Wednesday, December 5, 2012
WHY Did I Have Kids?
My sister has two boys. One is almost 2. The other is 4 months old. I have an almost 9 year old and a 9 month old. So, between the two of us, we have 3 babies in diapers. 3 kids under age 2. 3 BOYS. (I can't tell you how happy I am that the oldest child in our brood is a girl). Anyway. Last night, I was standing in the kitchen with my sister and brother and I said, "Does it ever hit you that we are ages away from these kids being in kindergarten... much less grown?"
I really do know better than to ask a question like this. The day I sent my oldest off to kindergarten, I thought ARE YOU KIDDING ME? How did this happen so fast? Every summer after she turned 2, I was keenly aware that I was a summer closer to that dreaded fall morning, when I would leave her in the hands of a literal stranger, in a room filled with 18 other kids who were just as important to this stranger as my child... the day when my only child went from being number one to being assigned a student ID and became just one of many. That day, my chest ached all day long. I could hardly concentrate on anything. And though it's easier now that she's in 3rd grade, I still dread that fall day every time like the first time. And I miss her the whole day long.
Still. When you're up to your eyeballs in the day to day of washing dirty baby clothes, changing dirty diapers, and wiping off dirty faces, you can't help but think, "How much longer is this?" And when you have a colicky newborn who acts like he hates life and you went through infertility meds to conceive this little joyball, you may or may not say something like, "We PAID someone to do this to us!"
And I gotta be brutally honest. There's been a few times when my friends without kids have asked, "Why did you have kids?" And I'd think, "That's a GOOD question."
Don't get me wrong. It's not every day. And I usually always have a good answer. However, there are those days when one of them has made me want to move to a monastery or shove concrete earplugs into my ears. You have to understand. We went 7 years without a child in our home. 7 years of peeing when I wanted to. 7 years of showering without worrying if someone was trying to eat out of the trash can while I washed my hair. 7 years of eating food while it was still hot. 7 years of vacationing without having to set up a Pack 'N Play. 7 years of never thinking about a babysitter. 7 years of seeing new movies in the theater the first month they were out instead of catching them on DVD two years later. 7 years of only thinking of MY clothing, MY sleep schedule, MY playtime, MY entertainment, and MY boogers, MY bowel movements, and MY gas.
As I sit here typing this, I have a chunky boy in my lap who may or may not be chewing on a blue highlighter (don't judge me)and he's got a madstyle case of the wiggles. I flashback to times when my office was quiet and toy free- when Baby MacDonald wasn't playing in the background constantly and when I could go to lunch at noon without having to think about naptime interfering with it.
WHY DID I HAVE KIDS????
Because without them...
My refrigerator door would be pretty boring.
I wouldn't get nearly the amount of exercise I do now from bending over and picking up items including, but not limited to: Squinkies, cracker remnants, singing animal toys, forgotten items under the couch, miscellaneous pieces of tiny paper slivers from an art project gone haywire, and dirty socks.
I would have never known that the early morning news is actually pretty interesting. Alot happens overnight in the world.
Christmas wouldn't be nearly as magical.
I wouldn't know which coffee is the most caffeinated.
I would have missed out on iCarly's final episode, Good Luck Charlie's new baby episode, and wouldn't know the secret formula for Crabby Patties.
I would be more rested, but less motivated about life.
My days off would be about catching up on my DVR shows, sleeping in, and having lunch and a pedicure with girlfriends. Those things are lame. (Trying to convince myself on this one, I ain't gonna lie.)
My furniture would wear out alot quicker. I hardly ever sit on my couches. Or chairs. Barstools. The toilet. Or anything.
I would think terrible things about that random screaming kid in Target.
I wouldn't have those cool stripes on my belly to fascinate my daughter.
There'd be no elf wreaking havoc in my house from Thanksgiving to Christmas.
I wouldn't see my purse as entertainment. Wallets, checkbooks, and makeup mirrors aren't nearly as exciting as playing "What's in this purse that doesn't belong".
I'd never have learned the difference in powdered formula and liquid formula, the difference between Target brand diapers and Walmart brand diapers, the difference in colic and gas, or the difference in a childbirth with an epidural and one without it. These are key things to know in day to day conversations.
I wouldn't receive handdrawn pictures of waterfalls with gummy bears dancing on the river banks, poems about rocks, or endless amounts of handcrafted bookmarks that say "MOMMY" in fat crayon letters.
I would watch TV while the sun is up. Who does that?
I wouldn't understand the feeling of your heart about to burst with pride at something wonderful your child did in public, like: saying thank you, asking a grown up how their day is going, saying "Yes sir" without you prodding them to, or holding a door open for an elderly lady.
I also wouldn't know the not-so-bursting-heart-with-pride feeling when your little one says: "Look at that lady with the BIG butt," or the "Someone-help-me-I'm-drowning" feeling you get when your child acts like she's being attacked by fire ants because you told her she can't have a slurpee in the middle of a grocery trip.
That you can love something the size of a kidney bean so much, you'd throw yourself in front of a train to save him. You'd also go without Diet Coke for nine months to protect him, which is equivalent to throwing yourself in front of a train.
I would have missed the slobbery kisses, the beautiful sound of your baby singing "Mamaaaa" while he plays with the remote control, and the feeling that I'm the most beautiful woman in the world when I catch my boy staring at me with a dreamy smile on his face.
I wouldn't know what it's like to have cat like reflexes.
I would have never REALLY known what "love at first sight" felt like.
I wouldn't know what it's like to be the only one who can fix a skinned knee, a broken heart, or a feverish ache.
I'd have never discovered that I am a human GPS. I can find a toy the size of a marble, a misplaced homework assignment, or a pair of shorts in a laundry pile the size of the Eiffel Tower in less than 5 minutes.
I would have much cleaner floors but a lonely dinner table.
A shower with no Barbies in it, but no singing in it, either.
An office room in my house with an actual computer in it, but no baby bed.
Time to read those magazines I've had since February, but no one to interrupt my reading with a question about where squirrels sleep at night.
A heart that would ache for little hands to hold it in their tiny palms. A lullaby to sing with no ears to hear it. A photo in my heart with no frame to hold it. An adventure with no passport. A map with no treasure at the end.
A life less colorful than a black and white coloring page.
So, when someone asks why I had kids, I think I'll give a new answer.
Why would I NOT have? I would have missed it all.