There comes a time in our lives when we must face the cold hard truth. After years of trying to avoid the inevitable, it is finally a reality. We have become our parents. And there really is nothing we can do about it. Read along for 16 ways in which this has happened to me:
1. “When I Was Your Age….”
My dad had a story that he liked to tell us when we were young. It was something about him walking up a hill in the middle of a snowstorm while delivering groceries. I don’t recall if he was wearing shoes, but there is a definite possibility that he wasn’t. Oh, and he was five years old at the time. I think of my dad when I tell my four year old daughter similar sob stories. Take snow days, for instance. In my day, they didn’t exist. It snowed. You went to school. End of story. I tell her how lucky she is to get a day off the very moment a snowflake falls to the ground. When I was her age, I walked to school once in four feet of snow (okay it could have been four inches, but at that age I had no concept of the metric system). My daughter looks at me with the same indifferent look that I always gave my father. With this memory, I move on. Kids will never get it.
2. “You Call That Music?”
There was always some kind of argument in the car as soon as the radio went on. Usually it revolved around how sucky our music was. I am not even going to get into what happened if, God forbid, any lyrics happened to be sexual in nature. I got yelled at for that too. As if I wrote the song. My parents grew up with the greats. They worshipped Sinatra. Loved the Beatles. Fast forward to today, I understand my parents’ nostalgia. I often yearn for the greats of my time. I grew up listening to Madonna, The Beastie Boys and Nirvana. They were my faves; and my children are getting exposure to them too. Although my daughter would much rather wander around the house belting out “Let it Go”. And that’s okay. For now.
3. No Sleep Again. Ever
Almost five years ago we brought our daughter home from the hospital. Almost five years ago is the last time I had a good night sleep. There must be some kind of connection. I call it parenthood. My dad says he hasn’t slept in fifty years. At least I have that to look forward to.
I remember getting annoyed when my parents confused my sister’s name with mine. It got so bad that, at one point, I just started responding to her name instead of my own. It was easier that way. I was always so great with names. That was, until I became a parent. Now, I frequently call my son by his sister’s name. And vice versa. They better get used to it as their mommy isn’t getting any younger. I am lucky I can remember to put my pants on in the morning.
5. I May Just Get A Fanny Pack
The day my mom bought a fanny pack, I was absolutely mortified. Now, looking back, I think she was on to something. A simple way to attach all my belongings as I am chasing my kids around the park? Yes, please! Much better than my cumbersome diaper bag. I will be purchasing one tomorrow.
6. Eyeglasses. With String. Worn Around Neck
This was how my parents wore their glasses. I used to laugh at them. They told me I should get the same as I was always misplacing my own eyeglasses. I would laugh again. They now have the last laugh as I constantly have no idea where I put my glasses from one moment to the next. I am almost positive that this is due to the forgetfulness for which I am suffering. I am making my own string tomorrow and will be putting them on my glasses. They will go on my night table every night. Right next to my fanny pack.
7. “Everybody Hurts”
My parents used to complain a lot about body aches and such. I used to think that they were just whining. According to my dad his “whole body was falling apart.” I didn’t quite understand this whole concept until I turned thirty- five or so. At the end of the day, I often feel as if I just ran the NYC marathon. I also get frequent headaches and backaches. And my feet hurt. Getting old is fun!
8. I Embarrass My Offspring
My mom used to sing very loud in church. She was also prone to being the first person to get up and do the “Electric Slide” at weddings. I used to go hide in a corner and pretend that I didn’t know her. Recently, I was in the car with my daughter and belted out Bon Jovi’s “Living On a Prayer.” My little girl wasn’t amused. First she was angry. Then, she burst into tears. I guess I shouldn’t have bothered.
9. New Year’s Eve is Amateur Night
My dad, typically a night owl, would go to his room around 8 PM every December 31st. As if in protest. For me, 9 PM is pushing it. I have no desire to go to Times Square either. I am perfectly content in bed with a good book. And with kids that sleep through the night.
My mom loved her naps. They are magical if and when you can get them. At any age. Enough said.
11. I Lie to My Poor Children
One day, as we were driving in the car, my brother expressed an interest in going to his favorite restaurant. The one with the arcade and game room. My mother said it burnt down. Years later, I found out it wasn’t true; she simply didn’t want to take us. Last summer, on a hot day, my daughter begged me to take her to the sprinklers at the park. I told her that there was a water shortage and they were closed that day. It was just too hot to go out. And I was lazy. I felt bad, but at least we got to stay cool indoors.
12. I Have Gone out in Public While Wearing My Kids Bodily Fluids
As a sleep deprived new mommy, it is often a challenge to even get out the door. My mom shrugged one day when I asked her how many times she was thrown up on. It was just too many times to count. Both my kids had reflux. Sometimes, I was just too tired to change the shirt after they spit up on me. After awhile, it didn’t even faze me.
13. Stay in School
Yes, the whole speech was kind of annoying, but my parents were right. I never took schooling that seriously; it was more like an annoying job to me. I want my own children to always be learning; no matter what path they choose. I am always trying to challenge them. As their world grows, I will continue to do the same.
14. Relaxation is a Thing of the Past
To me, the vision is very clear. I am lounging on a chair on a beautiful tropical island with a little cocktail in my hand. Then I wake up. Relaxation ends the moment you become a parent. Worrying becomes your new best friend.
15. Fast Food Kind of Sucks
It was always such a treat on those days we got to go through that glorious drive-thru. My parents always wanted to know how we ate that garbage. My mother wouldn’t even get a coffee in one of those places. They were right about this too. I had better learn how to cook.
16. If I Could Trade Places With You I Would
I will never forget having this discussion with my mom at around nine years old. She told me that if your child was sick or in pain you wished you could take it away from them. And have it be you instead. I laughed and wanted to know if she had wished it was her that time when I was up all night vomiting. She said yes. Whenever my own kids are sick, I agree with this more and more. It is what being a parent is all about. And I wouldn’t change it for anything.