even for Halloween. It’s just parenting in 2014.
I spent big money buying the kids a “hunting cabin” for Christmas only to have my husband take it down within two days because it just “takes up too much room.” A hunting cabin. When we were kids, that was a picnic table covered with a sheet. We would sit underneath and play Michael Jackson’s “Beat it” on cassette tape for hours.
Wanna play banker? That just requires a handful of Monopoly money and dad’s calculator. Now? You need to buy a functioning cash register complete with coins and a conveyer belt for the fake boxes of cereal and canned goods.
Don’t have a Slip ‘N Slide? As children, we would take our busted pool floats and tape them together and stick the water hose on it and BINGO, Slip ‘N Slide.
Don’t even get me started on birthday parties. For our birthdays growing up, we would get to choose what meal we wanted for dinner. (at home) My mother would bake our birthday cake and we would sit down as a family of 5 and get a grand total of maybe 10 presents, half of which would inevitably be clothing.
Now, you’re expected to throw a massive bash for your toddler with all of the dozens of “friends” they don’t really have and rent a bouncy house complete with a water slide. The kids get an enormous Publix birthday cake decorated with a bunch of gaudy crap for whatever “theme” you choose. There was no “theme” when I was a kid. The theme was, “it’s your Goddamn birthday, here’s some presents and you can daydream about balloons because those things cost money and take too much time. Hop in the above-ground pool after cake and go to bed.”
And it was a great day. Every birthday. Because I spent it with my family and it was all about me. It had nothing to do with the amount of money spent. There was no trip to Disney. And you appreciated every single eyeless, limbless, matted and treasured toy in your closet.
Maybe I should give my kids a Thrift Store goodie bag and see how many minutes before everything inside ends up in the garbage. Then, I’ll scream at them, “That cost a whole dollar and came with a rare infectious disease from a previous century!!!”
Here’s me before having kids:
Sounds like a joke, but it’s not. We seriously considered taking a trip to Spain the year our daughter was born. We checked out hotels with cribs you can rent and planned day trips to a beach nearby.
We weren’t just naive. We were morons.
Our first trip with our daughter was stressful, but tolerable. We simply visited my mother in South Carolina and drove to see my Dad and his wife in North Carolina and then flew back home.
We weren’t anticipating conceiving our second child with so much ease, so that was the last relatively simple trip we will EVER take in our LIFE.
The next vacation was to Key West with the entire Cuban Cluster. (See previous post)
We figured if we just packed like champs, it would be a breeze. The Cluster drove. It’s just a short flight from St. Pete to the Keys. We figured that would be better than driving for several hours with screaming, miserable kids, right?
We found ourselves in the airport parking lot, what seems like miles from the terminal with two small children, two hulking car seats, one massive stroller and three big bags packed with all of the crap you could possibly need. What could you need during a four-day trip to Key West? Diapers, wipes, formula, sunscreen, tons of clothes because they will destroy them all with vomit, pee and poop, medicine, (because all children inevitably get sick the day before a vacation) books, toys and blankets. By the time we figured out the logistics of just checking in, which was nearly impossible, I was drenched in sweat, my blood pressure was through the roof and I just wanted to go back to work.
Even if your kids don’t scream and cry on the flight, they will wiggle, kick and even laugh too loudly. They will want food and milk and the one toy you forgot to pack.
Key West was sweltering and you have to walk everywhere. Slather the kids in sunscreen, walk a marathon and then you can’t even get blitzed because you’re with your whole family and oh, yeah … the kids are there. Nothing like watching the whole rest of the world have a blast on vacation while you suffer.
While middle-aged women with frosted hair are guzzling Mojitos, you’re in a muddy bathroom without A/C trying to change a diaper on the floor because restaurants just assume nobody would be stupid enough to bring a baby to Key West.
Our children simply can’t hang with the idea of sleeping somewhere different. My son was probably six months old at the time. If he could’ve talked he would’ve been saying, “This f&^ing Pack ‘N Play is a bunchabullshit.” He woke up every single hour. We took turns, but when it’s that frequent ain’t NOBODY sleepin’.
My daughter slept in bed with us, but only when we would sleep with her. It was an 8 p.m. curfew, the next two hours spent staring at the ceiling, getting kicked repeatedly and wondering why we ever had children.
Trips around town were strung together by a series of meltdowns. A store accused my daughter of breaking a maraca that probably cost .10 cents to make. My husband and I took turns consoling my hysterical son during dinner at a fancy restaurant. A lunch was ruined by my daughter screaming for no apparent reason.
My amazing mother-in-law did watch the kids for an afternoon, so the rest of us could go snorkeling. I had a blast, but my husband and sister-in-law nearly barfed on the ride back to shore.
But, that all didn’t stop us from trying to go on vacation with the kids again. And we decided to drive!
That’s a story for another time.
My dogs were relegated to second class citizens the very second we welcomed our daughter into the world.
What did we do with them while I was in labor? I don’t know.
In the days that followed? No clue.
Now that we have two children, the dogs are starting to look and act like dingos — or those
refuse-consuming street mutts in Chile.
They stare wild-eyed while we eat and cower nearby hoping someone will just touch them. And they attack each other viciously whenever anyone knocks at the door. Nobody will ever try to break in once they realize my dogs are so dang crazy they’ll kill each other along with an intruder.
My Boston has Addison’s Disease. He’s on medication, but it costs more than $1 a pill. He’s supposed to have three a day, but c’mon. That’s expensive. So, I’ve been skimping, giving him two and hoping for the best.
I should’ve realized something wasn’t right when he started urinating on every single fake tree in the entire house.
We moved all the expensive fake plants upstairs. Our downstairs is a barren desert. Our upstairs (beyond the dog-proof gates), a veritable rain forest.
And then, we woke up to find a shimmering, soggy pile of presents on Christmas morning. Ever try to peel a wet label off a bottle of beer? Now, try to do that to dozens of presents for your kids and throw in the fact that it smells like dog piss.
My dog must REALLY hate “Santa.”
Don’t get me wrong, our dogs are still living the high life. They have comfy dog beds (that haven’t been washed in ages). We feed them every day (when we remember). And they always have water. (With dog hair and slimy, mystery dog goop stuck to the sides of the bowl.)
At least now they have a huge backyard to poop in. And boy, do they poop! If those piles were landmines, we’d all be dead ten times over at least.
When it’s about getting to work on time OR digging wrist-deep into a thin plastic bag that’s likely to rip the second you strain that poop away from the grass, I choose punctuality.
“You missed one.”
“There’s another one.”
“You missed one.”
“Look here, mama!!!”
My son has taken to soccer-kicking the dogs whenever they’re anywhere near him. No matter how many times we show him how to be gentle or sweet, he does the full wind-up and boots them in the face.
God bless ’em, they still haven’t bitten him.
My poor Boston is nearly blind in one eye and the other eye isn’t far behind. Yet, I still curse at HIM when I trip over him in the kitchen. I can see perfectly fine, so why I am such a dick?
You’ve probably heard the saying, “There aren’t bad dogs, just bad owners.”
Hey, that’s us! Look over here. Yeah — We’re horrible dog owners!
I adore my dog, and I will be crushed when his time comes.
I’ve just been too busy trying to keep two small human beings alive to be all that concerned about the hairy pieces of furniture that meander around the house hoovering crumbs.
It’s a kid-eat-dog world.
Anyone who can guess very specifically what this is that I’m cleaning up, while my daughter screams “Mommy!” (because she needs three toys, not two,) will win a bazzilliongazillion dollars: