Before I became a mom, I was a real live human being. Did you ever notice that people judge moms way more than they judge parentless women or men in general? Become a mom and you’ll see. Luckily, I’ve known from the get-go that I was never going to be awarded Parent of the Year (that dream went out the window moments after childbirth when the nurse asked how much research I’d done on breastfeeding, to which I responded, “Exactly none”, and she clicked her tongue in dismay. In my defense, that book was next on the list but he came two weeks early…) My own mother has even told me, my husband, and complete strangers that she’s surprised at how decent of a parent I have turned out to be. The votes of being a stellar nurturer were clearly never in my favor. I think, though, that if they were, I’d have been even harder on myself these past six years. Now, when I mess up, which is often, I take a deep breath and move on. Then I write a blog post about it.
Probably the worst place to mess up parenting is when you’re at your kids’ daycare. I mean, you want these people to think you have your sh*t together and you want to be prepared with the right snacks, and a change of clothes, and slippers for the day time, and boots for the barn, and a blanket for the nap, and the hair and teeth brushed, and the clothes matching, an eight our sleep the night before, a nutritious breakfast, a nice lunch packed, and so on. My daycare provider knows me well enough that she expects me to have about 75% of these things done on any given day. I try really hard, but you understand if your child is anything like either of my two, everything you pack in the backpack the night before gets unpacked and inspected and complained about before you even walk out the door in the morning. The good news is that our daycare people accept us for who we are and also for who we aren’t. I really appreciate that and thus I try really hard to make sure I’m doing everything I can to make sure my kids have everything they need to have a good day when they get dropped off.
Considering my self-awareness, I try to stay on the straight and narrow in other facets of my life-I hold a good job, I have a strong marriage, I hang around the right people, you know, just life choices. But there comes a point in my day where I am completely alone and in a private arena (my car), and sometimes, I let loose a little. After a long day with challenging teenagers, sometimes I like to kick back and rock out to some tunes. My choice in music is pretty PG, and if you checked my playlist, you would have proof. Wouldn’t it just be perfect, then if the absolute RAUNCHIEST song I have ever paid to listen to comes blaring out of my car stereo (brand new and extra loud, by the way) when I went to strap my children in their carseats early last week…
Try me, you say. You have worse, you say. But here I am, furiously trying to commandeer Ella’s carseat straps while “Crank That” by Soulja Boy is streaming loud and clear for all of the daycare parents and children to hear. You’re not familiar with the song? Well let me share some of the best parts for you.
“Soulja Boy up in this ho…”- (Can you imagine Harrison arriving the next day, only to announce his presence by saying, “Harrison up in this ho”?? Goodness. I’m going to Hell.)
“And if we get to fighting I’m cocking on your bitch ass” -(So at the next playground scramble, this will be my child’s response.That will get him sent to the principal’s office in no time.I CANNOT wait for that call.)
“Superman that ho” -Rumor has it that this line relates to a crude sexual act which I will NOT explain here in this venue, but y’all know how to use Google, so entertain yourself. My sweet, superhero loving child, however, does not know this meaning, yet he was delighted to hear Superman on the stereo and would love to hear the song again.For those of you in the back wondering how I came to have this knowledge, it is because I had to look it up several years ago when my sixth graders were singing this song in class. Now that I teach high school kids, they gladly offer me up definitions and explanations whenever I inquire. My education is vast.
I finally did get those straps buckled after an abnormally intense struggle. My cheeks flushed and my head bowed, I got into my car, afraid to make eye contact with the other pickups in the parking lot. After my most recent show of poor discretion, I’ll be making sure my kids are EXTRA prepared for daycare this week. Please don’t judge too hard. I don’t even really like the song.