Man, I used to be a good babysitter. I was awesome - and I do mean awesome. I would bathe the kids before bedtime, read 10 stories, slather baby lotion on them, make sure they brushed their teeth and then patiently waited for them to fall asleep after several (and I mean several) requests for leaving hall lights on, more water please and can I have another hug?
Oh yes, I was an awesome babysitter.
The diaper clad set never went more than 2 hours without a fresh nappy. They were powdered and happy and fresh as a summer's day when their parents returned from a pool tourney at a local bar, a PTA meeting or perhaps a rock concert (I babysat for a variety of folk, I was an equal opportunity babysitter, fo sho).
So naturally, I thought I'd rock the parenting arena. I mean, I had the years and years of childcare to call upon, I knew CPR and loved babies, and always had the feeling that I'd be a mom. Oh yes, I was going to rock this thing, inside and out.
And then I got pregnant.
It wasn't the babyhood that was so difficult...well, besides the whole sleep deprivation, permanent attachment to your chest and hauling around that forty pound diaper bag - oh no.
It wasn't the toddler years that did me in...the constant babbling, teething and transitioning from one stage to another (and dinosaur obsessions, can't forget those) - oh no.
It wasn't even the preschool years with all that finger painting and the messes and hey mom, I'm old enough for bunk beds so let's get on it, stat - oh no.
It's the middle part of parenting - the part where I am have one elementary schooler, one middle schooler and one mid-high schooler, that's doing me in. It's a lot to keep track of!
Remember that anti-drug poster that we (oh yes we, children of the eighties and nineties) stared at in every single classroom we set foot in? The one with the fried egg in the pan? This is your brain...this is your brain on drugs?
I can't remember things I said 2 hours ago people! I say the most ridiculous things. For example, when getting Katie ready for bed I've apparently been channeling MC Hammer because last night she told me "Stop. Jammie Time." It was just one pair of hammer pants shy of a full on booty shaking break out session of the dance that made that man (see, I can't even remember his proper name) famous and graced my MTV every time I turned it on in the year 1990.
Like how I said in the year 1990, like it was sooo long ago?
My daughter was just telling my husband about the "pass the penny" game that they have been playing in first grade this week. His response? "Pass the penny to the left hand side." Remember that song?
My entire brain is fried, like that egg in the posters of my long gone youth.
I've got hula hoops in my living room and soaked football pads strewn from one end of the laundry room to the other. Honestly, I'm afraid to go in there. I found Mt. Dew cans (purchased for camping ONLY) hidden in various places in the garage and when I confronted one of those boy children of mine about my discovery I was told they were being stashed "for emergencies."
There are sparkles all over the kids bathtub and I nearly bathed the dog with some Axe shampoo the other day when I reached for his regular doggy bath kind.
Now that I think of it, that might not have been such a bad idea...
People. There are more juice bags than bottles of beer in our beverage refrigerator and I can't tell you the last time a day went by that I didn't hear the theme song to Spongebob.
All that babysitting, turns out, never prepared me for this. I'm about a day away from checking myself into a secluded yurt in the middle of a rainy forest (a QUIET rainy forest, I might add) and staying there until there are no more Polly Pockets or paper airplanes left in my house. And although I would never give any one of my children up to the highest bidder (a'hem, everything does have a price), there are days when parenting is downright exhausting, your brain feels like mush and you can't remember what you did last week.
This is your brain.
This is your brain on parenthood.
Pass the penny from the left hand side...