Thursday, May 22, 2008

On Being an Adult

Well, being an adult sucks. This I have realized. When I was a kid I had this glorious vision of being grown up, driving around in some really cool vehicle, staying up as late as I want, no rules, no curfews. And here I am. Driving a 94 mini van (how much more uncool can you be??). The cruel irony is that now that I am of an age to stay up as late as I want, I am usually in bed I before my kids are. And now that I am of an age to party as late as I want or with whomover I want, I find that the things that I want are totally domestic boring stuff- like say, watching Robots with the kids. My major excitement for the month is going to see Walking with the Dinosaurs: A BBC documentary. I guess I turned out to be pretty lame, and the child me would be disapointed to see the adult that I have become. I spent my childhood and youth wishing I would hurry up and grow up, and now that I'm grown up, I wish for some of that youthful exuberance I once had. Well, in reality my teenage years were not necessarily always so exuberant. From what I recall I believe I slept until three on most days. These days if I sleep until nine I'm shocked. Today Payto was up at 5:30. The joys of parenthood. But another irony is that I have often found that as I parent, it is my children who give me insight and strength, rather than the other way around.
For example, this weekend I drove out to the lake and back by myself. I have always been able to fanangle a ride with someone else, but this time, there was no one else. So there I was, loading up the vehicle at seven a.m, dragging my sleepy, pajama laden children out into the vehicle, trying to mask my nervousness and anxiety for the kids sake. I feigned enthusiasm as I pulled out of the garage "Let's hit the highway!" I said to the kids, but basically I thought I might vomit. "Fake it til you make it" is a saying that sometimes come to mind. Sometimes you have to pretend to be stronger than you are for the sake of the kids, and then somewhere along the way, you realize that you actually are stronger than you thought! Anyways, my first highway experience turned out to be all right. It is a good feeling to know that I can do it.
And as if conquering that fear wasn't enough, I had to face another one soon upon returning home: The dentist, AKA sadistic, drill wielding mother f'ers. I hate going to the dentist. Even if they don't even do anything. It's just their scrapers and their pickers and pokers and the way gauze feels and tastes in your mouth and the coppery taste of blood in your own mouth. Argh. It makes me uneasy just to think about it. But it was really my children who taught me a lesson. Last month I took the kids to the dentist, and of course, they had cavities, how could they not with the amount of junk food they eat. The ratio is probably something like for every thirty pounds of sugar they ingest, they spend thirty seconds brushing thier teeth. And then I was so nervous for them to have thier cavities filled. Seeing them in the big dentist chair with the overlight glaring into their faces just about broke my heart. I was thinking they were going to cry, scream, try to writhe free. But they didn't. They just sat there. Perfectly calm. And I realized I was the only one who wasn't calm. I was projecting my own fears onto them. So that caused me to think about how irrational my own fears are then, if a three year old can sit there for half an hour and have her teeth worked on with nary a complaint. So this time when I went to the dentist, it was really the image of my kids that kept me in the dentist chair. If they can do it, then so can I. And besides, I got a free toothbrush out of the deal, so it was pretty good. It's a pretty nice toothbrush, and so far it has been working out well, thought I'm not sure about the long run.
Other than that, things are going well with the pregnancy. I am getting bigger, and it hard to imagine that I still have two more months of growing ahead of me. Yikes. But it's all good. I try not to complain about being pregnant. I remember once when I was in Superstore about three days after Payton was born. This chic ahead of my was hugely pregnant and complaining to her friend that "I just can't wait until this baby is born so I can finally get some sleep!" I almost choked and fell to the floor. I just thought "Man. I would switch places with you right now in a heartbeat. Maybe you are sleeping poorly now, but poorly is better than not at all, which is pretty much what you're going to get once that little sucker is born and it's round the clock feeding, burping and diapering." There I was buying Motrin and Tylenol, chocolate and caffeine, trying to keep my poor body going despite seventy two hours of very fragmented amounts of sleep. So, as I said, I try not to complain. The miracle of having a newborn is truly a miracle, but at the same time, I won't overglorify it. At times, it can plain out suck. Well, on that note. I have to be going now.

1 comment:

Lorrie said...

I times being an adult sucks but I'd way rather have money and a car than a snotty nose and skinned knees!!!! Sometimes I look at Greyson and think, "that must suck to be entertained by a red plastic ball" but then again it's the true epitome of innocence.
I'm very proud of your first highway journey and the trip to the tooth Devil. You are a very smart woman to delve that much into a trip to the Dentist. That's not mocking either...facing a huge fear - two in fact- for your kids is what being a Mom is all about. Now in order to live up to that I must start sleeping without a nightlight, haha!!!!!!