Monday, June 25, 2012

Strange New Feelings of Responsibility, or, My Saturday

As I write, I am operating on approximately 3.9 hours of sleep and I am anticipating a day of birthday parties. Three to be exact. Each approximately an hour away from home and an hour away from each other.

This morning-- after baby had been awake...and asleep...and awake from 12am to 3am-- I found myself thinking: "I don't know why I am trying to go to all of these parties, especially with a kid in tow."

I mean, it's not like she or I are the guests of honor at any of these soirees, though I'm sure at least one of us would be a very welcome addition to each gathering, and it's not like the party hostesses wouldn't understand my lack of enthusiasm over driving nearly one hundred and fifty miles round trip, with said child in tow.

Then it came to me. Before my child was born I would have happily said "F*** it" and stayed at home, or chosen one party to go to and stay at, or just done whatever else struck my fancy. But now, I have come to realize another sad truth about parenting: now matter how much we mold them to work within our world, our kids run the show.

You might be thinking "Pshaw, I'm not that way at all I would have done it anyway, and besides, I haven't changed my life to accommodate my child." To that I ask, do you ever attempt to make it home before "night-night" time? Do you now check food packaging labels for words you still cannot/ don't care to pronounce? Do you know call bodily functions "pee-pee" and "poo-poo"? Do you find yourself watching Nick Jr. or Cartoon Network? (And, I'm not talking about reruns of Doug or Family Guy.) If you find yourself doing any of these things (or, gasp, all) then you just might be a parent... whose life has gone to the kids.

Don't get me wrong-- I know plenty of parents who drag their kids all over (I'm one of them), but when it comes down to it you're just not dragging them to the places to which you once dragged yourself. Going into that bar... with a baby carrier... not so much.

Give it a few years, you will lose that carrier and you can teach your child/children to occupy themselves while you go into that bar. Until then, suffice it to say there are more kiddie birthday parties and very wasted full Saturdays in your future.

If you're a parent, have you ever found yourself with a newly found sense of responsibility over some pretty ridiculous stuff? If you don't have any kids, what do you think about parents who engage like this?

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