“So, how was your day?”
Has there ever been a more loaded question?
Yes. But for my purposes here, I need you to ignore that.
Because I get asked this on a daily basis. Sometimes multiple times during that daily basis. And it stumps me every single time.
How was my day? How was my whole, entire, day? Well, nothing is currently on fire. That’s how my day was.
Asking a parent how their day was is a futile exercise. Because no matter what they say— Good. Bad. Fantastic! I’m currently drinking rum mixed with Kool-Aid and expired Nyquil–the only true, honest answer is “I don’t know.”
Every day with children is one giant rollercoaster ride. All super highs and wicked lows. A roller coaster that is equal parts fun and horrifying. And is always breaking down. And needing to pee. Again. With bony elbows and knees coming out of nowhere to hit you when you least expect it.
It starts from the minute you hear those first rustlings coming from the baby monitor at some ungodly hour—click, click, click—and goes all day long—wheeeeeee! Oh god, I’m going to die!—until you put them down at night for the third, and final, and I MEAN IT, time that night.
He peed in the potty!
He pooped in the corner!
He’s napping in his bed!
She finally fell asleep in her crib! …aaaaaaaand she’s screaming again.
He actually ate his lunch!
Oh. No, wait. That’s avocado on the ceiling, isn’t it?
God damn it
He listened to me when I calmly explained why we don’t bite people.
He just bit me again.
SON OF A…
She’s feeding herself!
Oh god, she’s choking to death.
crap crap crap crap please don’t die crap crap crap
They’re both on my lap, peacefully listening to me read them a book!
Sigh! Life is perfect.
She just pulled his hair and he slapped her leg and everyone is crying and screaming and the dog is barking.
I’m in a hell of my own making.
They’re both quietly playing in the corner by themselves!
Pffft…and people say parenting is hard.
He pooped in the corner again? And got it on his shoes? And then dragged the poop all over the house? And his sister is now playing in it?
*sound of whiskey being poured*
Happiness. Frustration. Joy. Anger. Sadness. Bewilderment. Contentment. More anger. Guilt. More happiness but swiftly turning into anger because SO HELP ME, IF YOU DON’T PUT THAT DOWN, I WILL END YOU.
And those emotions were all felt in the past 30 seconds just while I was trying to type this sentence.
Is it any wonder we parents are braindead at the end of the day?
But there’s a reason people will stand in line for three hours at an amusement park for a single rollercoaster ride. It lets us know, in the most intense of terms, that we are alive.
Or, at least, that’s what I’m telling myself as I stop my son’s third bloody nose of the day because he won’t stop sticking his goddamn finger up there.
I’M ALIVE, BABY! WHEEEEEEEEEEEE!