My Children Are Making You Hate Children
Caroline is two and a half, Evan is four and a quarter and I am going absolutely bananas. B A N A N A S.
This morning at the aquarium Evan thought it would be fun to get into a pretend-slap-fight with a little girl trying to look at the turtles. I think it maybe started as hand-holding but quickly turned into him acting like a rabid raccoon trying to catch a fish. He flailed his hands around and screeched and basically scared the poor child to death in the 4.6 seconds it took me to lunge across the aisle and grab him bodily.
“NO!” I said. “WE DO NOT HIT.” I said. “APOLOGIZE RIGHT NOW.” I said. “I’m so, so sorry,” I said to the girl’s grandmother, who looked like she might start slapping me. “I’m so, so sorry,” I said to the little girl, who was crying big scared tears. “YOU ARE IN TIME OUT.” I said to Evan, who put his hand on his hip and said “Fine. I want a marshmallow.”
I think I blacked out. I’m allergic to sass and that was just too much. Kids need a warning like at the end of a prescription drug commercial: Children may cause blurred vision, dizziness, fits of rage, a high screechy voice, hearing loss, the inability to speak coherent sentences, hallucinations, unconsciousness and wishing for a quick death.
Right now, my children are the reason so many people hate children. They are incredibly, ear-splittingly loud and my only recourse has been to becoming slightly deaf. I can be standing right next to them while they shout “MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY MY BUG BITE ITCHES SO I ITCHED IT AND NOW I AM BLEEDING MY BLOOD MOMMY LOOK” and I just carry on my conversation slightly louder. Our respective volumes with raise proportionately until everyone within a 2 mile radius is checking themselves for exposed wounds to avoid contamination and I am shouting to my friend that Yes, my vacation was lovely but it would have been slightly more so without my children DO YOU THINK IT’S TOO EARLY FOR A DRINK? We’re awful.
When we are in public restrooms, Evan usually narrates everything going on in our stall while Caroline tries to climb under the partitions to join other bathroom visitors to discuss why they are there. I am the one hissing “We. Do. Not. Need. To. Talk. About. Your. Poop. Or. My. Poop. Or. Any. Poop. CAROLINE NOOOOOOO!” They like to check our the reverb in new bathrooms by shouting “ECHO ECHO ECHO” as loudly as possible. We’re horrible.
At the store, Caroline hates the shopping cart but also walking and also being carried. She is very disappointed levitation or teleportaion are not currently options and will let everyone know about her displeasure. If she sees someone she knows, she will insist on riding in THEIR shopping cart because it is blue or red or green or wet or dry or better for some other reason. When I tell her they are leaving and she needs to ride in any of the 4 available seats in my cart she will cry like I am ripping out her toenails while hitting me in the face (true, actual story that happened Tuesday). We’re the worst.
My children run away. They shout. They throw tantrums. They bump into people in public. They touch strangers. They act like I am kidnapping them. They refuse all my requests. They spill things. They insist on opening food in the grocery store before I pay for it and I give in because even though I think people who do that are on par with people who steal all the change from Children’s Charity jars or intentionally take up two parking spaces at the mall it is better to just give in than endure the disasters that refusal will bring. I AM SOMEONE I HATE.
A few short months ago I was gushing about how adorable and fun my kids were together and as siblings, and now I am one car ride away from dropping them off at the firehouse. It’s all a phase. One day I’ll look back on this age fondly. This too shall pass. I repeat all that to myself constantly, muttering like a crazy person to keep from becoming an actual crazy person. I love my children dearly because they are my children, but oh my God are there awful right now.
I apologize to everyone without children for our very presence in your general vicinity and to everyone with children for all the dirty looks the childless give you just for breathing the same air they are. That’s my bad. This too shall pass.