I’m a sucker for all those sappy articles and BuzzFeeds on how adorable children are, from the sweet smell of their infant hair after a bath, to the homemade Mother’s Day gifts your preschooler brings home. But let’s be real here — kids can be super annoying. And because I’m such a fantastic mom, I’ve been keeping track of the many ways that my children drive me insane. Here are a few.
The whole process of getting children into clothing can be frustrating. To begin with, there are those insane button-up onesies that they expect new parents to master at 3 a.m. after a diaper blowout. Now that my kids are at the age where they want to dress themselves, there are plenty of new frustrations. When I hold their jacket for them — the sleeve correctly positioned for the appropriate arm — they suddenly spin around and try to stuff their other arm into that sleeve. Then we’re both spinning in circles trying to correct the situation. Or I’ve placed a sock on one foot and I’m trying to put the sock on the other foot, but they keep shoving the foot that already has a sock at me. And oh the shoes! My 4-year-old has learned (after weeks of tedious, nail-biting patience on my part) to put his own shoes on, but is irrationally picky about how tight the straps are. If it’s velcro, he’ll unfasten and refasten the straps like 10 times before he’s ready. It doesn’t matter if we’re late for school or his little brother is escaping through the back door, he has to have those cursed shoes just right before he’ll budge.
I feel like the baby books should have mentioned that your children will always, incessantly, obnoxiously and at times, inappropriately be touching your body. Of course I love the sweet snuggles of my boys, the loving kisses on the cheek, the tender caresses of their tiny hands on my arm. If it ended there, I’d be fine with the constant touching, but it doesn’t. As babies, both my boys would do this cringe-worthy thing of pinching the back-side of my arm while I was holding them. I’m talking about that lovely flappy part of your arm — unless of course you have crazy fit triceps, in which case I’ll be writing a blog next about how annoying overly fit moms can be.
And now, at 2 and 4 years old, their touch has become something I run from, literally. I’ve been kneed in my back, had my boobs punched, my nose hit so hard I thought it was broken, and every inch of me poked, pinched and prodded by overly rough children. How about when you get your hair just right, and for no reason at all they decide to “pat” you on the head? My boys’ favorite game when my stomach might be exposed (maybe while getting changed) is to “tickle, tickle” with their jagged little claw hands. I’ve been known to run sprinting from my bedroom and hide in the hall closet while they run downstairs to look for me. Don’t judge.
For Christmas this year, we got the boys some new games to help pass the cold winter months. I was so excited to play my favorite childhood game, “Guess Who,” with James, who is 4. The new version is pretty fantastic, having multiple options for play. There aren’t just people faces anymore, but also animals and food. The first time we played, I thought I was going to throw the game out the window. I’d ask James a question about his character, he’d answer me, then adjust his board based on his own answer. I’d correct him, explaining the rules yet again, but over and over this went on. Did I mention he told me right away what character he’d chosen? He kept asking me questions about my character that weren’t “yes” or “no” answers, like “Mommy, what color is your character?” or “Mommy, is your character a shark too?” or “Mommy, which character is yours?” My husband was laughing hysterically in the other room listening to our lively round of what I now call “Guess Who Wants to Drink at 10 a.m.?”
And don’t even get me started on putting puzzles together with kids. Watching them stubbornly try to shove the incorrect piece into place, insisting that it will fit, makes me want to shove my head into the wall. I should go read one of those warm and fuzzy BuzzFeeds on the “Top 10 Cutest Kid Phrases” before I pull out my now-graying hair.
Mandy Watts is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Crownsville with her husband, Justin, who runs their family business, and their two sons, 4-year-old James and 2-year-old Luke.