Being 40-something and being manipulated by a toddler is not for the faint of heart. Those who are brave or insane enough to be tortured deserve a measly award — at a minimum.
1. If I had a quarter for every time I get asked if I am the grandmother, I could afford a babysitter whose job was to manage bedtime. I take my 2-year-old to the grocery store and then to lunch, and I am given the senior citizen discount at both establishments.
2. I am tired and naptime now belongs to me in a way it did not 10 years ago. Back then I was a model of efficiency, cooking dinner, cleaning, folding clothes, and now I am an exhausted sloth.
3. We try to keep up with the trends and I notice the fashionable mothers much younger than I, but again, I’m just too tired to go anywhere clothes shopping every few months and my faded wide-legged exercise pants are comfortable.
4. We are not oblivious to our naughty toddlers, but we just can’t be bothered to step in every time our toddler decides not to share.
5. While our friends are jetting to tropical destinations for girls’ weekends and birthday celebrations, we are getting splattered with spaghetti sauce on a family dinner out — nothing like a buffet birthday celebration to clench one’s older mother status.
6. An upgrade to first class on my last flight gave me nothing, only the free wine I spilled and the scolding I received for my 2-year-old scavenging under people’s chairs.
7. While my friends are improving their tennis game, I am stepping on metal toy trains that evidently blend in with my rugs and unleashing cursing words.
8. I grow more wrinkled by the day and can’t get the needed skin repair that is dependent on visits to a professional whose title is similar to anesthetist. No, I don’t even have time to wash my face with my lonely bar of soap.
9. I have become a follower of free-range parenting, yet I admit it is an unintended result of my lack of due diligence. My children can walk to church on their own, deliver one another to friends’ houses, and pick up prescriptions at the drugstore. If not out of my own laziness, then I give them an open range for their independence.
10. We try to fit in and talk at the playground but are too distracted gawking at the futuristic strollers and babywearing apparatuses. My own worn baby carrier should be relinquished to the thrift shop or a museum, and my once state-of-the-art jogging stroller looks bulky and antiquated. Bummer.
If no award, then please just don’t ask me if I am the gestational carrier for my grandchildren.