Potty training was going so well. We are celebrating the one week anniversary today and . . . well, there was a garbage bag and a bath involved this morning. Parents, you know what I’m talking about. People without children, you don’t really want to know. It’s ugly, but we are clean and dry and starting over again.
Potty training is a good metaphor for life. You have an accident. You clean up and start again. Next time it will be better.
My goodness, that’s deep.
I was in a discussion last week with a woman who does not have children who felt like women with children were picking on her. She should have all sorts of time to volunteer and such, she was being told. It was making her upset, and she made some generalizations about parents as a whole that didn’t sit well with me. As you know, I’m a big peacenik, and I don’t approve of generalizations about populations segments. Of course I also don’t approve of saying stupid things to people like, “You should have time to do this because you don’t have children.” Our time as parents is different because we are juggling our schedules as well as our children’s, but that doesn’t mean our time is more valuable. If we do our jobs well, we will have grown up children who leave our homes and then we will go back to just juggling our own schedules.
I can’t imagine it right now, but I have confidence that’s the way it’s going to turn out.
I’m wondering if that’s another factor for Mommies in the Trenches like myself. We are so busy with the immediate: Do you need to go potty? Is your homework done? Did you practice piano? Do you need a lunch? What time does the bus leave? Why are your hands covered in marker? Do you need to go potty? Don’t you have a clean shirt? Why didn’t you tell me you didn’t have a clean shirt? Where is the dog? Did you let the dog out? Do you need to go potty? Is that an Easter egg under the couch? Do you need to go potty? Are you sure you don’t need to go potty? Why don’t you just try and go potty?
It can be very difficult to remember that the world is spinning right outside our homes. Sometimes I have no idea what day it is much less who the current president is. I am unfamiliar with current popular music. I only know endless verses of “Five Little Ducks.” This makes me feel old and out of touch. The other day I told a woman without children at home that I was going to the movies. “Oh,” she said. “Are you going to see [insert current adult-type movie that I had not heard of here]?” I looked confused. “Noooooo, we’re going to that bird one.” She looked confused. “It’s animated,” I said. She continued to look at me with a blank stare.
What was my point?!
Oh, yes. Maybe we should just try to be nice to each other since we don’t actually know the path another person is walking.