Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Four Stages of A Nobody's Life

Nobody’s Opinion: Here is the very simple vision of life that most people have, if they have truly been blessed.

You’re born, you have a wonderful time as a kid, you grow up, get lots of sex, get to drink beer, and then you die very quickly. If you’re lucky you don’t have to die with diapers on, and you leave lots of money behind that makes everyone happy.

Piece of cake.

This picture’s title was, “The Four Stages of Life.”

With me, it’s more the “Four Stages of Insanity.”

Some people, it seems to be after reading Denise Noe's recent interesting thoughts on MND called "Breadwinner or Stay at Home Parent?" think raising kids was easy, wonderful---
A job to DIE for.

REALLY?

Oh my God…I had NO idea that I was such a mess. Actually, compared to everyone else, I should have been committed.

It’s a wonder my kid is half way normal: certainly it’s not due to his mother.

But come on guys, you must be kidding me. No one remembers the “Aaaw…I am on the most important phone call of my life, and my kid just fell off his bike and his head is cut open and I’m NOT suppose to sound hysterical?”

Or…in my case, I would be RIGHT in the middle of recording a song for a client and my kid would burst into the room and say, “I can’t get the Nintendo to work!” and I would have to start all over--only to have him come back into the room five minutes later and say the same thing.

Or…how do I keep awake all night when two five-year-old boys decide they are going to explore the neighborhood when I fall asleep, and one has the internal circadian
rhythm of a horny night owl on speed? And I have to work the next day?

I have tried to forget the bad points of spending all day with children, day in and day out, day in and day out…with no breaks…(I was a single mom for fourteen years) and as we all know… the good stuff that comes out makes the bad days bearable.

BUT…having said that… I do remember losing the ability for at least four years of my life, of being able to have an adult conversation.

That complete embarrassment when you are finally in a room full of adults and you realize your brain has actually atrophied back to the age of four, and the pitch of your voice is an octave above high C, and you have been talking about whether Luke Skywalker really means to have sex with his sister, because he kissed her, and if incest in the Skywalker family would be a good thing?

You realize that your adult brain, hopefully is on ice and can be thawed later…you hope.

Kids are the reason for life. They are life.

But let’s NOT even talk about the millions of dishes you have to wash, the beds to make, the laundry to do, the endless boring, boring, boring conversations with other parents about how wonderful THEIR kids are at all the baseball games, when you want to tell them to “snap out of it” their kid is really stupid.

And how for the whole month of June, you have fed their kid three meals a day, and watched their son’s hand become glued to your son’s video controller which he is now STILL holding at YOUR house…

And this mother does not know your name, the name of your child, or the fact that their little Brian is STILL at your house asleep in your son’s bunk bed, so he could get up later and call her just to say, “I’ll be home tomorrow.”

And he doesn’t leave until tomorrow night, because the parents have gone fishing.

I remember every single Sunday, going to play five rounds of putt-putt to be followed by seven games of bowling at the same local places for twelve straight years…only to find out that my son…at 28 has no memory whatsoever of doing any of it.…no memory at all.

He thinks he got that fabulous bowling ring for bowling three perfect games of 300 in a row from some ancient bowling ancestor on his father’s side.

I also remember actually getting hooked on Bert and Ernie, and thinking they had more sense then most of the world, and began looking to them for philosophical inspiration.

I remember getting more excited about FINALLY getting to rest with a Dr. Seuss book, after working all day, than my kid did. Sometimes I would read the book over just for the sheer enjoyment of not having to worry about anything.

Then there was the time I sang “Rocky Raccoon” about 2,100 times driving to Florida from Missouri just because I was trying to entertain a one- year-old, who thought it was just about the coolest song ever written…all 59 verses of it. “Again.” “Again.” “Again.”

And diaper hell. Yes…I remember what it felt like to live in diaper hell. Right after birth, its okay…you’re just so happy they are alive! But give it some time.

My diaper hell was so bad I had visions of blowing up diaper pails with sticks of dynamite.

And I only had one kid.

God is merciful. God is wise. He knew if I had any more than that I would have completely lost it.

Some people are just natural parents. Cleaning, and cooking, and sitting around for hours watching endless TV is all so very great.

And the memories are priceless.

BUT…much of it is very, very, very, very, very, VERY repetitious

Boredom starts to look exciting.

Sitting around a playground on a sunny day, watching the little ones run and play to some might sound like a day right out of the perfect life.

And that’s great…if you have nothing else to do.

Babies take a lot of patience, care, nurturing, and completely unselfish sacrifice…
And they also require endless days of sometimes very boring tasks.

And if you have ANY kind of a brain…it WILL sometimes torture you.

Which is why it’s best done in pairs. God knew this.

I once heard some line somewhere in a movie…I think it was John Travolta that said it to a little kid… where he said, “It was daddy’s job was to make sure mommy didn’t go crazy.”

Let’s face it, being with little kids all day long is not exactly as stimulating as being able to solve an engineering problem with a work buddy, write a song, discuss politics with a professor at lunch…or even play golf with your buddies.

It’s not like working a full day, with adults, doing jobs you can pat yourself on the back for...

Because with kids…you sometimes don’t get to see the results of your “project” until they reach maturity, which lately, might not even come before YOU die.

Maybe my problem is that I don’t like beer. If I had liked the “beer” stage I would be just like all the happy campers who think child rising is the easiest thing on earth. Beer would have put my brain on a nice bearable float.

But it looks like pee...and you see lots of that raising kids.

If I ever get a grandchild, I’m taking up golf, mountain climbing, river rafting, tennis, and maybe wart-hog hunting.

The grand kidswill just have to keep up with me.

Well….I might be persuaded to read Harry Potter….or Peter Pan…

Climb a couple of trees…go to the zoo…

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