Kids make you insane.
Not necessarily in that gibbering, banging-your-head-against-the-walls, strait-jacket kind of insane (well, maybe in small doses), but in the way that it warps the way you look at the world. The world a parent lives in is not the same world that a normal human lives in. We see things that are invisible to most people. We do things that make normal people scratch their heads in wonder. Our heads are constantly filled with bizarre fuzzy maths that would make the physics department at MIT weep. We tie ourselves in knots to make the world livable for ourselves and the future humans we are tasked with raising to adulthood.
Here are just a few of the strange behaviors that have become totally commonplace for my husband and myself since having a “tiny human.”
- Normal people can drink out of cups, but we can’t. If we have a glass of some beverage, and we leave that beverage unattended for even fifteen seconds, then that beverage will end up spilled on the couch, the carpet, or possibly the ceiling. The fact that we have a cat plays in here, too, because our cat cannot abide an upright glass. So instead we drink out of bottles with lids, all the time, until the kid is asleep and the cat is preoccupied with grooming itself for the 10th time.
- Normal people lock the bathroom door, but we don’t. I don’t even close the door all the way; I just rest it lightly against the frame. For some reason, the kid never wants my attention so much as when I’m trying to do my business. And here comes that mental math I mentioned: I can lock the door (which will keep him out) or simply close it, but then I have to suffer the slings and arrows of a tireless banging on the door to the chorus of “MAMA!? MAMA!?” Or, I can give him easy access, and put up with the lesser indignity of relieving myself in front of the tiny human while listening to him prattle on. (Generally, the prattle wins out over the banging on the door.)
- Normal people can drive and listen to a song of their choosing, but we can’t. As soon as we put the car in reverse it starts. “oh oh” song. Or “Disney” music. If I don’t play it I deal with the endless whining. And when I do play it I have the battle of getting my sweet child to not ask to have the song repeated a gazillion times. EACH song that comes on the tiny human wants to hear again. And again. Such fun.
- Normal people check the thermostat maybe once or twice a day, but I have to check it more often. This makes me crazy, because the thermostat is not a thing that changes on its own, and I feel like an insane person looking at it as often as I do. But little kids love pushing buttons, both the metaphorical and the literal. Seriously, he had somehow managed to turn on the heat while it was 95 degrees out the other day. Luckily, I caught it before the house or any of us combusted from the heat. Because I check the thermostat more often than your dad does. Every time I walk past the thing, I check it.
- Normal people know what “no” means, but we don’t. The word “no” means nothing in our house. For two reasons. First of all, it obviously means nothing to our child. We both say it and say it, but the little human keeps asking or doing the thing that had us saying “no” in the first place, so we clearly haven’t taught the meaning of this simplest of words properly. Then, there’s that thing that happens, you know, where you say a word over and over and over in rapid succession and, like a soggy Cheerio, it just kind of disintegrates in your mind? Like the syllables and the letters come apart and the meaning just evaporates? Where do words come from, anyway? What’s a language, for that matter? How are we even able to communicate at all?
There are more, but I have to go check the thermostat.