What? Like Parenting Is Hard?
Sometimes I cook dinner for my neighbor and her kid.
They come over because I crave the company and she doesn’t like to cook.
Whenever someone brings a child to my house, I realize just how not kid friendly it is. I mean, it’s not like I have sharp metal furniture and crystal vases and nude portraits of Ron Jeremy hanging around, but I don’t have any designated “kid” stuff, either. The closest I come is maybe a Pixar DVD or two, a copy of The Goonies (which really isn’t all that kid friendly at all when you think about it — but then, nothing involving Corey Feldman ever is), and… um… that’s about it. Even my dogs aren’t really kid-friendly, since every time they see one they feel the need to knock it to the ground, immobilize it, then sterilize it via intense licking before letting it roam freely around their abode.
This usually doesn’t go over well.
When it comes to snacks, unless kids like goat cheese or prosciutto or Castelvetrano olives or a dry cabernet, they’re pretty much SOL.
Most of my friends are already aware of the situation at my house, so they come well prepared with toys and snacks and binkies and bibs. But even the most prepared parents usually don’t think of the things most of us take for granted, like glasses. All of my glasses are — you guessed it — glass. So the last time I watched my neighbor’s daughter, I gave her milk shooters from a plastic JELL-O shot cup.
Hey. Aside from those and the oversized red and blue party flip cups, I got nothin’.
I’m pretty sure that at 2 years of age, they’re not dexterous enough to handle my stemware. And even I have a hard time lifting my chunky “Wal-Mart special” juice glasses.
This doesn’t happen at MY house. (source)
And I think, as I watch the little girl shoot her 4th milk, straight up, like a champ, that part of the reason I don’t really want one is because they need so much stuff.
As a self-professed minimalist with neurotic hoarding urges to constantly overcome, the very idea that I would need to purchase special glassless glasses and sippy cup lids and find somewhere to keep them and that’s just the tip of the iceberg, my friends, because did you know that kids need clothing and diapers and cribs and car seats and even special little spoons and plastic plates and omg you can’t put that tupperware in the microwave because the toxins will KILL your baby and I realize that in the end, I know I would require a JELL-O shot glass of my very own just to deal with it all.
I would be that parent who barely buys anything. Who says, You know what? Junior only really needs 3 toys at this age because he has the attention span of a gnat, and if I only give him one at a time and rotate them every half hour or so, it will be like he’s getting a brand new toy every time. And that’s when the other parents would look at me with judgement and my child with pity and I’d go to jail for boob-punching the first woman who tells me I’m cheap.
Because I am cheap, but that’s not the point.
The point is that I just don’t want all that crap.
It stresses me out.
And if crap stresses me out, then that’s just one more check in the ever-growing column of reasons I shouldn’t be a parent.
Because, from what I hear, parents deal with a lot of crap — both figuratively, and literally.
And to be honest, I’d rather just have fun with their kids while they’re here, and simply throw the JELL-O shot cups away when they leave.
Vicarious parenting is so easy.