The care and feeding of grown-ups

Parents eat like hunted animals. Right when the way you behave at the table is most important because you have these charming little simian creatures trying desperately to learn every habit and nuance from you, you start shoveling it like a tree sloth on a bender and cooking everything in a faulty toaster oven.

With toddlers, there is just no time for basic functions anymore.

You also lose the right to use a toilet. Most dads might not understand this, but moms certainly do. Suddenly, there’s just no time to go. Someone is banging on the door outside, likely with a large steak knife since he’s been unattended long enough to remove all the socket protectors and butcher the cat. You know, long enough for you to enter the bathroom and sit down.

Or the toddler is instead practicing how to escape from the play yard, fracture his skull, and get bitten by the cat just in time to try to help you wipe.

The weirdest part of becoming a parent is the first day you opt not to go at all because, you know, it’s just too much effort. Really, who has the energy for dealing with the logistics of keeping a child intact while stepping out for a long stretch of two to three minutes?

Another surreal point is when you finally opt not to eat lunch at all, because not eating would be much more relaxing than policing two small kids wielding sticky jam and major attitudes while you’re trying to jam cold chicken nuggets down your throat. Again.

And that’s when you know your life has been just a wee bit hijacked.

The most disappointing moment, at least for me, is when you realize your former childless self’s dream of bringing your sophisticated offspring to restaurants has been squelched, and it’s just not worth it anymore.

No fun. At all.

Except maybe you’ll get to use the bathroom while someone else watches your kids.

–Jillian O’Connor