Today it occurred to me that I am not your usual parent. Even better, it occurred to me that there is no such thing as a usual parent; that, in fact, parents who pretend to be usual parents are bald-faced liars and a discredit to us all. Okay, so in the interest of keeping the authorities off my tail I will state right here and now that I love my children, and that in my opinion they are two of the niftiest little people I have ever had occasion to meet. Still, this does not inspire in me a burning need to do nothing with my life beyond pouring juice and pushing swings until my palms bleed. If you think that's obvious, guess again. There's a pressing, insidious equation out there that links motherhood and inanity, and what's more, whispers that if you are not happy with the dull and tedious, you had better take a long hard look at what's important, missy. Well. I'm here to say I am way off the mark. I love my children, but I do not love: diapers, spilled juice, crying at four o'clock in the morning, discipline tactics, plans gone hopelessly awry, broken toys, clogged bath drains or food allergies. There! I said it. And I'll say something else. I do love traveling, hiking on non-child-friendly trails, movies for adults, swear words, spicy food and privacy. Especially privacy.

I have often had the thought that if people knew what they were doing when they decided to have children, there would be no people. I guess this marks me as someone not quite cut out for the job. That may well be true, but here I am, and here they are, so when life hands out the lemons it's time to make lemonade (but not in your pants, unless you have Pull-ups on, and not if you've already made lemonade once in the Pull-ups during your nap, in which case the Pull-ups will not hold the lemonade, and it will soak into the cushions of the couch).

Did I intend to start off sounding like such a malcontent? Well, I didn't really intend it. But maybe it's best to start off at a low point; then I'll have room to climb into a more respectable place.

Yes, yes, I love my children. All the same, tomorrow I'm going camping. Deep in the woods. Without them.

No comments: