I am luckier than most and my job allows me to work from my home, Being in sales I am usually running around the city in appointments and cussing traffic, but every now and then there is a day where I have no appointments and spend my day on conference calls and doing busy work. I wake up, get the kids off to school, drink a pot of coffee, turn on the computer, start work, and basically sit at my desk in front of my computer on the phone in pajama’s and bath robe until noon. Needless to say on these days I am a beautiful bed head site. My hair has been known to accomplish sticking straight out a good 6 inches all the way around my head. If you just saw me you would think I had been struck by lightening during the night. I have red hair so if you add in the no make-up factor and pale skin I could pass for the scariest clown at the circus. I can make toddlers cry at 40 paces.
Now as I work I usually have the TV on in the background for “the noise” factor. I don’t know about you, but living with 4 other humans, 2 dogs, a bird, a lizard, and a container full of crickets has suddenly made me deathly afraid of things being too quiet. If the house gets too quiet I start to hyperventilate and start to feel a panic attack coming. I am convinced the old saying “the quiet before the storm” wasn’t written about the weather. It was written by a mother of boys who knew good and well if she had 5 minutes of peace it would be shortly interrupted by an explosion or a trip to the ER (or both). So I keep the TV on for the noise so I can relax.
I very rarely pay much attention to the noise that is going on in the background. This is not really a hard feat- (have you seen daytime TV lately?) It’s a string of mindless talk shows where we talk about celebrities dresses, divorces, meditation and yoga techniques. If they aren’t just sitting there talking they are cooking and talking. Basically daytime TV has turned into every party I’ve been to since my thirties. The women just stand around in the kitchen and chat and graze on snacks, I don’t understand or really even remember when that change happened. Suddenly just one day we went from males and females all together in the living room hanging out and talking to the women in the kitchen and males on the deck. I think it’s just be hardwired into the human brain when we turn thirty or maybe by then we have just been married long enough we are craving company of our own kind. I do have days when I think: OH please for the love of God can I have an estrogen adult conversation. Oop- wandering again, back to topic.
Now my favorite part about day time TV is absolutely none of the commercials are written for me. I am not even close to any of their demographics. I am convinced the advertisers believe the ONLY people in America who ever even turn on a TV during the day consist in three categories:
1) New moms
3) You have been in a horrible accident
Now I am thankful I do not fit any of these demographics. I have NO need now for baby toys, wipes, or diapers nor do I ever want to again. The only time I will ever buy these again (if they aren’t on a registry) is hopefully for my grandkids and based on the ages of my own parasites let’s hope and pray that’s after the AARP card comes in the mail. I don’t qualify yet for AARP even though my body feels a hundred every morning as my knees creak as I go down the stairs. Maybe the qualifications should change from age to body noises. I could send them in a tape of my bones and I’m pretty sure they would gladly send me a card. I could use the discounts on hotel rooms.Now my personal favorite are the injury attorneys. These guys must spend 100% of their entire advertising budgets between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm. They are approximately 1/3 of all commercials on during the day. They don’t spend much of that budget on the commercials, just on the time. The commercials are poorly put together. They are all the same. The attorney tells you how he’s going to fight for you and get you more money. Then a few testimonials from people that got astronomical amounts of money (which are usually ugly enough that they could be real- they can’t possibly be professional actors) Then the attorney comes back with the disclaimer that he can’t guarantee you that much. If you listen to their commercials you can sue for anything. Today one in particular perked up my ears. They wanted me to sue if I had ever used talcum powder and got cancer because it is based on a new study. Of course it wasn’t that simple, but talcum powder? Hasn’t pretty much everyone here used powder at some point in their lives? How did this study accomplish getting a control group? Did they start at births in 1968 and tell certain moms they couldn’t use powder on their babies butts and tell other moms to go to town with the powder? Did they follow these children for the last 40 years and tell the adults in the control group – I know you have jock itch, but sorry no powder for you? Who even thought to file for grant money to study the link between cancer and powder? Was it a guy who had a lot of issue’s and used a lot of powder and got cancer and thought “hmmm- I’m sure it wasn’t the fact I smoked 30 years that caused this- it must be the powder?” Heaven forbid it not be “just cuz” Whatever happened to “Just Cuz”? Somethings in life just can’t be explained or sued away. Who can explain why certain people can eat horrid food and never have high cholesterol while other people can eat just raw veggies and be off the chart? Why do some people who exercise and are in great health fall over dead from a heart attack? Who can explain why some people can smoke, or I guess now use powder, for 60 years and never develop cancer why other people do? Who can explain why certain parents can raise 2 great kids and one complete cluster while raising them the same? Somethings really just have no correct answer nor can there be anyone or anything to blame- sometimes the answers really are “JUST CUZ”
I have a lot of friends out there that have only one child. I can’t even imagine the bliss of having just one. If there are two of you raising this one child you can hand them off to each other like a game of tag. OK- I’m done- tag you’re it. Someone will always have the attention span to be obsessed with there daily activities and ramblings. I’m even jealous some days of the parents with just two. Not being outnumbered seems cool too. I’m pretty sure my three parasites have learned that if they all bombard me at once I will mess up at least one out of the three answers. Even when I try saying go ask your dad- I can only get rid of one which leaves me still trying to have two conversations and out numbered. I have learned me out numbered is always better than dad outnumbered because multitasking for him is more difficult. When he gets out numbered the next conversation goes something like this:
Parasite 1: “But Dad said I could I go to the party and leave at one am”
Me: Look of disgust in hubby’s general direction
Dad: “No I did not”
Parasite 2: “Yes you did – you gave him permission at the same time you told me I could wear the tub top”
Me: Same look of disgust- but adding in the standard “Really?”
