I woke up at 5:12 this morning with visions of baby stealing zombies dancing in my brain. The dream started with an idyllic drive through the country in a convertible with t.rex in the back seat. Then blood-colored, carnivorous flowering vines were reaching into the car for us, and then the hordes of undead were tromping across mist-shrouded hills, and then we were trapped in a strip mall in North Carolina and I was giving the zombies a taste of my muay thai flava while lamenting the loss of my glasses and the mysterious disappearance of my favorite baby carrier.
"5:12?" I said to myself. "BFD. I've got another hour to sleep. Mmm. Sleep."
And then I became a zombie myself at 5:35 when t.rex began the mind-numbing torturefest that is Monday Morning with Children. I supplied milk, Brahms, and a well-meaning pat, but his mindless, moaning desires could not be stopped. Or even stalled.
"Baaaaaaaaar!" he moaned. "Mama, BAAAAAAAAARRRRR!"
And here he sits, pantsless, face smeared with red goo and white stuff and brown crumbs, shuffling around the house.
And me? I feel like I took 3 Unisom and can't quite wake up. I've had 3 cups of coffee. It's half-caf, but it usually works like a charm. I had breakfast and a square of dark chocolate. My next line of defense involves one of those ginormous needles full of pure adrenaline like the one from Pulp Fiction.
But I've finally figured it out. The reason why parenting is so hard. After all, babysitting is super easy. Teaching other people's kids isn't even that hard. But parenting? Every day is "one of those days". Here's the secret:
Parenting is like trying to take the SATs after a week of all-nighters. But then the SAT cries and poops, too, so when you should be taking it, you're taking care of it.
I'm a zombie because I'm chronically sleep deprived from taking care of their needs and then my needs. I don't take the time to eat full meals. I forget to drink water. And there are so many other things I want to do at night after they go to bed, writing and painting and reading and movies and talking, so many things that help me feel like a real human again, that I have trouble getting to sleep, and then I'm even sleepier the next morning.
So of course even the tiniest problem seems huge. Of course we can't think ahead and plan and deal with intricate developmental issues like the people writing the books. Our brains barely function, and we're not feeding them. There's no escape, no vacation, no down time.
WE ARE BEING CHASED BY ZOMBIES ALL THE TIME, BUT WE ARE ALREADY ZOMBIES, SO WE CAN'T EFFECTIVELY FIGHT THE ZOMBIES. THAT WE ARE.
That's deep. Or maybe my near-catatonic state is just making it seem deep. Now I have to go take a bath and go to the mall and consume things for some minor seratonin hits.