When I learned I was pregnant more than a decade ago, (now isn't that a scary thought?) there were many things I prepared myself for. I prepared for late night feedings, bowel mishaps, the Invasion of Barney, and even the loss of intimacy between my hubs and I. (Although, that last one didn't happen. Turns out watching me struggle to jam tiny bendable fingers into an impossibly small arm hole acted as somewhat of an aphrodisiac with my hubs. Who knew?)
I thought I had prepared for babyhood and then toddlerhood. I never looked much further beyond those years, frankly, because I didn't really think I would survive them.
Surprise! I survived. And they did too. (I thought about inserting a two out of three joke here, but even I could see the bad taste in that, especially with Oct. 21st looming like a funnel cloud on the horizon.) I digress. My point is, I am wholly unprepared for many aspects of raising older children. Especially older children on the brink of TEENAGEDOM.
This was never more apparent than last night when I was grating cheese for supper. As Fric was talking about what type of lip gloss Maxine gets to wear to school, and Emily has her very own cell phone and the scandalous tank top Brittany wore to school, I realized I wasn't ready for this stage just yet.
Then Frac came in and started moaning about some video game all the boys had which he didn't and it JUST WASN'T FAIR.
I'll admit it. I tuned them out. I started dreaming about this past weekend, when I was surrounded by attentive 007 look-a-likes, all fighting one another to buy me drinks and dance with me. (Well, okay, that didn't happen, but it was my dream, dear internet.) And just as my darling Boo came in to fight them all off in daring hand to hand combat, my own hand slipped.
Against the f*&king cheese grater. Which really f@$king hurt. Obviously, the Universe was teaching me a lesson (although I am unsure as to whether it was for ignoring my kids, daydreaming about hordes of men, putting my darling husband in imaginary danger or if it was just to watch what the hell I was doing with a cheese grater.)
So, after much cursing and moaning, I clutched my bloodied stump and went into the bathroom in search of the first aid products I keep in stock for just such an occasion.
Except there weren't any bandaids. Because my darling Fric and Frac have used them to patch up imaginary bumps and bruises. Apparently, at nine and ten, the urge to sport an unnecessary bandaid is still as strong as when they were five.
Which leads me back to the fact that I am totally unprepared for this stage of motherhood. I have no idea what to do with them once they've learned how to talk, walk, read and write.
So I did what any mom would do. I called my parents. And my dad (still in the hospital) gave me this sage advice:
As long as I keep my daughter off the poll, and out of the backseats, I've succeeded. And if I can keep my son out of jail, and his pants zipped up, I've done my job well.
Apparently, my parents had high aspirations for us.
Suddenly, a love affair of bandaids didn't seem so bad.
Thanks Dad, for the perspective. I needed something else to worry about.