10 One-Liners That Principally Sum Up Parenting Small Kids
Raising young children is a uniquely humbling and terrifying experience. Almost every day I am shocked by the sentences that come out of my mouth, only to say something even more improbable in the next moment.
Yet all of these crazy one-liners boil down to a universal truth that educate children who are too young to attend school.
Here are ten of the more unfathomable things I said this month.
1. “Stop trying to get this sheep to eat your brother’s penis.”
If your child has a penis, then everything revolves around that penis. (To be fair, the same can usually be said about your partner.) In my four years as a parent, I removed penises from soda sticks, prescription bottles, and even a Bavarian pretzel at one point. See also: “Let me know when you’re done with your penis and I’ll put your diaper on” or “You shouldn’t always listen to your penis”.
2. “We don’t put bread dough in our vagina.”
Personally, I don’t have a daughter, but I’ve heard that it’s similar with genital obsession. But that’s not really my point here. The big takeaway here is that nothing is safe in the kitchen. Nothing. Raising young children means teaching 10 percent wisdom and ninety percent curbing stupidity. I mean, while a ball of dough could probably benefit from a warm, yeasty environment, the opposite is not necessarily the case.
3. “Let’s see what you got in those pants, big boy.”
That? That’s as close as you’ll ever be to foreplay again. While you used to keep this line for your lover, now, like everything else in your life, it has been confiscated by your children. SPOILER ALERT: The answer is always “poop”. You still have at least three years until your partner is the recipient of this line again. SPOILER ALERT: You may have fifteen years before his answer is “poop” too.
4. “No, we do NOT bathe the cat – especially not with our tongues. “
Children love to lick things. It is a problem. I can still remember a toddler licking the entire outside window wall of my local panera while I was trying to eat a panini. I was seven months pregnant at the time and you can bet my ever-growing judgmental ass that I mentally reprimanded the licker’s parents and promised no kid of mine would run around licking the world. Four years later …
5. “Please tell me that something is wrong with my child.”
Nothing serious, mind you. Sweet, compassionate diet of your choice, no. But tell me something is wrong Something that is easy to deal with. Something relatively harmless to explain why he’s been screaming continuously for four hours or hasn’t slept in ten days.
While we’re at it, tell me there is an affordable ointment out there that will instantly stop the annoying symptoms. And that it comes with a free margarita. Because parenting is the insatiable urge to protect your child from ALL THINGS. Even if it occasionally needs to be protected from your temperament.
6. “Sandwiches with cucumber and croutons are not a meal. “
Except sometimes they are. Children are damn picky. Parents are damn tired. It’s not always a winning combination. While sitting in this Panera pregnant, I watched the yummy stop to put extra effort into removing a particularly stubborn lump of bird shit, and I also made a mental promise that my child would eat kale and Brussels sprouts without complaint.
No special meals for my children. You will eat what I eat, damn it. Fast forward to last week when I served my kids instant oatmeal for ten consecutive meals.
7. “When you’ve touched your penis and the public toilet, you need to wash your hands before putting them back in my mouth.”
Do you remember when you had personal limits? Not anymore, sucker! I recently had a whole conversation with a stranger while my two year old was using the shirt I was wearing as a makeshift fortress. My husband sees my bra less often than the employees at my local grocery store.
8. “It’s not that bad if you’re just covered in someone else’s vomit.”
Parenting is a sexy gig no matter how you look at it, but what if the kids get gastrointestinal disease? Ffffftt. I have no idea how such tiny bodies can build enough pressure in those tiny digestive tracts to push things out of every opening at the same time with such force and distance. BUT YOU CAN. AND YOU DO.
And what if after five long weeks in which your little ones passed the intestinal virus back and forth, it looks like things are finally getting better and the worst is over? You will be relieved and truly grateful to be covered in bare vomit when you wash every sheet in the house for the forty-seventh time this week.
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9. “It’s great that you learned how to use the buckles on your car seat, but please don’t open your little brother while we’re on the highway.”
It’s amazing how quickly your little ones learn new skills – such as switching on coffee machines, starting waste disposal and operating power tools. Unfortunately, it takes decades to master the more practical skills like wiping your bum, getting your own drinks, or closing your front door. Apparently.
My point is, take care of your back. As they pretend they need your help to get the stick plastic straw into their juice box, they silently implement their plans for world domination.
10. I’m really looking forward to the time change in spring because my child may sleep after 5am.
Children despise sleep. My children despise sleep anyway. Maybe you’re lucky and your little one is a sleeper champion. But I guarantee you that there is something that you desperately need / crave in your life that your child detests and that makes it impossible for you to achieve it.
Maybe it’s outside. Maybe it hears music. Maybe it wears long sleeves. (No seriously, little kids explode because of the most bizarre things.) Whatever it is, no matter how vehemently you swear you’ll never give up, THEY BREAK YOU.
You will eventually come to terms with wearing a t-shirt in January or enjoying the sunrise while sipping your fourth pot of coffee. Worse still, you will occasionally smile as you do so.
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Elly Lonon is a parenting writer and contributor to YourTango. Follow her on Twitter.