Here’s something I don’t often talk about: I don't always know how to react to some of my friends’ status updates about parenting. Sometimes they’re clever, sometimes I can relate, and sometimes I gain a new piece of insight from one of them. But they can also be repetitive, emotionally charged, and to be honest, I’m often not always sure if I’m supposed to laugh or cry. Until I became a mom, these social posts from my mom friends were one of the best sources of information about I had what it’s really like to be a stay-at-home mom. But still, many of them painted a mysterious picture — and not in a Bob Ross, "happy trees" kind of way. It was more of an abstract, colorful, confusing kind of way. I mean, is my Facebook friend really joking about that diaper blowout or that flour explosion in the kitchen? Or is she seriously upset? I can’t tell. Maybe she can't even tell.
However, now that I’ve been there myself, I think it’s fair to say that the answer can, in fact, be both. It turns out that it is possible to joke about something upsetting, or frustrating, or plain absurd. Sometimes it’s more than just posting for the sake of posting (well, most of the time. I can’t speak for you, random school friend who posts pics of their kid's actual poop). Sometimes, motherhood feels silly and ridiculous and when you’re spending a major part of your day alone with a curious toddler, these feelings are magnified and it can feel great to share them.
Like the absurd things that go through my head when I’m laying on the floor next to a kiddo stacking blocks from the 28th time that day. At 9 a.m. Here’s a sampling of the highlights:
That “OMG It’s Not Even Breakfast Time How Are You Already Bored?” Panic That Hits On A Regular Basis
Just because I want to sit on the floor drinking coffee while listening to my favorite Canadian pop stars, doesn’t mean he can turn off the curiosity motor that keeps him buzzing around for hours on end. He sees through all my attempts to occupy him with soft, quiet toys and books without noisy buttons, and raises me the noisiest, loudest toys possible and requests to watch the one TV show he tolerates for the 45th time this week.
The Internal Shrug You’re Forced To Do Every Time A Floor Cheerio Is Eaten
Would I prefer to be able to stop him from eating every morsel that touches anything other than his sterilized plates and hand-washed high chair tray? Yes, yes I would. Is it possible? No. I haven’t played volleyball since 11th grade, so my diving skills are rusty, and as much as I try, he can and does still manage to thwart me. Shrug.
How You Literally Climb On Your Partner When They Get Home Because You’re So Excited For The Company Of Another Adult
I’ve at least gotten better about giving him a moment to put down his bag and take off his jacket.
The Countdown To Naptime
Would you believe me if I said the only reason I like nap time was so I could stare lovingly at my peaceful child, and think deep motherly thoughts? (Also, food.)
All That Weirdness That Comes Out Of Your Mouth, Like, “No, We Don’t Stir The Coffee With Paintbrushes,” And, “No, We Don’t Put Stickers On The Dog,” And, “No, First We Put On Clothes And THEN We Go Outside.”
And that's just a sampling of the things I say, usually in the three minutes in between my partner closing the door and pulling out of the driveway.
How Some Baby Toys Are Kinda Fun For Adults
Does anyone else find playing with stickers to actually be quite soothing? Anyone?
The Horrible Feeling of Getting The Earbud Pulled From Your Ear While You’re Trying to Sneak In A Podcast
I think there’s a metaphor in here somewhere, something about him accidentally ripping away the one thing connecting me to other adults and the outside world. Also, it kinda hurts.
How It Feels When You Know You Must Get Out Of The House Right NOW
Usually, this moment is followed by that desperate list of places that are open and semi-kid-friendly. Coffee shops. Museums. Libraries. Target. A bus station. I don’t care, just give me light and heat.
The Way You Know The Neighborhood Routine
Oh, is that the neighbor’s dog barking at 10:42 a.m.? Must be the postman. Which means he’s on the way to the door, so our dog will start barking in 5..4...3...2..
The Questionable Wardrobe Choices We Make When We Know The Only Person Who Will See Us Will Not Be Able To Tell Anyone About It
My toddler is definitely starting to notice details on clothes like buttons and zippers. I think he’s getting a little tired when all I can bring to the table are some frayed drawstrings.
The Love/Hate Relationship We Have With Those Obnoxiously Noisy Toys
I suppose if I’m hearing the toy, my son probably isn’t crying, so that’s a good thing. But it means I’m also hearing the sound of plastic balls spraying against a plastic dome casing, so there’s that too. (Looking at you, toy mower, you questionable yet perfectly designed instrument of doom.)
The Extremes You Go Through To Entertain Your Kiddo When You’ve Been Alone Together for Seven Hours
Whatever works. I’m not here to judge.