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Baby Freak-Out No. 1*

So, I’m truckin’ along, finally feeling human enough to get some cleaning done (some as in very little) when I discover an information card from an old wallet of mine. You know, the kind you get with your wallet that you can list all your personal information on in case you lose your wallet or purse? Or, after your sh*t gets stolen, the piece of paper that makes it easier for someone to come by and finish the job? Anyway, one of the listings on there was for allergies. I don’t really have any, but as I was thinking about that, I suddenly had a flashback to when I was about 8 or 9 and got a brand-new purse of my own for the first time. I had the same kind of card and filled it out, and in the “allergies” section, I put “Chocolate.” Somehow my mom saw that and was like, “Um, you’re not allergic to chocolate.” And I distinctly remember arguing with her, saying, “Yes I am! You TOLD me I am!” and she’s all, “No I didn’t!” and I’m all “YES, you DID!” and she’s like, “DID NOT. Now shut up and go clean your room!”

Because that’s what parents do when you’re annoying them and they want you out of their face.

This struck me as I looked at the more recent wallet card because while I don’t remember my mom telling me I was allergic to chocolate, I do distinctly remember being adamant that I HAD been told I was allergic. (If that makes sense. It doesn’t have to. This is going somewhere, just hang on…) It also struck me that I probably WASN’T told I was allergic. I probably was just bugging my mom for candy and after she got tired of the 14th “WHY?!?” in response to her telling me no, she probably replied offhand, “Because you’re allergic and your face will blow up! Now shut up and go clean your room!”

And WHY is this relevant, you ask me? Because I then suddenly realized, I will soon be a mother. Which means I’ll have children. Which means they’ll ask me lots of questions. Which I’ll have to answer. Which they’ll believe the answer to, because kids believe everything. And, worst of all, kids don’t get sarcasm.

Which means…I will never be able to speak to my children.

No, REALLY. THIS IS SERIOUS, Y’ALL.

Do you know how many times I’ve said, “Mommy needs a cocktail?” in my lifetime? What happens when I AM a mommy and suddenly I’ll have little kidlets telling their teachers, “When I talk, Mommy says she has to have a bloody mary”? How am I supposed to respond with anything but “Suck it,” when I change the channel and someone whines about it? Am I REALLY supposed to stop yelling out, “Jesus H. Tap-dancing Christ!” in response to really stinky smells emanating from my dog or my husband?

Am I going to turn into one of those people with a 12-inch voice that says things like, “We don’t DO that, now do we?” in a sweet cajoling tone? (Cause those people annoy me. Tell that baby NO and then get its tongue out of the light socket, dammit.)

Will I start saying toots and tinkle constantly?

Am I going to be NICE all the time?

DO I HAVE TO STOP CUSSING?!?

Lordy, I hope not.

And I probably won’t. I eventually calmed myself down (this freakout was like 2 minutes tops) and used the voices of my more sane friends to give myself comforting affirmations like, “No, of course you can cuss, your mom did it all the time,” and “You’re going to mess them up in many other ways, the way you talk is the least of your problems…”

Ideally, I’d like to be like Calvin’s Dad in Calvin and Hobbes. Whenever Calvin asked questions like, “Why do my eyes shut when I sneeze?” he’d respond with lovely advice like, “If your lids weren’t closed, the force of the explosion would blow your eyeballs out and stretch the optic nerve, so your eyes would flop around and you’d have to point them with your hands to see anything.” SEE? Amazing, right? But as funny as that is, I don’t need the kind of parent/teacher conferences answers like that will generate. Gotta save that stuff for the nieces and nephews.

Still, this kind of thinking is…odd. Not the thinking, but the fact that I’m having to do it and consider my parenting style. Which I believe will largely consist of winging it. Which will either work, or make me the star of a sharply worded memoir when I’m old.

It’s a toss-up.

*This title is a misnomer. I have had plenty of freak-outs. This is just the first documented on on Kind of a Mess.

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19 Comments on “Baby Freak-Out No. 1*”

  1. Kerry
    January 27, 2012 at 7:59 am #

    I have six nieces and nephews, and I have no idea how to talk to them. I say either ridiculously grown-up or inappropriately baby-ish things – they always are so kind and try their best to respond for at least ten seconds before running off to play with the more fun Aunts.

    The oldest one is now fifteen, thank GOD, and I can finally talk to him. About cars, obvs.

    • kindofamess
      January 27, 2012 at 10:53 am #

      I’m excellent in spurts. Two, three hour visits while also chatting with mom and dad? I’m golden. Hours at a time? I haven’t done that in YEARS.

      What’s really disheartening is when you make an age appropriate joke, and they don’t get it or don’t care. You just wanna go, “No, no! I’m FUNNY! I swear, I am! COME BACK! Let me be funny for you!!”

  2. Erin
    January 27, 2012 at 8:10 am #

    Please, please, please. Don’t use the parental “We”. I had a boss who said that all the time, and I always wanted to say, “No, WE didn’t do it, I did, dammit!” and you don’t want that response from your kids. You’ll have to make them go clean their rooms.

    • kindofamess
      January 27, 2012 at 10:57 am #

      I do tell Jethro, “We aren’t those people” an awful lot. But I’m including myself in that, like when he wants to buy something with deer camouflage on it.
      “We aren’t those people, Jethro.”

