There is a meme floating around the internets that likens being a parent to being a rock star. At first, I passed thinking it wasn't me, but as I reread the 10 points, I began nodding in agreement and images from my life as a parent flashed in my head.
1. Endless hours on the road with too many people in the vehicle. Not so much for us. Our daily commutes are less than 15 minutes and we divide and conquer to get the kids to school. However, road trips across the state to visit either grandparent’s house can be a major test of nerve and sanity.
2. Your job is to entertain a room full of loud, writhing maniacs. See above. Sometimes Nick Jr. or the Disney Channel will do the entertaining. Sometimes it’s an Ipad or Kindle. Meal times at our place often resemble the video “The One Thing” by INXS, complete with the cat roaming around on the dining room table.
3. If you do your job well, people will ask you to produce more. Okay, we’ll only be a two album band, and thankfully for us there are no such things as surprise adoptions.
4. You ask yourself daily, “Am I tripping? Or did I just see that?” Just when you think you have seen your kids do every crazy or dangerous thing, something else happens and you are thankful that you didn't have to call 911.
5. Your name is always shouted, never spoken. Our daughter rarely talks, she goes right to screaming. With the way she screams “PAPA! ELI IS (insert little brother mischief here)!!!” you’d think he was hitting her with a baseball bat. Granted, that has happened, and the offending weapon has been retired. Having someone make a face at you is NOT a reason to scream bloody murder.
6. Someone is always pulling at your clothes. Yup, just the other day, I was crashed on the couch watching TV in my pajama pants. Eli comes up, pulls them down and smacks my ass. Nice. Not even a hello or a get out. Instead, all I got was a “I spanked your booty!” and a giggle.
7. Groupies follow you to the bathroom. We have one bathroom in our 107 year-old home that has a workable lock. It is my fortress of solitude in the morning. While using the bathroom connected to our bedroom one morning, both kids, the cat, and our dog all managed to get in the bathroom whilst I pooped. I doubt Superman went to his fortress to poop, but I wouldn't blame him.
8. There’s a different person in your bed every night. Sometimes even two. Thankfully the kids are now sleeping on their own and aside from the occasional bad dream or puking, we rarely get nocturnal visitors. However, in the morning we will all pile up on the bed and watch some cartoons together. Fathers’ Day is another day that our breakfast (donuts and juice) are brought to us and we all eat and hang out. The linens and comforter all go straight to the laundry afterwards. Not because of crabs, booze and vomit, but because of spilled juice, crumbs and assorted other messes.
9. At the end of your day, you’re sweaty and your hair is a mess. Meh, this was me BEFORE I had kids.
10. Screaming is part of the job. I swear to god, I sound like the lead singer for Linkin Park some days. And yet, for all the screaming and yelling at 11, sometimes it’s like I am on mute and they didn't even hear me. I can be two feet from them, and in a normal voice say “don’t do (insert stupid kid thing here).” And the behavior continues. I will repeat “don’t do (insert stupid kid thing here)” at a louder volume and usually they are startled enough to stop whatever kid thing they were doing. And yes grandmothers, we've had their hearing checked and it’s completely fine.
So, are we rock stars as parents? I think so. Some mornings I wake up feeling like Steven Tyler looks, but I soldier on. You have to bring it to the stage each and every day. You have to break through your lack of sleep and kick it out of the stadium even if you are hung over or exhausted from an early evening out with your friends. From now on, I plan to start each day with the portable sound system we got for tailgating and scream down the hall to wake the kids…
“Check. Check. Sibilant. Sibilant.”
And then, with the speaker at 11…
“HELLO JACKSON! ARE YOU READY TO ROCK AND ROLL?!!!”