As a dad who writes a regular parenting column, this is the kind of piece (see below) I think a lot of dads would love to read — and a lot of moms (who generally have it way worse off than us dudes). Parents, you see, love to know that they are not alone in the chaos that is their lives. It’s like a hug of understanding — or at least it is for me when I read similar pieces.
My column, which appears in Local Parent Magazine, while always including anecdotal tales, leans towards the more informative and experientially educational. I marry what I’ve fumbled through as a father with research/interviews or personal experience as an educator, rec staff’er, children’s performer, and educational program manager (I’ve had a strange career — even for a writer).
This particular piece of writing might not be a good fit.
Or, then again, maybe it would be.
It’s definitely experiential.
But it is the type of piece that I think should be sprinkled throughout parenting magazines. For one, I think there is a real hunger for it. For another, I think it would help diversify the messaging that is so often present in publications. Plus, and relating to my first point, I do think it would help generate clicks/sales/revenue/whatever else makes the world go ’round.
Plus, I think we parents can all use a reminder that the hell-in-a-handbasket feelings that we all know are both real and shared. It’s normalizing and it’s reassuring.
Plus, I think we want to laugh about it. Which is all I can do when I write a piece like this.
Other columns from my warts ‘n all reporting of parenting:
Christmas Eve in the Hospital
(or Clara and her Ambulance Reindeer)
(or Why We’re Asking for Naps for Christmas)
Some Days are Unflushed Toddler Poops
I’m pretty sure there’s a toddler poo floating in the toilet at home.
We may have forgotten to flush while pulling up pants and underwear and rushing out the door this morning.
Or hobbling, in my case.
Hobbling because I cracked my knee off the banister while trying to simultaneously wrestle both a two-year-old and myself into winter clothes – clothes that needed to be wrestled back into after the surprise “I have to poo” announcement (and subsequent floating turd) that came while we were already on our way to the car.
The rush was due to me being late for work.
It should be noted here that I’ve been late for work for 28 days straight – corresponding precisely with the number of days it’s been since I started doing morning toddler duty and daycare drop-off. With no morning classes to teach last semester, Krista had formerly been taking care of this.
Looking back, I think of those as the halcyon days of parenting.
Despite the poo, I still could have made it in to work on time if I hadn’t forgotten my computer bag at home — which I conveniently noticed when I got to our daycare… on the other side of the city. I swear it was in my hand before we went back to “potty.”
Make that 29 days.
The other thing I noticed while unloading at daycare was the cord that once linked my phone to my car stereo in order for Clara and I to listen to “walk and woll!”. It was dangling out the closed passenger side door… with no phone attached to it.
Which explains why I couldn’t find my phone. And why there was no music coming out of my car stereo.
So, if you see a run-over iPhone while driving the streets of Peterborough, think of me.
I mean, don’t try to call me. ’cuz… well… that’s my run-over iPhone laying on that Peterborough street.
I noticed this while looking for Clara’s mittens.
Come to think of it, I haven’t seen Clara’s mittens in days. I’m pretty sure there is an extra pair at daycare, so I’m (somewhat) reasonably certain that she’s not freezing her little hands off when they go outside.
Speaking of cold. I think I have one. It’s the only way to explain the fact that I managed to sneeze on my child, not once, not twice, but three times this morning. I expect the toddler to break out into a major case of influenza any second now.
That or the bubonic plague.
I forget whether it is “starve a cold, feed a fever” or vice versa. It matters not, because I had exactly 3 sips of smoothie and 2 sips of tea for breakfast this morning. And I forgot my lunch at home. Uh… and my wallet. This, I should point out, is after the fact that I already drove back for my computer bag.
So, right now we’re going with “starve a cold.”
Really, really starving it.
Normally, I’d shake this whole series of parenting woes off over a cup of tea, but I appear to be out of milk at my office. And, as you recall, am lacking a wallet.
I’d also be comfortable in the knowledge that it would be almost 24 hours until I had to go through the whole process again.
This would be far too premature, however.
Krista has Parents’ Night at her school tonight, you see, and won’t be home until 9pm or so.
Which means I’m on daycare pick-up, dinner, bath, and bed – which is kind of like mornings, except in reverse. And while there is far less grogginess on my part, there is much more running, screaming, food throwing, and splashing on Clara’s.
But, hey. At least I’ll get to eat.
And, when parenting, it’s always important to look on the bright side of life.
Like the fact that there are only 43 more morning drop-offs until Krista is done teaching for the summer.
Because, who’s kidding who? I seriously doubt Clara and I could survive doing this together year-round. We both know things are a lot safer when mommy is on the job.
So far, there has been no bloodshed, broken bones (at least on Clara’s part – we may need to get this knee examined), or major catastrophes. Despite my absolute inability to function in the morning, unlike smoothies, I haven’t left the toddler on the roof of my car before driving off.
The other consolation? Morning hugs are the best. I’m happy to say I get plenty of them. Each and every one fills me with a momentary sense of joy.
These hugs, of course, explain how I managed to sneeze on Clara three times this morning – although the final one actually came while pulling up her pants and underwear and trying to get her out the door.
And leaving a toddler poo floating in the toilet…