Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Planet Parenthood (Part Two)

Okay, if you read Part One, you're familiar with the landscape of characters over here. If you haven't read Part One, then what are you doing here reading Part Two? Are you already on Planet Parenthood? Don't you know that Part One comes before Part Two, and that Part Two will not make any sense at all if you just jump right into the middle? Go ahead, read Part One.

Whew. For the rest of you, I promised some examples to make it crystal clear why we are all just a tad insane over here on Planet Parenthood. You see, on Planet Sanity, not only do you have the option to come up with logical solutions for problems, there are many problems you never even have to deal with.

Children don't understand the word logic. They think common sense is the money that parents are always handing out. They have no concept of cultural inhibitions and no filter between their brains and their mouths. A parent's job is to teach the meaning and importance of everything above. Repeatedly.


An infant has zero ability to do anything for themselves, and understands nothing about culture. This is why new parents simply stare into space when given five minutes to themselves. They've entered a new world, devoid of any rules, and they can't figure out how anything is supposed to work.

You need your nails clipped? So does the baby. Except his grow three times faster.

You need a bath? So does the baby. Except she doesn't know not to poop in the bathwater.

You need to use the bathroom? So does the baby. Except ten times more often. (There are so many comments that could go with this, I'm just going to have to let it go or I may never get away from the computer.)

You have an eyelash in your eye? So does the baby. Except she can't TELL you this. She can only scream bloody murder while you go through every checklist your sleep deprived brain can come up with in the hopes finding out what will get her to stop.

Infants also like to scream bloody murder for no reason at all. I think they like to see their parents mentally checking each item off the list. They find it especially entertaining in the middle of the night.

Toddlers are best known for their complete ignorance of culture. Oh sure, they still have to have almost everything done for them. You're wiping noses and bottoms, clipping nails, giving baths and trying to find two items of clothing that both match and are clean.

But toddlers can do some things for themselves. They can put their shoes on the wrong feet. They can walk. And run. Usually away from you. But it's the cultural ignorance that really points a neon sign to the fact they live on Planet Parenthood. The classic sign of this is picking their nose.

Yes, someday my daughter
will kill me for posting this...
Cultural ignorance is my favorite category, as it encompasses so many items that those on Planet Sanity could never even imagine having to deal with. Some examples that toddlers in my own family have chosen to display:

  • Licking the bathroom floor.
  • Using their teeth to scrape varnish off the dining room table.
  • Excitedly pointing and yelling "bee" (at a large brown spider) and then trying to play with it.
  • Putting their head almost completely into the toilet bowl to say goodbye to their poo-poo. (Trust me, no one on Planet Sanity has to deal with this.)
  • Complete disregard for the fact that Daddy has body parts that need to be protected if they are to have future siblings.
  • Scraping the coloring crayons with their fingernails until each digit is filled with a rainbow of wax.
  • Walking in front of a moving swing with a 25 pound toddler in it.
  • Yelling out "Poo-Poo!" the moment you enter any retail establishment.
  • Getting so excited they could just bite something. (Usually you.)
  • Pulling down the infant car seat from the kitchen counter. With the infant still in it.
  • Pulling out every last tissue from the newly opened box.
  • Proudly emptying the potty chair themselves... except they miss the toilet bowl.
  • Sucking on the fly swatter.
  • Helping to dust all the furniture. Using a cloth dipped in Kool-Aid.

Oh, so many examples, so little time.

Hopefully this will help those of you in the "non-children" world understand a little better how things on our  planet just aren't as simple as they should be. If not, there's one way to fix that, but once you arrive here, there's no going back...


Kari said...

Okay, so you have me offically scared out of my mind! I have been on Planet Parenthood for about a year and a half now, but it sounds like the "best" is yet to come-- eek! ;)

Tracey said...

Yeah, sorry about the car seat thing. But after three kids you learn that babies bounce. You can't dribble them or anything, but if they were as fragile as all of their neediness would lead us to believe, none of them would ever survive long enough to suck on the toilet brush.

Still really sorry though.

Sunshine SAHM said...

Ha! Kari, don't worry. If you learn to laugh instead of cry, the next few years are going to be a blast. Especially because you have double the trouble! At least you will know you're not alone. :)
Tracey, the car seat thing was spectacular (well, maybe not at the time...) - more fodder for the blog. Ha! I wanted to put that toddlers use the toilet brush as a toothbrush, but I was sworn to secrecy...