Dad: “No I did not”
Parasite 3: “Yes you did- you also told me you were gonna build me the skateboard ramp I wanted that’s 6 feet tall”
Me: Look of disgust turns to in general disbelief and I just hang my head knowing the very next statements coming
Dad: “Well I obviously wasn’t paying attention so it’s a no to all of the above and ask your mother”
The funniest thing about raising multiple parasites is their vast differences in personalities. They were all created the same way (maybe not in the same positions, but in the same way). They each grew in my belly for 9 months. I went to the hospital and pushed or had them cut out. I brought them each home. I changed each of their diapers and rocked them in the same chair. I sang them the same songs to sleep and read them the same books. I even feed them each from my breast and the same foods. So where do they get off being so different and making me have three parenting styles now?
They were even different as infants. The first boy came home, ate every four hours and slept through the night at 4 weeks. The second came home very similar, but she was a girl so every difference I decided was just a difference in the sexes. The hubby and I thought we kinda had it licked so when God decided to surprise us with the third we were excited. Then he came home. He was a demon child. He had colic and cried unstoppable for hours for the first three months. He refused to take a pacifier so there was no rest for the wicked. I guess I should of seen this little nut coming. I’m just glad God sent him last or we would be one of those parents of only children I’m jealous of from above.
As they get older the differences seem to be becoming more pronounced. Some are based on their sex and some are based on order of birth, but most seem to be from the womb. The eldest is still quiet. Getting any information out of him is worse than pulling teeth. If the CIA is looking for someone to hold national secrets- he’s your man. He has always been emotionally independent and was never my snuggler. The middle child has NO secrets and I mean NONE. She would talk to a fence if there’s no one else to listen. She can’t lie and never shuts up. Today she was with me and talked non-stop for 3 hours. I’m not even sure she took a breath. She is definitely not CIA material. Maybe an ESPN commentator, but don’t give her a secret. She’s extremely conservative and rarely even requires supervision. I spend a lot of days thinking that this child was switched at the hospital and there is some perfectly nice conservative family out there trying to raise my hell’yun. The demon child just keeps me in stitches and always keeps us on our toes. He has a tendency to be my Facebook star because the things that come out of his mouth are usually pretty funny. The scary part that no one actually realizes is that those are just the one’s that are safe for public consumption. He was born stubborn and there are many a day I’m not sure he will make it to adulthood. He will give me almost all of my gray hair. I don’t worry about the 90% of the trouble he will talk himself out of, but the 10% he can’t scares me to death. We changed his college fund to the bail fund when he was about 3.
When they were little parenting seemed easy. It consisted of saying NO a million times a day, physically moving them away from danger, chasing them down, child proofing the house, and saying NO a million more times.
As they get older and their own personalities are becoming more pronounced my parenting style is being forced to change with each. The eldest is requiring me to spend time snooping. I don’t particularly like snooping, but I am getting pretty good at it. I have become stealthy in my old age. I can sneak and stand outside his door and listen without being detected. I can figure out phone passwords and go through bookbags. For those of you who don’t know and are confused – they can have privacy when they pay their own bills and move out of my house- until then- I snoop!! My darling daughter just seems to require listening and I mean lots and lots of listening. She is by far the most exhausting to me cuz my attention span sometimes wanders and I have to constantly remind myself that somewhere in the million words that are flying out of her mouth might be something I really need to hear. The third parasite or demon child is the easiest for me. He just requires yelling. I don’t start off that way, but notoriously after the 5th time I’ve said it – it goes there. He doesn’t seem to understand or acknowledge anything if it is not told to him in your loudest voice with approximately 3 threats of violence thrown in for good measure. To which he always seems to be amazed. He would argue with a fence post because it’s in his way. He is definitely what they call in the south “Paying for your Raising”. I was prepared to pay for my raising, but I never realized I would have to pay for mine and the hubby’s. Someone should of told me that before I got married- I would of married a saint. I was bad enough- adding in his bad behavior is just not fair.
So if you have to raise and parent them differently maybe having multiple parasites isn’t that much different than only having one. Treating them each as individuals is kinda like having three “only” children. I just wish I could say- Tag you’re it!