You want to know a terrible secret? At least once a day I have the mind numbing revelation that I should never have had children, and that there is now nothing I can do about it. Having children is one decision you can't undo. They are permanent.
These moments don't always last long, for example, this morning's revelation happened when Thing 1 suddenly decided to bolt into a stranger's yard while on our walk, throw herself dramatically on her back and start rolling in circles. I tried verbal parenting like all the good books recommend, but my child was staring blissfully at the sky and had apparently been temporarily struck deaf. I had Thing 2 strapped to my chest, but I managed to haul her limp sister up with one hand, expecting the owners of the house to appear at any moment demanding what the ruckus was about and sending their pitbull after us. Thing 1, of course, screamed and thrashed as only a two year old can, kicked off both her boots and sent her hat flying into the bushes. I did an impressive squat with a shoeless toddler under one arm shrieking that I was "Squiiiiiiiishing" her, an infant trying to get away from the noise by arching backwards into my collar bone, and retrieved the scattered clothing with my free hand. Then I walked two blocks home with my child hanging upside down and her sister kicking me in the groin, grinning fiercely at any of my neighbors who were also up as early as I was. By that time I was too busy dealing with the immediate and pressing needs of my two Tiny Tyrants, and had already moved past that thought.
But it was there. That horrible, brutally honest moment when I imagine what my life would have been like if I was kid free.
This doesn't mean I don't love my kids. It doesn't mean I wouldn't die to protect them. I think it just means that they are little and demanding and I am very, very tired.
I just hope that there are actually parallel worlds, and in one of them I slept in this morning, took a long shower, shaved my legs, read a book with coffee, paid all my bills in my awesome home-office, am now painting a picture before meeting up with some friends for dinner where we will discuss our love lives and then catch a late showing of the latest blockbuster.
Maybe that makes me a bad mom - but this blog is about telling the truth, even if it is horrible.