With/Out Kids

With/Out Kids

What’s the difference between a life without kids and life with kids? See for yourself…

Going to Target

Without kids:

Decide to go to Target. Go to Target.

With kids:

Realize you need something from Target. Immediately seek out the perfect half hour in which you can get to and from Target without messing up nap time, snack time, or any other Special Time that your kids require. Miss that half hour by fifteen minutes. Cry into your hands. Schlep kids and kid accessories into minivan. Drive to Target while listening to the soundtrack from Frozen for 3472014871302 time. Circle parking lot until you find the perfect spot – you don’t care how close you are to the front of the store, as long as you are near a cart return. Park and load children into cart while praying your toddler does not suddenly develop the desire to run into traffic and simultaneously cursing Target for not having special kid carts. Push cart full of children into Target while threatening your oldest that if he stands up in the cart again you will not get him a treat. It’s an empty threat. You know it. He knows it. He doesn’t play by society’s rules. Pick up the keys your baby dropped. Pick up the wallet your baby dropped. Pick up the toy your baby dropped. Pick up the keys your baby dropped. Stop giving your baby things. Paste a smile on your face and ignore strangers who are now glancing at your screaming baby who is reaching desperately for your keys. Explain that it’s “past someone’s nap time” as you push the cart by. Do not explain that the person who actually needs the nap is you. Find all the items you need in record time. Keep smiling as the cashier offers you to sign up for the special credit card six times in a row. Feel your eye start to twitch as the toddler begins to whine, “I’m huuuuuuuuuuuuungeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee” for seven and a half minutes without ceasing. Pay for your items. Wonder how you spent so much at Target. Load kids and Target acquisitions into the minivan. Drive home while listening to the Frozen soundtrack again, now at top volume so you can drown out the chorus of “I’m huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuungeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, I wanna eaaaaaaaaaaaaat” playing in the back seat. Arrive home. Unload children. Leave Target items in car and promise yourself you will come back for them after you get the kids in. Understand that what you really mean is you will ask your husband to unload them when he gets home from work. Put the baby to bed. Feed the toddler. Drink a Diet Coke. Realize you forgot to get something while at Target. Cry again.

Brushing your teeth

Without kids:

Put toothpaste on toothbrush. Brush teeth. Admire your pearly whites in the mirror.

With kids:

Put toothpaste on toothbrush. Watch it slide onto the floor as your toddler tries to yank the toothbrush from your hands. Convince toddler to go watch cartoons. Reapply toothpaste. Remember to shut the bathroom door this time. Immediately begin watching myriad objects appear under the door, courtesy of the toddler: Legos, markers, puzzle pieces, Army men, and socks all make their way across the floor as you try to ignore them and start brushing. Yell “IN JUST A MINUTE” over and over as your toddler keeps asking you when you will come back over and over. Rinse and spit and notice you now have a toothpaste stain in the middle of your shirt. Leave bathroom to change shirts. Step on Legos. Say bad words in your head.

Eating dinner at home

Without kids:

Make dinner. Congratulate yourself on being awesome. Eat dinner. Contemplate how delicious dinner was while you decide on dessert.

With kids:

Start the oven. Threaten your toddler with no Mickey Mouse ever again if he goes anywhere near it. Comfort toddler after he gets sad about the thought of living in a Mickey-less world. Realize oven is now heated. Throw casserole ingredients into a pan while trying to ignore the fact that the baby and the toddler are growling at each other. Put casserole into oven just in time to stop the baby from stabbing the toddler in the eye with a straw. Collect all straws. Put baby and toddler in high chairs and give them a pre-dinner snack. Watch them throw the snack on the floor as they ask for “real” dinner. Tell them to wait. Turn on Mickey Mouse. Realize you have no principles anymore. Start cleaning up the living room while you wait for casserole to cook. Allow yourself to get distracted and find yourself knee-deep in baby clothes that you are sorting to see if they still fit when you suddenly realize the sound you’ve been hearing for the last ten minutes is not the TV, but the oven, signaling that your casserole is ready. Or it was ten minutes ago. Throw all clothes onto floor, undoing the work you’ve done for the last thirty minutes, and rescue casserole from oven. Comfort crying children and tell them the noise was just for fun and the smoke is nothing to worry about. Cut away burned edges of casserole. Give children casserole. Watch them throw the casserole on the floor and cry for crackers. Vow to never cook again.

And those are just the first three I could think of.