My kid turns four today. Four. Four years.

I know where every freaking second of those four years went. Colic. Temper tantrums. Sleep deprivation. Vomit cleaning. Potty training.

And the laundry. All that fucking laundry.

Four years without writing. Or sleeping. Or bathing regularly. Or going to movies. Or traveling. Or seeing friends. Or even simply walking out of the house with only a cellphone.

Four years.

Four years since I’ve been to an art museum. Or a rock show. Or a play.

And yes, I know it didn’t have to be this way. I’m not blaming Paul, or Rocco, or anyone else. Honestly, I don’t even really blame myself. While there are a zillion other mothers out there who manage to juggle all the craziness of child rearing with grace and dignity, I am not them. Not even close.

I am a hot mess.

Have you ever cried so hard you forgot to breathe, totally consumed by the simple act of crying? But then your body started panicking and gulping for air and so you found yourself gulping for air, willing yourself to remember how to inhale? But how could you possibly inhale while weeping?

Too dramatic an analogy. Hang on…

Have you ever tried to write a song while listening to Twisted Sister? You can’t. Your brain is too busy processing “Come On Feel the Noise” to pick a different chord progression.

Nope. Too simplified.

Apparently I don’t have a good analogy. But I’m pretty sure after I’ve already posted this thing, I’ll come up with a dozen or so examples of things that fully consume a person to the exclusion of any other facet of that person. My point is, I’m still figuring out how to do ANYTHING else while parenting.

And I will. I know I will.

But for now, I’m proud of these four years. They were hard. They were informative. And they were unexpected. And I’m proud of the work that I’ve done.

I may not be a graceful parent. But I’ve finally come to terms with that.

It only took me four years.

Happy Birthday, my love. To you and your wiggly strawberry butt.

(Forgive Rocco’s cinematography. The little dude is camera shy.)

Updated: LIKE SWIMMING LAPS!! You can’t very well carry on a conversation or check your cell phone while you’re swimming laps. I suppose you can still pee, though. Which makes this analogy even better because I have definitely peed in the last four years.


  1. Four years of face punching forward motion through effectively and creatively keeping small humans alive! Dude, you are 100% right where you need to be. Keep swimming those laps. Happy 4th birthday to your peanut- remind him that 4 is the prime of the salad days- before homecoming dates, trapper keepers and driving lessons.

  2. There’s nothing that helped me forgive/love/put up with my own mother more than becoming one myself. This business of parenting, particularly the early years is unrelenting. Decimating. Hallucination-inducing.

    I come to you from your future, as my kids are 12 and 15: it just keeps getting better.

    1. See? Thank you. Everyone always says bigger kids, bigger problems and tells me I’ll long for these days again. Thank you. Thank you for giving hope!

  3. Just yesterday, with the kids buckled in their carseats, while taking the basement stairs two at a time for the second trip back up, this time to get the car keys, I said aloud – no, shouted – “Who the FUCK is it who finds this parenting thing to be easy?!? I mean, people keep on having kids, and tons have more than TWO.” Then I thought of a stupid quote I saw on FB, which has given me solace since seeing it in my newsfeed: something like, no one finds parenting to be easy, some just seem less like a shit show than others. Or something like that. But aren’t they so cute when you look at them on the monitor when they’re sleeping at night?

  4. Based on what I’ve heard other parents saying, you get the hang of parenting somewhere around the 18th year or thereabouts. But from what I’ve seen, you’re doing great so far. Happy birthday, lil dude!

Comments are closed.