Becoming a parent isn’t always what we signed up for or what we expected. There’s something new nearly every day, and so much of it is unexpected – some unwanted and some neat surprises.
No one ever asked me if it was ok to wake up at 6am. However, the wee ones periodically decide that they’ve slept enough and it’s time to have romper room in one bedroom or the other – that is very audible in my bedroom where I have a deep and desperate need for sleep at that hour. I always heard about how life with newborns was hard because they didn’t sleep through the night. I was prepared for that. I wasn’t prepared to still not get full nights of sleep when they were this far out of diapers.
No one ever asked me if I wanted to ingest chemicals day in and day out. However, Mister Man went shopping with me today to buy a few simple things: crackers, applesauce, bread, and yogurt among them. Mister Man was excited to spot the bread first, but I told him we couldn’t buy it at this store and had to go elsewhere because it all contained high fructose corn syrup (have you seen the studies showing that it contains mercury, among other health issues?). He didn’t believe me, but sadly he looked at ingredient list after ingredient list and replaced the brands. We did find wheat crackers with four ingredients that we could buy. And we found some plain yogurt to which we’ll add our own flavorings that avoided nasty chemicals we don’t eat, but we bought no applesauce today because it all contained HFCS.
No one ever asked me if I wanted grey hair. And I don’t. I really don’t. Grey hair on women just makes them look older. It’s not fair that we don’t get to look distinguished. And my mom makes fun of me. And that nice little coloring job I did to make the bright red hair (that has since faded, thankfully) the other week? Yeah, those four silver hairs in the crown of my head decided that they liked their color and didn’t absorb the dye. Give me another couple years, and you can probably just call me Granny.
No one ever asked me how much garbage I throw away on a given week. Our garbage company provides me with a 96 gallon garbage tote, however. The recycling bin is a mere 64 gallons. In general, we have a single garbage bag (and occasionally two) that goes into that massive bin each week. Our recycling bin overflows on a semi-regular basis – partly due to the large cardboard boxes from Costco that we use as grocery bags. I have to wonder how many people really throw away 96 gallons of trash each week, and then my head hurts when I start to picture the full landfills.
No one ever asked me if I wanted a kid who was different from all the others. But yet here I have Mister Man who is the sweetest little guy you could ever ask for. He still doesn’t have a diagnosis, but this is likely short term, as tomorrow is day two of our nine hours of testing and evaluation by a developmental pediatrician. From the two hour meeting with me this afternoon, it sounds like they suspect at least some level of autism, which is no great shock for me. My heart breaks when I see him struggle with things that should be so easy for him – socially and behaviorally. But then I see how protective he is of those he cares about, and I know that I wouldn’t trade being a special needs mom for anything.
No one ever asked me if I wanted to share in their lottery winnings. And I’m still trying to figure out why that is….
What question have people neglected to ask you?
PS If you know a little girl, you need to come enter this contest. Even I’m having fun playing with the doll we got. So don’t forget about the Hot Locks giveaway!