Tonawanda News


August 11, 2013

CRIB NOTES: Looking haggard? Nope, that's just parenting

Tonawanda News — I’m starting to learn every parent projects two different images to the world.

To some people, a parent walking through your average social setting looks like he’s being dragged through acid-tinged broken glass, an ever-present tinge of pain showing on his face as he’s continually in pursuit of someone who seemingly isn’t there. He smells like herd-wrangling dirty sweat mixed with peanut butter and sour candy. He sounds slightly insane as he seemingly dictates orders to nobody in particular, repeats himself incessantly and unleashes a constant flow of apologies.

To another parent, the phenomenon is called “Wednesday.”

In assessing how I behave when I take the kids out somewhere, I concluded I must look like someone who just can’t get it together. Even Crazy Cat Lady must pass me at the supermarket, seeing me continually unload my cart of the cartoon character-graced packages of goodies Penny and Rigby put in there while keeping them out of the toy aisle and chastising them for hitting, colliding with every adult who’s present, and think I’m a mess.

In some respects, I kind of feel that way. But you would, too, if you just explained for the 13th time in a single afternoon which way left is.

You might be a tad worse for wear if you spent an hour prodding your kids to eat, only to see them refuse and then complain 30 minutes later they were starving.

And you’d certainly not feel your Sunday best if you just got up from the floor after making your son pick up the straws threw about the kitchen and entered a living room saturated with the contents of an opened piggy bank.

Children definitely have a way of making you feel ... not quite like yourself. You get used to the sleep deprivation, jitters and the loss of all sense of time — something similar to what I’d imagine it’s like for degenerate gamblers on a four-day blackjack binge. 

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