Shell of the person she once was

Everyone knows children change you. But in my case, I’m ruined. Ruined, I tell you!

Wanna know eight ways in which I am totally wrecked now that I have kids?

8. I can’t do just one thing at a time.
It’s simply not possible any more to just read or cook or go to the bathroom. I have to run over mental to-do lists and gauge how long I have before one of the children loses it while I try to read, and I must dodge in front of the baby to snatch whatever crumbs he finds while I try to cook food for the family plus several special requests for the older child. And the one time this week I went to the bathroom without holding someone, yelling at someone, listening carefully for someone, or preparing to go stop someone, I was done and washed in 30 seconds flat. I used to use the office restroom as my locked-door-where-nobody-can-see-me-close-my-eyes-and-breathe-for-ten-seconds haven. Now I hold my breath and rush through so often that force of habit made me miss this week’s only solo effort.

7. I can’t ignore bugs.
I’m not a bug person. I paid my brother to collect bugs for me when Biology class mandated a bug murder-and-display project. But now that I have children I can’t let a bug go by without stooping down to check it out, point out its details, and wonder about its diet. Sometimes Peanut asks about a bug, but more often I’m distracting one or both boys from all manner of childish b.s. and need to point them to something unusual. So critters who used to make me shudder are now members of my emergency “please-let-me-make-it-through-today-and-I’ll-give-money-to-local-entomologists” toolkit.

6. I have amazing biceps.
Two children with long-term separation anxiety issues equals 5 years of lifting heavy weights. They don’t fit with the rest of my body at all, so I’m freakishly distorted now (aside from the typical post-pregnancy distortions none of which have I escaped).

5. I can’t see a garbage truck without looking around excitedly for a child.
It doesn’t even matter if I’m away from my own children. When I see or hear a garbage truck I get all frenzied hoping I can make someone appreciate this amazing (huh?), unusual (what?), scintillating (who are you?) sight.

4. Slightly more embarrassing is my new, post-child reaction to fire engines.
I grin and wave and talk excitedly about the differences between a pumper, tiller rig, rear-mount aerial ladder, and snorkel truck. Last week I went for a walk without the boys and realized only when I saw the reactions from the firefighters that I was waving and smiling while completely alone.

3. Clients seem a lot more reasonable.
After negotiating cataclysms in which sandwiches were cut rather than left whole, adults removed shoes from a comfortably shod child, protein is poison and little bodies claim to need only sugar to survive, and waitstaff are tipped heavily for the mounds of food on the floor beneath high chairs, clients who want a quicker turnaround or want additional iterations seem downright fair even when they don’t say, “please.”

2. I can’t vacuum without warning the household, even if I’m alone.
Every child goes through vacuum issues. Mine adore the vacuum and fight over who gets to be held aloft to steer with me. If I ever turn on the vacuum without making sure its dance card is properly allocated, I don’t hear the end of it for days. So I warn the cat about the noise and ask who wants to help. Even if it’s 11:00pm and nobody around me cares.

Everything is different now, but the biggest change, the most significant reason I am ruined now that I’ve had children:

1. I cannot pass by even one festive decoration without stopping and grinning. I didn’t even know I had it in my heart that is two sizes too small, but I’m fascinated and entranced by twinkly lights. Glitter makes me giggle. Streamers lighten my day. And its all their fault. As infants they made me look up. As toddlers they made me explain why. And as adults, they’re gonna pay.

Because I’m wrecked. They’ve ruined me.

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12 thoughts on “Shell of the person she once was

  1. No one shits faster than I do. That’s a fact. Know why? Because with three kids and one of them a “Highly Sensitive Child” and another a “Train Wreck” there is no time for leisurely pooing. When my husband goes into the bathroom and is there longer than 40 seconds, I get angry and have to ball up my fists to keep from shouting at the closed door, “THAT’S ENOUGH POO TIME!”

    • Tara, I know we’re almost neighbors, but stop retyping the stuff I scream at my husband.
      Seriously, I wasn’t willing to go there but I’m glad you did. I get mad when he doesn’t have to pinch it off for several hours. Cuz I do. One Highly Spirited and one Havoc Wreaker. You know. I know you know.

  2. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    I keep white xmas lights on my faux ficus tree year round 24-7. I love coming home to my sparkly tree and if I get up in the middle of the night for water, I don’t have to turn on lights. Yeah, I talk to the damn thing too. If it ever talks back, I’ll pull the plug.

    I’m totally gonna giggle for the next few days at the leisurely shitting I take for granted.

  3. Ah, the personal satisfaction in being the one to first spot the cement mixers and point them out to the little monsters.
    And yes, gender-based poo injustice is a fact in my house, too.

  4. This made me laugh out loud!

    You know what I did last February to pass a snow day with a bored KDGer? Cut out pink and red hearts from construction paper. And decorated them. With glitter glue. And HUNG THEM UP.

  5. Remember when we used to have dinner parties and experiment with interesting recipes that called for things like Black Mustard Seed or Saffron? Now I am into experimenting with play-doh color combo’s and yes, making sure everyone see’s the trash truck when it comes every Tuesday. It always helps if the trash truck comes during a tantrum.

  6. Damn, Nap! Your list didn’t even include the messed up diet you enduring because of butter. No wonder you have to pinch off the poop session. You are trying to pass rope, sister. That is about seven kinds of wrong.

    My husband jokes that I must be returning to my primate roots when I stop and stare at sparkly shit. ‘Cause my full ride scholarship to graduate school brain isn’t worth shit anymore. And the sparkles are so pretty.

    And my dear, don’t worry about announcing all kinds of odd things when no one is around. At least you are not talking to yourself, yet.

  7. I am glad I read this post AFTER the post that was published after this one.

    Yes, seeing the world through a child’s eye is a joy and brings newfound wonders.

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