it’s not that I don’t want to commit. really, I swear. but if I could guess what kind of mood my kid is going to be in two weeks from this tuesday at 6pm…I’d be Miss Cleo, girl. oh, and I’d own a private island, win the lottery repeatedly and have way better hair.
predicting the temperaments of a toddler is impossible. as such, I try not to make hard, fast plans that are not completely kid-friendly. I realize this sounds limiting and ridiculous and believe me, it is. but for good reason.
a lot of my friends don’t have kids. and while you’d like to think it doesn’t impact your relationship, it does. whether they want to hit the hippest new place in town at 8pm…(literally my kid’s witching hour)…or they want to do a casual lunch date…(inevitably when my kid will decide to nap even though she’s skipped for the last week)…you just never know.
I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve received a last minute text saying, “we got tickets to ___! show starts at 8!” and it’s 6:30. of course, I want to go! but often, I’m the sole parent and getting a sitter in 90 minutes might as well be a challenge on The Amazing Race. not happening, sister. yes, I’m sad, too.
and yes, friends love you and are understanding, but only to a point. especially when they can’t possibly get it because they haven’t been there.
this is not a bash; this is reality.
they haven’t had a toddler refuse to put on clothes or run and hide at the mention of getting in the car.
they haven’t had to pack a diaper bag that rivals a weekender or considered every possible item this little person might want during the one and a half hours you will attempt to give your attention to another human.
they haven’t had someone who literally needs them to stay alive and often expresses their infantile emotions through their desire to be held. constantly. the things I have learned to do one-handed could be a resume in itself.
just this evening, my potty-trainer decided the moment we were supposed to be out the door, she needed to poop. seriously?! this requires a song and a dance and I’m zero percent kidding. she chooses the exact toilet, she selects the music, she gets a celebration for any little effort. it takes forevahhhhh.
parenting is hard and parenting is constant. so, I do my best. we do our best. to show up, to not have dried food on our clothing, to be present at the previously decided upon place and time, both physically and mentally.
and sure, you can hire sitters. but how much is too much? I mean, I chose to have a child because I want her in my life. That and the $15 bucks an hour in addition to the outing prices can stack up quickly. so while it’s nice every now and then, I can’t justify it regularly.
Kids may sound like an excuse, but regardless, I prefer a no reservations policy. how does next Saturday afternoon look? sure. anything with an “ish” clause is doable. I’ve just got to have the flexibility. this won’t be forever, but it’s for now. maybe someday soon, I will dare to wear white again. I will leave the house with just my wallet. and I will have a 7:30 table for four…with no high chair.