  3. Beylit
    January 27, 2012 at 9:09 am #

    I have a friend that didn’t tell his daughter no, he told her to make good choices and when she did something bad he told her she made a bad choice. She learned that when he said make good choices she shouldn’t do whatever she was planning on doing.

    • kindofamess
      January 27, 2012 at 10:59 am #

      Ooo, I like that. I wish I had someone telling me that in college…
      “That was a bad choice, Alyssa. Make good choices.”

      • Beylit
        January 27, 2012 at 11:10 am #

        I think a toddler would have a better chance of listening to that advice than we ever would have had when we were in college.

    • Kristy
      January 27, 2012 at 1:26 pm #

      That’s kind of how my SIL & BIL have talked to their kids. “Think about the consequences before you do something,” and “Do you think that’s good idea?” are common questions at their house. Not to say there isn’t a lot of straight “No! What do you think you’re doing?” as well. :)

      • Josephine
        February 12, 2012 at 5:57 am #

        I’m pretty sure that the response of my other half as a kid to “do you think that’s a good choice” would have always been yes. And her children would probably be much the same, lol.

        I laughed for a very long time at the idea of you not being able to talk to your children Alyssa. If it helps you could always have some fun with it… my friends parents told her that her mum was born a man and her dad a woman. She believed it for years. And isn’t especially screwed up!

  4. Jason Heiser (@breaker119)
    January 27, 2012 at 9:10 am #

    What you say and do reflect directly upon you because your child will do as you do (at least for the first couple of years). You will try to stop cussing as soon as you hear your child start to repeat the things that you say. You might change your alcohol intake a bit when you hear your child tell their teacher “My daddy likes beer”. You will likely use your 12 inch voice, and you will use the parental “We” because what they do is what you teach them. You will talk about tinkle, poo, and its consistancy (because these things actually matter for a baby). And…you will likely yell explicatives at the smells.

    These are all things that you can’t get around – they just happen, and they’re fun. You can’t get around them; they are part of parenting. These things might annoy others, but you’ll realize just as you have in other parts of your life “Screw you, I don’t care if you don’t like my 12 inch voice”.

    • kindofamess
      January 27, 2012 at 11:10 am #

      As long as I don’t turn into someone that *I* don’t like, I’m cool. Well, and someone Jethro doesn’t like. Which I am already occasionally, so he should be used to it… :-)

  5. savychacha
    January 27, 2012 at 9:35 am #

    I have freakout’s like this occassionally just *thinking* about having a baby/child. I figure once my sister-in-law has her baby she can talk to me about these sorts of things. She’s basically my guinea pig for parenting.

    Also, when my husband and I discuss having children, he still insists that he will fart on them. He farts on the dogs occassionally, and when I yell “what the hell is wrong with you!” he looks at me all innocently and says “they like it”….He wants to fart on the children and laugh about it. Sigh…

    • kindofamess
      January 27, 2012 at 11:12 am #

      LORD, WHY DID YOU EVEN SAY THAT?!?

      Let’s hope that Jethro isn’t reading. We just had a conversation last night about how i didn’t need to be the mom in Target trying to explain away my toddler ripping ass and her hysterically laughing father….

      Also, yay for your sis-in-law! I have Liz of Happy Sighs as my guinea pig. There’s already been a few, “WHAT IS THIS?!?” emails back and forth….

    • Jenny- Adventures Along the Way
      January 27, 2012 at 7:51 pm #

      That story cracked me up!

  6. chickster
    January 27, 2012 at 10:32 am #

    When I was little my mom told me cherries would give me the runs. 30yrs later I learn I’m not allergic and she only told me that so she could eat all the cherries without us stealing any. I can’t believe I went all those years not eating cherries, but it’s a gem of a mother trick I plan to use on my future children.

    • kindofamess
      January 27, 2012 at 11:15 am #

      GENIUS. I need to use that on Tater with Skittles and Starburst.
      “No, honey, the red ones will make you sick. Let Mommy have them, she doesn’t mind.”

  7. Jessica
    January 27, 2012 at 12:15 pm #

    I love that you thought you were allergic to chocolate. Genius on the part of your mom. I may have to try that on our little monkey.

    Now that my guy is getting a little more involved in the world (5 months old now), I’m started to get worried about the things we expose him to. While we were listening to one of the Harry Dresden books (turned on to those by you BTW – thanks! Husband & I both love them), Oliver got all excited and started kicking his arms and legs in the back seat when Harry re-animated Sue the Dinosaur. Maybe he was just responding to the change in the tone of voice of the narrator, but I did realize in that moment that he is probably processing enough of what he hears in the real world to be dangerous. Sigh. Time to start paying attention to what I’m saying and doing a little more closely. As it is, hubs made me work on cursing less when I was pregnant in case the baby could hear me (thankfully, I was allowed an exemption for playing video games).

  8. Kristy
    January 27, 2012 at 1:31 pm #

    So the sarcasm thing – you’ll be surprised how quickly kids learn sarcasm. I actually read an article about it a while back that mentioned kids pick up on/learn it around age 4. My just-turned-5 nephew is SO sarcastic (not surprising, given my SIL & BIL). I don’t think he fully understands it, but every once in a while he says something that sounds so adult-ly sarcastic, we all die laughing.

  9. ducksandbooks
    January 29, 2012 at 2:26 pm #

    Reblogged this on Ducksandbooks: A Newly Mawwied Lady's Blog and commented:
    I freak out about theoretical future babies sometimes too.

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