The chickens turned three and five last week. I am still not sure how we all got here, let alone in one piece. But I suppose every parent feels that way.
At the park over the weekend, a father, while pushing his 20-month-old son in the swing, asked, “How old are your girls?” After my answer, he said, “Oh, so you’re on easy street now, huh?”
Easy street? Is that where I am? I do vaguely remember things being more difficult even just a year ago. But I wouldn’t say parenthood has morphed into a day at the spa.
Yes, there is very little ambiguous, ear-piercing crying in my life anymore. I gave away my stroller two weeks ago. If you hand the chickens a hairbrush, they just might brush their own hair. And never again in this lifetime shall I wear breast pads.
But these days, when Chicken Noodle finds my actions disagreeable, she lets me know with an ear-piercing and entirely unambiguous insult. “You stupid pooty booty head Mommy!”
And when I haul her off to her room for a time-out, she brings to the battle new advantages—40 pounds of muscle and a strong left hook.
And this morning after I started the bread maker and left the room, Chicken Little got into the cabinet, climbed up on the counter, and added several new ingredients, including dishwater.
And if I leave them alone together for too long, the scene inevitably transforms into four-star girl-on-girl wrestling, complete with biting, scratching and occasional nudity.
I suspected that Park Dad didn’t want to hear any of this.
I finally answered, “Things are pretty great, yeah. But they just change. Some pieces get easier, some get harder.”
He looked at me like I was a three-headed alien bearing news of the world’s imminent demise. Then he chose to treat me as an unfortunate anomaly. “I can’t wait until he’s four!” he proclaimed.
The one thing I hope I’m learning after five years of motherhood is to quit waiting for the perfect tomorrow and start living the imperfect today. There’s always frosting somewhere, if you look for it.