Upon giving birth, my usual list of worries was replaced by a list of grave fears. What was once no big deal suddenly became a huge deal. Like, what if I forget to clean the dryer vent and it starts a fire while we are napping or what if we run out of Organic Baby Shampoo and I am forced to rub my child’s pristine scalp with carcinogens? I often wonder what my daughter will worry about if she has children and think about what my own Mom worried about when we were little. With social media breathing down our necks every second and a sanctimommy lurking around every corner just waiting to judge, motherhood has become something that you MUST excel at, no matter the circumstance. My Mom recently told me that when I was little, kids just played. That’s just what we did. We went outside with our bikes and our friends and came back at lunch or dinner. Parents were not checking in with other parents to make sure they only served organic carrots at a play date. Hell, we were eating raw hot dogs at everyone’s houses all of the time and that was OK! Do we “over-parent” kids now or are times now different with more things to worry about? Let’s take a look at some of the differences. Continue reading
Simply put, here is a morning that I hope to never repeat. Ever.
- Car has unidentified issue (involving some unexpected bucking and then shutting off completely), bring to dealership, afraid to drive it further.
- Get inside dealership and child promptly pees in her pants. Luckily (and shockingly), I actually have extra pants and underwear with me.
- In dealership bathroom trying to change child without her doing stuff like licking the handrail or putting her fingers in her ears because she is afraid of the automatic flush on the toilet. All the while, someone is knocking on the door with the urgency of massive diarrhea.
- Discover I have just gotten my period and have nothing with me for that situation. Toilet paper it is. Still unsure as to how I carry a station wagon sized bag and nary a tampon can be found inside but if in a pinch and you need 700 pens, I am your woman.
- Need loaner car. Which is about 10 miles away (in LA this is equivalent to about 2 hours). Have to take everything out of our car and get driven to the loaner place. Discover that loaner car employees are not allowed to help install car seats – this could not be any more unhelpful. Take car seat out of our car and put into dealership shuttle. Take car seat out of shuttle and lug into loaner place. Sweating like a farm animal. I hate the car seat.
- Child needs to go to the bathroom the minute we get to loaner place. Bathroom smells and looks like a zoo. To be exact, it looks like something from a horror movie. I want to die.
- Replace my toilet paper situation while child makes a PSA about the blood. Surely all loaner car employees hear what is going on in bathroom through the paper-thin door. Child then takes the opportunity to announce, “It smells like dog poop in here.” in her loudest voice. I can’t blame her, she is right.
- Wait for loaner car for an ungodly amount of time. Child running around like a maniac in waiting area…which is fiiiiilllllthy, btw. I spend my time avoiding the magazines which have undoubtedly been in the bathroom at some point, ensuring child hasn’t found an old M&M on the floor and is about to pop it into her mouth and making sure I am not sitting on unidentified stains on the upholstered waiting room chairs.
- Nobody has eaten lunch and we are out of snacks. Briefly consider buying Fritos and a Coke from vending machine but decide the better of it since I wasn’t about to go back into the bathroom to wash hands and since Fritos might give ME diarrhea and I would be forced back into that hell hole bathroom…and since I hate Fritos, I decided to pass. The last thing I need is diarrhea.
- Loaner car employee finally shows us loaner car (which is parked in the back corner of the lot under a massive tree that is home to every bird in LA) – a peach colored vehicle circa 1994 (this is an estimated color and year since the car itself is coooooovered with bird poop, rendering it impossible to identify) and gives us the lowdown on the hoe down on any scratches or dents on outside (also impossible to see through bird poop situation).
- Turns car on to show us how to use it. Horrified because car sounds like it doesn’t have muffler. Employee gets out to explain more about car while I just stare at his lips moving through the blue smoke that is pouring from tailpipe and hold back laughter because I cannot hear one word he is saying over the sound of blasting unmufflered car. Car sounds like it is idling at 8 RPMs and may explode any minute.
- Child begins crying because of the noise – and smoke.
- Loaner employee reminds me that this is a non-smoking car as I open door to find it looks like a 4 pack-a-day smoker has been using the front seats as an ashtray for the past 20 years. Seats are burned up with holes and reek of smoke.
- Screaming over the roaring engine, I ask if I will be charged for fire damage to the front seats of the non-smoking car.
- Install car seat for 10th time that day. Throw our shit in the trunk (which is surprisingly and miraculously odorless) and get the hell out of there.
*Side note, when pulling up to stop sign or red light, the car goes from a roaring engine to puttering like it is juuuuuuuuust about to stall at any second. Had to keep revving engine when stopped. As if peach bird shit mobile wasn’t ridiculous enough, I could feel the stares as I revved the engine repeatedly while next to stopped cars at red lights. I imagined myself screaming “WHAT? YOU WANT A PIECE OF THIS??????” and then stalling out as other car left me in the dust.