My husband and I were recently informed (by accident) that a friend of ours didn’t really enjoy hanging around us because he found our kids to be “stressful.” Yup. Stressful. How could he say such a thing about our little sweethearts, our angels, our chocolate-covered peanut butter balls of perfection? Fuck wad.
After some I'm-so-offended sputtering and some “Who the hell does he think he is?” rants, I calmed down and took a second to remember. I remembered what life was like before kids, and how I felt about kids before I had my own. It wasn’t that long ago that it was just me and the Mister, but it is challenging to remember life pre-rugrats when much of your current life is by and for rugrats. (Except the bliss of sleeping in until 10 a.m.; I’ll never forget that feeling.)
So, I thought and thought and thought and then thought some more. And suddenly, it hit me. I don’t like kids. I know. Fucked up statement coming from the mother of two kids. But I’m not kidding. Ok, fine. I concede that there are two big exceptions to the Sorry, Don’t Like That Kid, That Kid, and Yeah, Even That Kid rule, but in general...yup, don’t really like ‘em.
Since I’ve had a couple of my own, that has softened, but I’m still not one to ogle over a newborn or engage in an impromptu game of ring around the rosy. Newborns make me nervous with their oversized heads perched on their wobbly, unstable necks. It’s like one wrong move and that head just pitches backwards or off to the side. Way too nerve-wracking.
As for little kids -- like toddlers and preschoolers and such -- they’re loud. They talk too much. They produce too much mucus, and it’s always oozing out of some orifice in a multitude of toxic green and yellow hues. They’re also always prone to saying the most random, rude things that leave you in the ultimate Larry David-type awkward situations.
“Why does your tummy poke out like you’re having a baby?”
I'm not sure you little shit bird. Why do you allow snot to run freely down your face? Not cute. Find a tissue. Or a sleeve.
“Oh, I’m not sure honey. I think it’s just my shirt pouffing out.”
My husband says I have no patience. For example, when we swim laps at our pool, which without-a-doubt is run and occupied by anarchists, he 100 percent expects me to get my panties in a full knot up my ass over some kid jumping in the middle of my lap lane. And I inevitably do.
Some little shit always decides it’s a great idea to do a cannonball right in my lane with his noodle flotation device and start splashing around like he’s in the middle of a motherfuckin’ bird bath. Beat it bird, before feathers start flying.
Then there was last week. The two kids and I headed to the mall get M a new pair of kicks. Afterwards, we grab the obligatory mall meal - Mickey D’s. No sooner had they finished ingesting the pure lard from their Happy Meals when M made the request.
“Mommy, can we go play at that little inside park?”
Ew. You might as well go climb a jungle gym made of poo poo.
“Ok, honey we can go for a bit,” I said as I mentally clubbed myself for forgetting the sanitary wipes.
So, we stroll over and the little indoor play area is crawling, I mean like ant-farm crawling, with kids. And, they’re not just running around playing, climbing, etc. These kids were out for blood. We're talking Lord of the mutha' fuckin' Flies here.
Kids were tearing at each other. Climbing over one another. Straddling the giant plastic animals and beating their chests. Howling. Tackling each other. Scaling the wall surrounding the play area and then jumping off. Screaming for raw meat.
M and J jumped right in. I sat on the perimeter of the play area, nervously and skeptically watching my children, wondering if they were going to partake in the blood-lust or just observe. I looked around and saw parents, babysitters and grandparents all looking on with the same blank, glazed-over expressions that all said one thing and one thing only: We give up.
As I observed the chaos -- my kids part of it, mind you -- I started to laugh. Savages, heathens. Every last one of them. Angels and sweethearts. Every last one of them. As M jumped off the wall into the melee, I remembered her earlier in the morning with her arms wrapped around her brother, kissing him on the head and saying, “Come here, Jacky. Sit next to me and I’m going to read you a little story.” Hard to imagine that was the same little girl as the flailing, wild-eyed, cackling child before me.
And, that my friends, is the craziest thing about kids. They’ll have you rolling your eyes one minute and marveling in wonder the next. They’ll blow out your eardrums with a temper tantrum and then whisper “I love you.” You’ll be writhing in pain over a dog-whistle whine session and then have the most amazing conversation all the while thinking to yourself, “How in the heck did she get so smart?”
I know kids can be...difficult. Even with a couple of my own, I still think they are, by and large, a pain in the ass. The difference now? They aren't just a pain in the ass. They're a heck of a lot more. They're people. Kind of unreasonable and prone-to-flights-of-fancy people, but still people. They have their good days, bad days, moments of beauty and moments of ugliness. They're just like us.
So, with that said, Mr. Stressed Out By My Kids, I ain't mad atcha. Just don't let me catch you talking shit again...