Remember last week when I wrote that bestseller about pregnancy? Well, it was such a hit [in my mind] that I already have the outline for the sequel.
It’s going to be an entire book about how hard parenting can be and how you’re probably not going to be that good at it, so you better just get your expectations in check now so that you’re not disappointed later when your kid bites his teacher or fails Geometry or becomes a stripper.
Here’s the basic outline:
Introduction – If you’re a woman who has just given birth, you will arrive home feeling more hormonal than you did at 13 years old and every month since then… combined. These hormonal mood swings are like 100,000 times worse than when you were pregnant and wreak complete havoc on your household and anyone who dares enter it… even the nice people who are only there to bring lasagna or a cute pair of baby Nikes.
Sometimes they call these mood swings the “baby blues.” If it’s a lot worse, you may have actual “Postpartum Depression.” Or, it’s possible you’re just a bitch. Regardless of the reason, you should surround yourself with people who understand that you’re not in control of the things that you do and say (in other words, not men).
The introduction would also warn you that once you bring your baby home, your husband will seem incredibly incompetent and annoying and you will question whether your marriage will survive. (It might, it might not). Your house will be a disaster and you will cry about how the baby gifts are completely disorganized. Your mother will be condescending and you will feel completely isolated and alone. Even napkins will be upsetting.
This passes. Sort of.
Chapter One: Newborns, subtitled, Let Me Tell You a Little Something About Exhaustion, which would include fun facts about the early weeks. For example, “You might not be totally into your baby right away. He or she may seem like a total stranger that has invaded every aspect of your life and stolen your identity. Hopefully, that will change. (It might, it might not.)” And another fun fact: “Your baby will cry… a lot. And you will cry, too. Probably even more than your baby cries. (See Introduction section regarding hormones.)” It will also try to describe the sleep-deprivation, but there really are no words. So good luck to you.
Chapter Two: Toddlers, subtitled More Monotonous Than Jury Duty. This chapter should read something like this:
Here’s your Week-at-a-Glance:
- Make 22 grilled cheese sandwiches
- Dole out 489 Goldfish crackers
- Pour 36 sippy cups full of juice
- Change 147 diapers (98% of them will contain something of an odd color)
- Build 71 block castles and 92 Lego structures
- Suffer through 39 episodes of “Dora the Explorer,” 16 of “Blue’s Clues,” and five “Sesame Streets”
- Read 14 articles about why TV is really bad for toddlers (read these articles while kid takes nine-minute nap)
- Read Goodnight Moon 68 times and Green Eggs and Ham seven times (once a day will be all you can handle… that Sam I Am is a jerk)
- Sing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” 1,617 as you put your kid down to sleep
- Sing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” an additional 298 times in your head after kid is asleep.
- Do approximately 91 loads of laundry
- Yell at husband 42 times for not helping out enough
- Feel resentful towards husband 107 times for not helping out enough
- Have sex with husband 0 times (you’ll be too tired; he did not help out enough)
- Try not to lose your patience 1,563 times
- Fail 1,529 of those times
- Feel guilty for losing patience 1,529 times
- Drink 47 cups of coffee to stay awake
- Eat the leftovers of 22 grilled cheese sandwiches
- Sleep 12 hours… the whole week
Chapter Three: KIDS, subtitled What the hell happened to my life?
This chapter will address such issues as:
- Discipline: How to get those little f****** to do what you say
- Social Skills: Navigating those early preschool years (Oh, this part is about the parents, not the kids.)
- Why Didn’t Anyone Tell Me the Sleep Deprivation Would Continue FOREVER??
- For other topics, please refer back to every other blog post I’ve written so far.
Now, as my oldest is only five, I can only guess as to how the rest of the book may read… but here’s my prediction:
Chapter Four: TWEENS
That music? Like, Please. Just. Shoot. Me. Now.
Chapter Five: TEENS
They think they know it all. They’re wrong. The one thing they may or may not know is that you want to KILL THEM.
Chapter Six: COLLEGE
WOOHOO!!! They’re leaving! But PS. You still can’t sleep because you’re so worried about what they’re doing in Cancun over Spring Break. And every other day.
The book would close with a Conclusion explaining that of course there are good times in parenting – moments of pride when your kid learns the ABCs, the multiplication table, his lines for the school play or how to tap a keg… but mostly parents hover in a constant state of self-doubt and worry. And exhaustion. Don’t forget the exhaustion.
Forget it. I’m too tired to write this book.