While there are countless reasons that I am lucky to be a mother of twins – or maybe they are perfectly countable but I just don’t wish to count that high – there is one reason in particular that has spared me a huge amount of stress and kept me from crying in a dark closet drinking wine out of a sippy cup as Kyle bangs on the door and yells at me to come out. I’m usually outta that closet way before he even notices I’m gone, usually with a pretty good buzz.
Just like so many other expecting couples, we were determined to be the best possible parents we could be. When we learned that there were two of them, were we terrified? Fuck yeah! Were we still going to rock the shit out of child-rearing? You bet your sweet ass! Bring it on, babies! We’re about to parent the shit outta you. Times two!
Except we were both in our early twenties and the pregnancy was completely unplanned. We had just gotten accustomed to the idea that we were going to have one baby – what the fuck were we supposed to do with two?
We learned, and quickly, that you do the same thing with two babies as you do with one: you love the hell out of him and hope to hell you don’t fuck him up too much.
As for the rest?
DiaperGenies, a baby wipe warmer, an $800 Eddie Bauer stroller that absorbs any type of shock and can deflect UV rays and cruise missiles…these are great to receive at a baby shower but are otherwise unnecessary. If you can’t afford it, you don’t need it. And if you think you can afford it, you’re either wealthy or delusional. Whichever it is, you should put that money in a goddamn college fund instead.
Your infant does not need clothes from the Gap. He is shitting in them. Like, right now, he is probably just taking a big old stinky shit all up in those ridiculous khaki cargo shorts. And since you dropped so much cash making sure your kid looks like a miniaturized douchebag, you probably had to buy the cheap-ass diapers made from wax paper wound around recycled tampons and held together by Scotch tape – which means there is poop oozing onto his $35 onesie. Idiot.
The kid is going to hurt himself. There is literally nothing you can do about it unless you’re going to wrap him up in bubble paper, and I’m pretty sure that’s child abuse. There’s no need for everything in your house to be made of soft rubber or for you to put a helmet on him while he’s in the tub. The fuck is wrong with you?
For some parents, it usually takes either a couple years or a second kid for them to finally say, “FUCK IT! WHY ARE WE DOING THIS TO OURSELVES?!”
But hey, New Mom and Dad, if you really think your way is so much better, here’s an idea of what most of you sound like now and what you’ll probably sound like once you get some sense about you.
NEW PARENT: Ooo look at this toy! It reads stories and sings the alphabet and teaches them colors!
PRO PARENT: The next person to buy my kid a toy that makes noise is getting punched right in the fucking face.
NEW PARENT: Where’s that other pink sock with the ruffles? No, not that one, that one has duckies on it. Do you have the purple polka dotted socks? Wait, these aren’t polka-dots, these are Easter eggs. Of course it matters; I can’t have everyone at the gas station thinking she’s a hobo!
PRO PARENT: Here are your socks. Matching is not a concern because ALL of your socks are white, and if they are not of the same style, cut, length, or size, I genuinely don’t give a shit because most people have better things to do than scrutinize the socks of a child grocery shopping with their mother. As for the ones that don’t have anything better to do, they can fuck off and die.
NEW PARENT: She just does not want to nap today! Okay, first let’s try her little vibrating chair, then the rocking chair, then walking around with her and patting her back, and if none of that works, usually driving around the block a couple times in her carseat does the trick, but she always wakes up when we try to move her back to her crib!
OLD PARENT: Hey, you know what always works? Driving her around the block a few times. What do you mean how are we gonna move her once we get home? We’re gonna bring her inside in the carseat and fucking leave her in the carseat. The fuck would we move her for?
NEW PARENT: Just be careful feeding her. I’ve already had to change her cute little outfit three times today! Who knew something so small could make such a big mess?
PRO PARENT: What’s that? You spilled an entire jar of mashed beets on her shirt? Luckily I have baby wipes strategically placed all over the house, such as in the cabinet behind you. You wipe that up while I grab one of the 50 thrift store onesies I bought specifically to feed her and keep separate from the brand new onesies, which she wears when the risk of getting dirty has decreased significantly. Oh, the 9 month onesies are a bit small now? That’s okay; I bought all of her clothing up to age two and diapers up to 18 months. We’re good.
NEW PARENT: K, so, this box is for bath toys, this one is for pool toys. Then we have a box for stuffed animals and one for stuffed dolls, okay, that’s really important so we can teach him the difference between animals and people. Now, all of the animal toys are further sub-categorized by species, and then the people are separated in to groups of kids and adults. Then we have the craft box, the rainy day box, the every other Tuesday box…
PRO PARENT: Here is a box. Put your shit in it. If you appear to be accumulating too much shit or are not taking good care of your shit, I will get rid of your shit. Because technically, since I bought it, it is not your shit, it is my shit, and I’m being nice enough to loan it to you.
