As parents, do you ever have those moments where you say, “Who IS this child?”
The three of us (untitledhusband, untitledson and myself) were over at a friend’s house for dinner last night. Three couples, and we were the only ones with child. Our normally well-behaved two year-old ran around their house for three hours nonstop like a tweaking raver, coming up for air only when we could distract him with “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” (which we had looping on my laptop).
When he wasn’t hunting down the hosts’ dogs like a starved puma, he was pilfering Cheetos (and then rubbing his atomic orange fingers over everything in site). When he wasn’t inhaling cookies, he was perched atop either of our heads like a psychotic parrot. Polly want a Vicodin? You bet your sweet ass he does.
Beat up and beat down, we left their house feeling like we’d just been through the shit. I recall that episode of “Saturday Night Live” where Mike Myers played a hyperactive child harnessed to the monkey bars. I used to find that whole harness thing funny. Now I’m like, OK, that’s fucking brilliant.
But this is what parents of preschoolers do. In our search for ways to eek out a tiny corner of sanity, we dance that fine line between achieving household harmony and inciting a visit from social services. In the time left over, we work diligently to erase all traces of any previous thoughts containing the phrase, “If that were MY child…”