you might be a parent if…

by humanmama on March 19, 2014

There are several signs that exist to warn the world that you are, in fact a parent. Which is good, since if those signs were not hovering around you at all times, people would really wonder what the hell happened to you–you, with your mismatched socks. You, with your hair a mess. You, who haven’t showered in several weeks without someone opening the shower curtain to ask you something.

One sign you might be a parent is that you sing nursery rhymes or Wiggles music to yourself, especially and inexplicably during your free moments when you’re not actively parenting. But, this one is not foolproof, because I could recite any number of nursery rhymes and child-appropriate music before having children, but after having children could only mysteriously think of the Tommy Tutone song “Jenny” when I was putting my kids to bed. I mean, I’ve worked with kids for 20 years before I had them, but no matter what kind of day we have, the first and most easily accessible song in my mind after 8pm for the last eight years was that song. Needless to say, my kids quietly sing “eight six seven five three oh ni-eeninne” when they’re alone. (Note: this is really not a child-friendly song. Do not google the lyrics.)

Another sign you’re a parent is that you’re covered in something. My kids are a little older, now, with the youngest almost 20 months. So I’m not covered in poop and spit-up anymore. No, now it’s syrup, mud, boogers, any number of gross things you need a wet-wipe to clean up. You know when you’re out somewhere and there’s nothing wipe-y to clean your kids: what do you do? You often just still wipe it up. With something you’re wearing.

A third sign that you might be a parent is either dramatic over-preparedness or dramatic under-preparedness for every occasion. This is just depending on the kind of person you are and the kind of parent your kids make you into. There was a time when I was the dramatic over-preparer, with wipes and diapers and juice cups and changing pad and changing table and carseat activities and that pad-thingy that you put into the shopping carts so your kids don’t lick the cart, but now I’m a dramatic under-preparer, saying “Oh, shoot, poopy diaper. Hm. Okay, you’ll have to wait until we get home…” I know parents of all kinds, but take heart: any parent is usually more prepared in a non-kid situation than a non-parent. If you’re at work, say, and someone gets a terrible paper cut, you often have band-aids or tissues or something to catch the blood somewhere on your person. (And if not, you usually have a lilipop to at least ease the pain.)

So, the signs you are a parent are everywhere. And they might in fact be invisible to you. But be glad they’re there, lest people think you just totally let yourself go.

"what do you mean I have to hold the door for my mom? I can't even walk yet."

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