As a mom there are a lot of things I wish for on a daily basis: I wish my kids would sleep later, I wish the laundry would fold itself, I wish my boobs would return to their old glory days status, I wish out of the one million and five toys we own that the kids could not fight over the exact same toy. You know, the types of things that selfishly make my life much easier but doesn’t solve larger global issues like world peace, hunger, etc.
This is a list, in no particular order, that I wish a genie to the moms would grant.
1. I Wish I Could Leave My Kids in the Car To Run A Quick Errand
Does anyone else remember growing up and being left in the car with the window cracked while a parent ran into the grocery store to get a few things? I have fond memories of being left in the car with literally nothing to occupy me other than my imagination and the car horn, which I beeped repeatedly until my mom came storming out of the store and I tried to buckle my seatbelt and slow my breathing like I hadn’t just been beeping the horn. Granted, I was much older than my kids are now, but still. There was no judgment, it wasn’t a big deal, and there were certainly no calls to CPS.
Nowadays you can barely walk around to grab something out of your trunk with your kids strapped inside without someone reaching for their cell phone. It’s ridiculous. I’m not advocating for long, solo trips to the mall where you toss your kids an iPad and let them chill out in the car. I’m advocating to let parents run into Dunkin Donuts without having to go through the rigmarole of unbuckling multiple kids, keeping multiple kids from running off in the parking lot, and then trying to hold one on your hip while you place an order for much-needed coffee and donuts before they turn into stampeding wildebeests. I’m talking about being able to run into the Post Office solo where I can easily see my car from the window and avoid having to put back the Priority Mail boxes that they throw all over the floor. I say if the time it takes to unbuckle, wrangle, and re-buckle your kids into their seat than is longer than the time to run the actual errand then I should be allowed to leave them in the car.
Honestly, I am not worried about someone kidnapping my kids. After two minutes in the car with my 19-month old crying incoherently for a specific song on the CD from her music class that the kidnapper will certainly not be able to identify, I have no doubt that they will be pushing 100 MPH to drop the car back off and tuck and roll out of it while it’s still moving. I wouldn’t even press charges. The time endured within my SUV would be punishment enough.
The world should trust parents to make a judgement call as to whether their kids can be left in a locked car with the engine off on a non-crazy hot day for the two minutes it takes to do something in peace.
2. I Wish People With Calm Kids in Public Would Tell Me Their Kids Are Never Like This (Even If They Are So Calm Every Single Time)
My children are spirited, energetic, loud, and semi-wild. In short, they take after me. This of course makes me break into a cold sweat at the mere thought of dragging them to stores and restaurants. I don’t keep the inner lining of my diaper bag lined with fruit snacks and lollipops for no reason.
While I’m in the midst of unwrapping a Dum-Dum wrapper at 9:12am in the morning at Buy Buy Baby, I can’t help but gaze out into the store as babies contentedly sit in the cart, looking up at their mother’s with respect and love. Is it too much to ask that the person with the calm kid reach over and say “my daughter did the exact same thing last week” as my 19-month old strains against the grocery cart seatbelt in a way is reminiscent of Linda Blair’s thrashing when holy water was thrown on her in The Exorcist? Can the mom enjoying a leisurely lunch with her kids where she actually – gasp – appears to be savoring food tell me that this is a rare treat while my kids do shots of ketchup from those little paper cups? This will do nothing to change my own children’s behavior (I think I might need to intervene with some solid parenting on that one) but at least I would feel slightly better that my kids aren’t the only ones that turn down for what in public.
3. I Wish Target Had Free Babysitting
Target, I’m going to level with you. Roughly 75% of the trips I take to your glorious store are with a child in tow. This means that not only am I missing items on my “must have” list, I’m completely bypassing key areas of the store that contribute to a large volume of “shit I didn’t need, but it’s from Target and it’s adorable and I’m under the impression that it’s relatively less expensive than what I would have paid elsewhere for it and I must have it”. Clearly the optimal way to enjoy you is by myself while the kids are at home and it’s just you and I as the rest of the world fades away. Sadly, that is not often my reality. I’m not asking for anything fancy. Throw up a baby gate around The One Spot and make it rain a few packets of Market Pantry fruit snacks and I will be more than happy to leisurely stroll your store and raise my average CPV (cost per visit) by 100%.