NEW PARENT: Of course we don’t let him watch television! I learned Spanish just so I can teach him the same things Dora does because it is solely my responsibility to teach my child. Besides, prolonged exposure to television could lead to seizures and pregnancy and drug use and a poor credit rating!
PRO PARENT: Okay kid, you have literally run me ragged since 8AM. Mama needs a break. You can either take a nap or watch Bubble Guppies – it makes no difference to me, as long as you’re quiet for half an hour, comprende?
NEW PARENT: Did you just let her try that cake batter? THERE ARE RAW EGGS IN THERE; SHE COULD DIE! Or what if she’s allergic to chocolate? And oh my God, chocolate?! Why didn’t you just stick a funnel down her throat and pour in some bacon grease and cotton candy? Now I have to call her pediatrician so I can make sure she doesn’t get fat, develop hives, or die.
PRO PARENT: Here’s a beater for you, and one for you. So help me God, child, if you lay so much as a finger on this mixing bowl of chocolatey deliciousness, you will need a surgical team to remove my foot from your ass.
NEW PARENT: Oh my gosh, the ladies on this parenting forum are so sweet and so helpful!
PRO PARENT: Yup. One year later and you’re all still a bunch of backbiting bitches. I knew retrieving my password was a waste of time.
NEW PARENT: I know I should be using his naptime to take a nap of my own, but this house is such a mess! If I don’t clean it now, I’ll never get it done!
PRO PARENT: Take five minutes to tidy up quickly before I take my own nap, or spend the entirety of his naptime exhausting myself even further by cleaning a house I will just have to clean again after he’s been awake for an hour? Wait, am I actually asking myself this question? I just wasted 45 seconds of perfectly good nap time! Go, woman, go!
NEW PARENT: We need to find more friends that have kids, too. We can have playdates, and other parents are so much more understanding! And I just love all kids so much!
PRO PARENT: That’s the third goddamn birthday party I’ve been to this week. Who’s fucking kid was that anyway? What a little asshole. Do we even know them? You know what, I don’t care. My mom’s watching the kids tonight so I’m gonna call my slutty, single friend from college and you can be damn sure the only juice I drink tonight will have vodka in it.
NEW PARENT: Sweetheart, please, I’m begging you, just put on the dress for mommy, we’re running so late and I just want you to look cute. Yes, yes, I know you want to wear your Halloween costume, but it’s from last year so it’ll be too short, and then you’ll have to wear something underneath and that would look silly. Honey, please.
PRO PARENT: Why yes, I did notice that she’s wearing a ballerina tutu and a pajama shirt underneath her dress and yes, those are indeed two binder clips holding her hair back – she even decorated them with My Little Pony stickers. But, you know, since this is a goddamned playground at a city park instead and not a black tie affair at the Waldorf, I didn’t think there’d be a dress code. By the way, if that horrible smell is associated with the crying child running toward you as he yells mommy, then I’m pretty sure he just crapped in his tiny little designer jeans. I’ll just leave you to it.
NEW PARENT: Here’s the diaper bag checklist; make sure you go through it twice so we know we haven’t forgotten anything. Yes, I know it’s three pages long but she’s going to be at the babysitter’s for two hours, who knows what she might need? That’s why we have two diaper bags, silly!
PRO PARENT: K, this Wal-mart bag has clothes, this one has toys, and this one he packed himself so who the hell knows what’s in it. I’m sure I forgot something that will prove to be of vital importance at some point in the next 24-hours, so here’s fifty bucks. You can use it to replace whatever it is, or to bribe him. Dealer’s choice.
NEW PARENT: We got these pictures taken the day she smiled for the very first time, and this one here we had done on her six month birthday, and next to that we just thought it’d be fun if we all dressed up like rubber duckies and had our pictures done. Then these are the ones they took at the hospital the day she was born, here’s her first day of preschool; you wouldn’t believe how hard it was to find a photographer who’d come out at 6AM…
PRO PARENT: Of course I have pictures of her. They’re on my phone. Oh, that? No, that’s not a picture of my daughter, that came with the frame. Eventually we’ll put a picture of her in it, we’re just waiting for a school picture that doesn’t make her look like she’s got a mullet and a lazy eye.
NEW PARENT: This is going to be such a great date night! Dinner and a movie and a walk by the river under the moonlight. I’m just going to miss my baby sooo much! I almost feel guilty, having all this fun without him!
PRO PARENT: All right, your mom just pulled out of the driveway. We’ve got two hours to nap, have sex, or both. Hey! Hey, are you already asleep? Oh thank god, cuz I’ve really only got enough in me for a nap.
NEW PARENT: Here you go: heart shaped pancakes, strawberry flowers with fresh whipped cream, and look – I cut up your egg so it looks like a sunshine with a happy face I made out of grated cheese! I’ve been up since five!
PRO PARENT: Cereal. Just be glad I remembered milk.
NEW PARENT: No, honey, I don’t think it’s a good idea for you to try salsa. It’s spicy and you’re only four and you could get an upset tummy or develop acid reflux.
