I’m not sure when it happened exactly but at some point in my parenting career, I went from being Mom to Glorified End Table. Cause that’s pretty much all I do now. Just hold my children’s crap for them. Backpacks. Sippy cups. This cool leaf they found on the ground.
All in all, it’s not a bad gig. Much better than when they used me as their Glorified Couch. Or when they were babies and I was merely a Portable Buffet Table. But there are some downsides. Such as how long I have to hold these items. Which is apparently forever.
Did I ever think I’d wake up one day as furniture? No. Truthfully I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. But it’s hard to type when you’re holding three very important pine cones and a hoodie and a blueberry muffin with two bites taken out of it. A muffin they INSIST they will finish. Eventually. Probably before they go to college.
So I’m doing my best to settle into this new role of mine. My dreams can wait. Especially since this used candy wrapper isn’t going to hold itself, now is it?
Plus, I mean, if I’m not going to do it, who will? The kids? Don’t be ridiculous. Why would THEY hold their OWN crap?
I did try it once though. Making them hold their own belongings. Back when I was still Mom. And then we immediately turned around after getting home to go right back to the park and grab the mountain of stuff they left there. Oh, sorry. Correction: The mountain of stuff they left lying there in a mud puddle.
It was soon after that that I metamorphosized into the end table. (Eat your heart out, Gregor Samsa).
Oh, I can’t tell you the sheer number of things I’ve had to hold for them. Half drank water bottles. Hats. Sunglasses. Baggies of Cheerios. Wet socks. What turned out to be a dead cricket. A water gun that they definitely stole from someone. Rocks. So many rocks. An entire menagerie of stuffed animals. Half eaten lollipops. Every single dandelion that grew in our neighborhood.
Then there were the three dozen acorns they acquired when we went camping in New Hampshire. Each one as precious and unique as a diamond. And yes, they knew if I tried to nonchalantly drop a few to make it easier to carry.
There were the shells from that time we went to the beach. Enough to decorate the bathroom of every single beach house on the east coast.
And, my personal favorite, the giant bags of cotton candy they JUST. HAD. TO. HAVE. but (surprise!) didn’t eat so I carried them around a street fair in 90 degree temperatures for four hours.
Of course, just like any reliable piece of furniture, there’s been some wear and tear. The rings alone. Mostly under my eyes. Plenty of dents and scratches. But it could be worse, I suppose. Daddy, for instance, woke up one day as Mobile Playground.
Luckily, I have many parent friends who also double as Glorified End Tables and who are happy to help out and hold my stuff so I can hold my children’s stuff. Of course, then another parent/end table has to then hold THEIR stuff, which is mostly their children’s stuff, so they can hold my stuff so I can hold my children’s stuff and so on and so on in one giant Russian Roulette game of crap-holding.
But that’s why they say it takes a village to raise a child. Although perhaps a more apt phrase at this point would be that it takes a furniture store.
And so, in conclusion, that’s why parents are allowed to drink alcohol. Now, can someone get me a straw? My hands are full.