I have a confession.
I have no idea what I’m doing with this whole parenting thing, and whatever I’m doing doesn’t seem to be working right now.
I want to quit being a mom.
There it is. My deep dark secret.
Or perhaps my greatest fantasy.
Please understand I have no ill will toward my kids; I just want a life free from teen eye rolls; homework battles; trips to the doctor that involve stitches, splints or casts; and dogs with turbo diarrhea.
It doesn’t have to be an entire lifetime; I’d settle for just a week without that stuff.
In retrospect, the terrible-twos stage was no big deal, but the annoying-adolescent stage is kicking my butt.
The last three days have been especially bruising. Just to set the record the straight, the recent Internet frenzy surrounding “Kim K’s butt” has nothing to do with me.
Kim Keller, Kim Kardashian. I see how people might get confused.
My recent butt-kicking started Monday when the family dogs discovered and devoured a bag of chocolate under one of the kids’ beds. My offspring are well aware that food is not allowed in bedrooms thanks to a Jolly Rancher-inspired ant invasion a few years ago. They also know not to leave stuff on the floor when your dogs have used Star Wars figures and feminine hygiene products as chew toys.
But it happened.
The dogs were locked in the laundry room because of intense chocolate-fueled vomiting and diarrhea. I couldn’t leave them outside because:
- Canada finally had enough of Texas and deployed an arctic cold front to take the hot air out of our politicians.
- There is a neighborhood hawk with a taste for fuzzy little bunnies and frou-frou lap dogs.
I can’t take them to the vet because our last episode with chocolate poisoning racked up an $800 bill to save the little frou-frou one from a $2 box of Valentine truffles. So I’ve been praying. And feeding them toast. And cleaning floors. For three days.
A few hours after the dogs’ initial explosion, one of my children came limping home from school and testified during dinner about how the human ankle can snap like a cheap plastic ruler when it encounters the gym floor at the wrong angle.
An evening trip to the local emergency room revealed the kid managed to chip off bone sections during a basketball lay-up gone horribly wrong. Twenty four hours later, a referral to a well-paid orthopedist confirmed the diagnosis. The kid is spending the next two weeks with a 10-pound boot Velcro-ed to his right leg.
The saga wrapped up last night with Boot Boy going boneless and gasping for breath when he was told to turn off the video games and start homework. And last, but not least, there was the very one-sided “why are you following this jerk on Instagram?” discussion with my teenager and the vigorous eye rolling that should have popped her eyeballs clean out of their sockets.
After putting the kids to bed last night, I cried for a good 20 minutes. And mopped the floor again. No great spiritual truth came to me, nor did I look fondly upon my sleeping children and remember them as precious little ones. I was too ticked off. I had to acknowledge I had just experienced a series of very crappy days, and the feelings of disrespect, annoyance and exhaustion were real.
Things were slightly better this morning. The dogs have recovered from their gastrointestinal battle, and I was able to bathe them and return their fur to its natural state of white fluffiness rather than matted brown splotchiness. I called my husband, who is currently freezing his rear end off in Minnesota on a business trip, and told him I have instituted a new rule that essentially says our kids don’t know squat and I’m the smartest person in the house. He agreed.
It’s now 3:30 p.m., and the kids will be home in 15 minutes. Rooms will be cleaned, homework will be completed, phones and iPods will be checked, and limbs will be encased in Bubble Wrap. Why? Because I can never quit being a mom.