PRO PARENT: You wanna try salsa? All right. Here’s a tiny bit on a chip and here’s a glass of water. This should be hilarious.
NEW PARENT: Awww, look at that, you got a gold ribbon for getting a C in math! Let’s put that on your shelf of participation trophies you got from t-ball.
PRO PARENT: You know what the team who loses the Super Bowl gets? Nothing. You know what a kid in this house gets for being average? Apparently, he gets a goddamned gold ribbon from his school. He also gets to spend an hour a day after his homework is done going over flashcards with his mommy until I’m convinced he’s trying as hard as he can and not as hard as he’s required to.
NEW PARENT: Don’t run so fast on the gravel honey, you could fall! And only go down the short slide, okay? No, no, no monkey bars! Don’t jump up on that! Don’t jump off of it either! Sweetie, if you keep running in a circle you’re going to get dizzy and fall down! Oh my gosh, okay, honey, instead of playing outside on this beautiful spring day with other children, why don’t we go to the library and listen to a frizzy-haired hippie named Moonbeam play a guitar as she reads Clifford the Big Red Dog?
PRO PARENT: Yes. Yes, that’s it children. Run. Run aaaall that energy out of you, for tonight, I shall make bedtime my bitch.
NEW PARENT: Okay sweetie, we’re going in the store now and if you promise to be super good for me, I’ll let you pick out a brand new toy which you will love for no more than 24 hours before tossing it aside so you can bang on my tupperware with your shoe. And if you don’t behave, I’ll scold you in a calm voice which you will not be able to hear over the sound of your tantrum, but at least I will reduce the chance of being harshly judged by strangers who are of no importance to me.
OLD PARENT: We are not here for you, we are here for me. Do not ask me for shit. You will behave because I raised you to be a civilized human being, and if you choose not to behave, be advised that I will not hesitate for a moment to discipline you as I see fit in front of perfect strangers, and that the only person who will walk away from the situation feeling embarrassed will be you.
NEW PARENT: So Tuesday after work I have that PTA meeting and then I have to come right home to make cupcakes for a classmate’s birthday on Wednesday. Oh, and on Thursday I have to go up and talk to his teacher about that detention he got; it’s just so unlike him to act up at all so I’d like to hear directly from her what happened, plus I already try to touch base with her at least once a week. And pretty much all of Saturday I’ll be setting up the fundraiser for the zoo field trip, which I signed up to chaperone. Gotta run, my turn to carpool for soccer!
PRO PARENT: Dear Teacher,
I don’t know what possessed my kid to volunteer me to bake cupcakes for 30 frickin’ people by tomorrow, but that is clearly not going to happen. I’m sure this bag of Twizzlers will be an adequate substitute.If it isn’t, it looks like a certain lucky teacher just scored some free Twizzlers.
Enclosed is a check for $50 for the zoo trip; I realize the cost is only $20, but I’m hoping the additional $30 will be enough to get your events coordinator to stop asking me to join the FUNky FUNraising Committee, a name that is almost as stupid as the question “Would you like to wander around a smelly zoo for 6 hours making sure that children you aren’t legally responsible for aren’t eaten by a tiger?” She knows it’s spelled funDraising, right?
Also, I understand that during yesterday’s recess my son sat on a little girl’s face then farted in her mouth and was given detention. Upon receiving notice of that detention, his father and I agreed he should be punished at home as well. My husband made sure to ingest large amounts of frozen burritos and boiled eggs that evening and, under the pretense of tucking my son in to bed, I instead pinned his body from the neck down beneath the covers while his father released the most noxious gas I have ever smelled mere inches from our son’s face. Although I can’t be sure if the tears in my son’s eyes were a direct cause of the smell, his embarrassment over being punished, or a combination of both, I feel confident that he has learned his lesson.
In the unlikely event that my child should do such a thing again, please advise the little girl that tickling his underarms will not only paralyze him with laughter and enable her to get free, but that laughter will probably be higher and more girlish than her own.
In conclusion, the only time I am okay with having my car full of people who won’t stop screaming or annoying me is when those people are totally trashed and their lives depend on it. Otherwise, I must respectfully say ‘fuuuuck that.’
***NOTE*** If you are in fact a seasoned parent and stumble across something that you still do which I have categorized as the behavior of a new parent, just laugh it off rather than get offended and be proud of yourself for being able to keep a toy box organized for that long, or to juggle your work and personal life while being super involved in your kid’s school, or still having the patience to keep track of a hundred cute little outfits as well as the skill to get your kid to wear them. When it comes time to pick our battles, we all have a different perspective when it comes to saying which ones are hard and which ones are easy. The point, really, is that when we start out as parents we make EVERY battle hard, even when it doesn’t have to be. Some of them get easier as we gain the experience, and some of them go away entirely because we choose to save our energy to fight the ones that matter. In the end, none of us will be perfect parents…but as long as our children think we’re the BEST parents, then who really gives a shit about perfect?