Less than a week ago I wrote a blog post declaring stay-at-home-parenthood to be a walk in the park, leaving me time for this, that, and the next. Then, as is fitting, I disappeared from the blogosphere for five days. You see, things got busy. Life has given me some kind of karmic comeuppance for my blithe commentary, reminding me that – as I should have known already – it’s never good to get cocky. In the span of just a few days, I have learned many new things about my life as a parent. I have compiled just a few of these things in the following list that I’ll call “Things I Can’t Do”:
- Graphic design. Even the really basic kind. I kind of already knew this, which is why I paid someone in Australia $12 US dollars to design an awesome Cat in the Hat-themed invitation for the boys’ upcoming first birthday. I sent a copy of the invite to a friend of mine – who eagerly offered to lend us her party-planning expertise. Within moments (I swear), she was sending me mock-ups of matching thank you cards, party favor tags, cupcake toppers – all of which she had designed in mere moments using – get this – Microsoft Word. What?? I thought I was paying for a specialized skill, not something that I could have done on even my ancient, Windows Vista-ized laptop. Mom fail.
- Anything in the kitchen, when the boys are awake. I didn’t know it at the time, but the days when your babies haven’t yet learned to crawl, pull up, or walk are the glory days of early parenthood. In those days, when I needed to cook dinner, I would put them in the corner of the kitchen with a stack of plastic mixing bowls and a few spoons, and they would sit there, happy, for at least a good ten minutes (giving me time to worry “why aren’t they crawling yet?!?”) as I chopped vegetables. Now, they’re moving, in two different directions, of course, unless they have instead decided to make me immobile by each grabbing one of my legs and pulling up on it while I’m standing in front of the sink. They’re still really wobbly on their feet, so when they pull up on my yoga pants, nearly pantsing me in the process, I can’t move, lest one of them tumble backward and take his brother down with him. I have to stop whatever I’m doing and carefully hinge myself at the hips, loosen each baby’s grip and help him down, one at a time, so that I can take two steps over to the stove, where they’ll bum-scoot over to me and we’ll start the process all over again. Needless to say, I have abandoned the idea of actually cooking dinner, in favor of sandwiches at 9:30 pm.
- Two things at once (even when one of them doesn’t require me to actually DO anything). I’ve spent a lot of time in the last week on spring cleaning (as though we aren’t expecting 5-10 cm of snow today – which we are). My overhead pot rack was covered in a layer of kitchen grime, so on Saturday night, chanelling my inner Martha Stewart, I detached it from the ceiling and put it in my big laundry sink to soak overnight.
The next morning, when the boys were busy pantsing my husband as he made breakfast, I went down to the basement and hurriedly put a load of laundry in the washer. The two events don’t sound like they should be connected, but they are…
A couple of hours later I was grumbling to myself as I cleaned up the breakfast mess in the kitchen. “Where is that husband?” I muttered. “He’s left such a mess!” Turns out he was in the basement, cleaning up the flood I had caused by failing to empty the utility sink, which – I had forgotten – is where our washing machine drains. A full washer’s load of dirty water can wreak significant havoc on a basement and its contents. Suddenly the baked-on scrambled eggs on the stove didn’t seem like such a big deal.
So once again parenthood as taught me that I have no business becoming even somewhat confident that I might have things under control. Rest assured, I do not. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a pile of wet boxes to salvage and a still-soaking pot rack to scrub. Maybe I’ll put on a belt – at least that way the boys can’t pants me while I’m doing it.
Post script: WordPress is recommending One Direction as a tag for this post?!? Of course I had to investigate. After a few minutes of internet research I learned that Harry Styles (by far the cutest of the One Direction bunch, if you ask me – which no one is, as I am way too old for all of them) was pantsed by one of his bandmates, and this is apparently a bit of an internet sensation. I sincerely hope footage of me getting pantsed by my twins never makes its way to the internet.