Today I’m tired – but not because the usual 16 pound reason. Little Piper Grey sleeps 10-11 hours a night now – which is glorious. So evenings are when we clean, catch up on garbage TV (like the train wreck that is Bachelor in Paradise), attempt a workout, or catch up on the tragedies happening in the world. Last night’s quick scan through Twitter revealed a water-slide death in Kansas, failed parachutes for skydivers in California, children falling from Ferris wheels in Tennessee, jogger-attacks in NY, alligator attacks at Disney and Trump shushing babies. So instead of going to bed last night, I sat up and thought about all the OTHER things we’ll need to protect Piper from in addition to getting stuck in her crib slats, suffocating against her crib liner (it’s breathable, folks), drowning in her baby tub (one inch of water will do), strangulation in her car-seat (which does meet all the SC CPS laws, we’re good), choking on her 1st foods squash puree, and/or being morbidly obese and unhealthy because her anxiety-ridden mama feeds her formula from a bottle instead of from the breast (which as you know, is “best”).
So this morning I called my mom to say, “I get it now” and “I’m sorry for being such a know-it-all brat.”
Looking back, I spent a good deal of time being annoyed with my mom and dad (cue a moody playlist to set the emo tone, here) for being hesitant to let me wander around the Asheville Mall or the movie theater with my friends before I could drive, for insisting on a curfew after high-school dates (WHY was dating even allowed!? Piper can’t date til she’s 27), for riding me about the height of my heels or the length of my denim skirt (that’s not cool anymore anyway, hello), and for asking 3,459,876,534-trillion questions about out-of-town trips with friends and insisting that I call to check-in on the reg. The list goes on.
But now I get it. Something about being a “parent” births a fiery, unrelenting (and occasionally wildly irrational) desire to protect at all costs. Protect from all potential hazards ranging from toxic relatives to tap water.
The other night, Fifty Shades of Grey was on HBO. Since Piper was awake, Tye switched it to the new Jurassic Park on FX because he didn’t want her to “see that stuff.” She may only be five months, but he’s already letting that ‘dad’ instinct take over that chooses dinosaurs over 50-shades.
On that same note, a bare-butt flashed across my husband’s cell phone screen from an unmarried friend the other night. Apparently it’s absolutely kosher to sneak a photo of your waitress’s lady parts and pass along in a group-text in a serious assessment among old friends of ‘hot or not’ (we’re nearly 30, here). That’s all we need when trying to decide between sweet potato puree or carrots for our infant.
Just add that to the list. Daddy’s cell phone – and restaurants where clothes are optional for waitstaff. Zoos with gorillas. Water parks with tall slides. Water in general. HBO. Cribs without liners.
Okay, okay. So this is a bit extreme (commence the helicopter parent slippery slope). But in all seriousness, I have an abundance of sympathy for my parents. For all parents. Thank you, mom and dad, for doing everything in your power to keep me alive. Thank you for enduring the bitch-fits, tantrums and the tears.
I’m going to go ahead and let Piper know I’m sorry now for what’s to come (Tye is already policing her wardrobe) – but I know she’ll thank us later. Especially when she’s alive and not working in an establishment where clothes are entirely optional.