4. I Wish Nick Jr. Would Cut The Bulls****
Nick Jr., it’s me, Lynn. You know and I know that there is nothing educational about your programming. PBS, you ain’t. Just because a random number appears on the screen once during 22 minutes of dribble does not constitute the qualification of your program helping with “early math skills”. That show is on for the following reasons:
- I need a mental break
- The kids need a mental break
- The kids woke up too early
- I had to bribe one or both of the kids
- All of the above
And guess what Nick Jr.? I am totally fine with that. I love you anyway. Truly, I do. Let’s just call a spade a spade and get back to those asshole dogs.
5. I Wish All Children’s Music, Show Theme Songs, and Musical Toy Tunes Would Be Wiped From My Memory
Has your child ever had this toy? *Me hoping for your sake and your sanity’s sake that you say no*
It’s 3am and I just had to tuck my 3-year old back into bed/fluff his pillow/walk him to the bathroom/explain why I left his room 8 hours ago. I lay back into my own bed and instead of falling asleep, this little number floats into my mind
I got a remote! And I’m ready to roll! Making things happen ’cause I’m in control!
I swear I’m not exaggerating, but I don’t think I will ever forget this mindless tune. I cannot tell you who won the Super Bowl this year or what I wore yesterday, but this, this I will always remember. Along with various kid TV show theme songs, songs from other annoying toys, and the CD from Olivia’s music class that she can’t quit.
6. I Wish Amazon Had a Few “In Case of Emergency Drop This On My Doorstep via Drone ASAP” Credits As Part of My Prime Membership
Amazon has completely ruined what little patience I possess. Now even the thought of having to wait two days has me on edge. Two days was too long when I was literally turning into a zombie because Olivia refused to sleep at night and I was up at 3am with tears of exhaustion streaming down my face reading Amazon reviews for the latest product guaranteed to get her to sleep. Two days is too long when I really need something but can’t bear the thought of taking the kids out in public to get it and prefer not to run my errands at 8pm at night. Amazon, you don’t leave me with anything to complain about, but you should seriously take this into consideration. You could call it “Super Prime” or “Desperation Prime”, it doesn’t matter to me just make it happen.
7. I Wish The Internet Would Stop Putting Out Articles About What We Should or Shouldn’t Be Doing as Parents
Dearest Internet (but mostly HuffPo Parents),
I sincerely appreciate your efforts to improve my parenting. I am the first to admit that I need it. But there is this thing called “keeping them alive” that sometimes gets in the way of a lot of the well-intentioned things you point out that I should be doing. Like articles about the best and worst sunscreens. C’mon. I’m having enough trouble applying ANY sunscreens to running/screaming kids who think I have a tube of battery acid in my hands and now I have to worry about the actual ingredients??
After waking up before the sun, changing diapers, forcing potty breaks, making breakfast, unloading the dishwasher, packing lunch/snacks for everyone, trying to eat something myself, getting everyone dressed, brushing their teeth, heading off to preschool drop-off, prepping lunch, picking up from preschool, making sure everyone eats lunch, putting everyone down for naps, cleaning up from breakfast and lunch, soothing cranky kids that woke up too early from their naps, dolling out snacks, entertaining/enjoying a little quality time with them, prepping dinner, feeding them dinner, giving baths, brushing teeth, cleaning ears, combing hair, putting baby to bed, then putting toddler to bed, making dinner for my husband and I, cleaning up the dishes, straightening the house, and then finally getting 1 hour to myself, I simply don’t have the time for your suggestions.
I’ll be sure to bookmark the really important stuff once I have free time in 18 years. In the meantime, let’s tone it down a bit. I prefer to sort of wing it anyway.