Up until 2 years ago, I was a fabulous parent. Quite possibly the best parent on the planet. The Beast has an older brother who is the yin to The Beast’s yang. He’s the Superman to The Beast’s whoever those three people were in that one Superman movie that were stuck floating through space in that hula hoop of hell. The point is, I rocked at parenting this perfect child.
If I told The Good One not to pull plugs out of sockets, he listened. Baby proofing was something other parents had to do because our child just listened when we told him not to play with the knobs on the stove. If I told him to stay near me in the grocery store, he actually stayed near me and didn’t require me to attach him to my person with a leash. I never watched an episode of Super Nanny because, quite frankly, I was doing what she was doing, only I was doing it better.
People would always tell my husband and me what an amazing child The Good One was. He’s nearly 9 now and we still hear all the time how perfect he is. He makes childless couples who never wanted children actually consider having kids. His parent/teacher conferences are awe inspiring: “The Good One is so sweet and considerate. He listens so well. He’s so responsible and is a friend to all the other students.”
My husband and I would have conversations about how awesomely consistent we were with our rules and if other parents would just be consistent with their discipline, their children would be as perfect as our child was. We were sure that we could solve all of the parenting problems of our family and friends. Quite possibly the entire world.
Yes, I had this parenting thing down. I envisioned the day in the near future that Parenting Magazine would give me my award for being the best parent on the planet.
One night a close friend said to me, “What is your secret? The Good One is just so good. He is so polite and always listens to you. You and your husband must be doing something right.” At that point, I had a choice to make. This choice would alter the course of the rest of my life. You see, I could have said very simply, “I have no clue.” Or even, “I’m sure it’s nothing we do. He was just born sweet and calm and we’re just lucky.” But I did not do that. Instead, I said something like this:
“I’m an awesome parent; you are not. You will never be as good as I am as evidenced by the award I’m expecting to receive any day now from Parenting Magazine. Are you getting an award? I didn’t think so. I’ve witnessed your feeble attempts at parenting your children. You are inconsistent with your rules and punishments. And you count to 3 when you want your child to do something. Only weak parents count to 3. If you are parenting properly, your child will obey you immediately. Quit counting. If you’re lucky, one day you’ll be half the parent I am.”
I might have also suggested that she bow in my presence in the future. Then I started glowing from all the perfect-y perfection and might have even sparkled a little judging by my friend’s wide-eyed, awe-full look. The look you’d expect of someone in the presence of greatness. You know, maybe like Moses before the burning bush.
Little did I know that all of that glowy sparkly-ness was not coming from me. It was coming from Karma. Apparently she glows and sparkles right before she pistol whips you with her fury. I was screwed. I was Karma’s bitch. Karma had me by the sac. Pick your favorite phrase.
I’m sure Karma began laughing the maniacal laughter of pure evil, that supervillain cackle that The Beast uses when he sees something really funny, like watching me trip over his trucks and slam my leg into the corner of a table. Or the time I was trying to open the blinds in the living room and one of them came crashing down into my eye, causing it to bleed. You know, really funny stuff.
I would like to use this opportunity to publicly inform Karma that I have learned my lesson and I would appreciate it greatly if The Beast would start listening to me. Even just on occasion. Once a day, maybe? At the very least I’d like for The Beast to stop trying to blow up the house by turning on the gas stove. And I’d also humbly request that he not find it hysterically funny when I injure myself.
I now realize that while The Beast may be the three supervillains in the Superman movie, I’m the actual hula hoop of hell, spinning for all eternity in an attempt to keep The Beast from escaping and inflicting his damage upon the world. So far, I suck royally at it.
And just so you know, I’ve already had a little ceremony in my head where I’m forced to return my Parenting Magazine award. In my vision, all of the people I’ve ever judged come up to me in a single-file line and smack me in the head with a hula hoop.
Then The Beast laughs maniacally. And I count to 3.