Sunday, November 25, 2007
A Short List of Things I Thought I Really Liked and Then I Had Kids
Bananas: Bananas used to seem pretty perfect: tasty, nutritious, portable, neatly portioned. I failed to realize that, when mashed into clothing and allowed to dry, bananas turn into a vile, staining, brown-black substance not dissimilar to tar heroin that will ruin your child's outfit forever and ever. Which begs the question: does anyone know of a tar heroin forum where I could get some good stain-fighting tips?
Elaborate infant clothes: Sure, that adorable ensemble of separates is cute, but you try cramming a sleepy, limp-necked infant into a shirt, pants, booties, bonnet, and matching capelet. Not worth it, my friend. When Ellie was born, I brought the most adorable going-home outfit to the hospital. It was a white suit printed with tiny, pink farm animals and French(!) cursive and came with a matching embroidered jacket and bonnet. And getting her into the whole thing required the efforts of two parents, two maternity nurses, and one grandmother because HOLY HELL did she scream. Not worth it. I needed to be medicated after they coaxed me down from the ceiling.
Babar: In my hazy, stardust memory, I loved this book. But, you see, I was remembering the illustrations (which are quite lovely) and the quaint, Frenchy style of the whole thing. The story itself is five kinds of crazy. Don't believe me? Go get "The Story of Babar" right now and try reading it to a three-year-old. Elephant slaughter? Check. Orphaned elephant gets taken in by much, much older Parisian sugar momma? Check. Accidental death by overdose of psychotropic mushrooms? Cousin marriage? Icky colonialist overtones? Check, check, and check.
School uniforms: Is there anything cuter than a little gaggle of wee children in wee matching uniforms with their tiny plaid skirts and tiny navy cardigans and starchy white shirts? No, there is not. That said, HAVE YOU PRICED PRIVATE SCHOOLS LATELY? Gawd. The magic is gone.
Maple-brown sugar oatmeal: Used to love it. My small daughter loved it. Then I had to prepare that oatmeal for months of winter mornings while I dry-heaved into the kitchen sink with a wicked case of morning sickness. Maple smell = vomit = just kill me now.
Dogs: OK, I never really liked dogs that much. I've liked, even loved, select dogs, dogs that I've built a special relationship with, but I'm not a huge fan of general dog-dom. And after having two kids, I'm way worse. I am just too emotionally exhausted to spend my precious extracurricular time petting something or tending to even more excrement or telling something to sit! get down! sit! get down right this minute or else! sit! get down! down! Moreover, the asshat at the park who leaves his dog off-leash so it can careen into my tottering baby has been riding my last nerve. So really, this list item should be called Asshat Dog Owner.
Tiny socks: What could be cuter than school uniforms? Little, tiny baby socks. Which, sadly, are only good for one or two wears before they are lost in the great laundry cycle of life for all eternity and must be constantly replenished at Target. I know that complaining about losing socks in the wash makes me a sad, sad cliché and I'm deeply sorry about that, but WHERE THE HELL DO THESE THINGS GO? Baby socks are tiny little scraps of nothing. Are they antimatter? I don't know. Maybe Steven Hawking does.
Disposable income and free time: Wait. Um, noooo. I still really like those things.