09 June 2011

Practice Makes...Me Tired

I always thought that the more you do something, the better you get at it. Practice makes perfect, right? Well, it seems this truism applies everywhere except parenting.

Or is it just me?

* * *

"Mama, does Leila have a faster car than we do?"

"I don't know, honey; why?"

"Because she always gets to preschool before we do."

Yes dear; we are chronically late. Yes dear, I've now been taking short people to preschool three days a week for eight years. No dear, I haven't figured out how to arrive on time. Actually, I got your brother there on time or early when I was a newly minted preschool parent. I've gotten worse over time.

* * *

And grocery shopping with short people. I'm getting worse at that too. I had four of them in Trader Joe's the other day, and I felt like a complete rookie. Along with fruit and bread, I got mayhem, whining, pleading for treats, and a complete lack of control: it wasn't pretty. I purchased half of what I needed and left a few days of my life flopping around on the floor of the frozen food aisle. Why am I not better at this than I used to be?

* * *

Providing balanced meals? Used to be, I had nice well-rounded lunches and dinners for everyone. Now, that bag of snap peas is seeing a whole lot more drive-time play. When facing the question What's For Dinner? my mind is increasingly a total blank. It's like I've never cooked before. It's like when I open the fridge I am a traveler in a strange land and I do not speak the language. What is a chicken and what does one do with it? And can one do the same thing with it five nights in a row without hearing short people complain? What exactly is this thing called making dinner, and why do I seem to have lost the ability to do it?

* * *

And location skills! Eight years ago, if someone said: "Mom, have you seen my red lego piece with the hinge?" I would have said something like: "It's on the third shelf down, between the Cat in the Hat and the phone book, underneath a half completed puzzle."

Now, someone asks me for socks and I just stare blankly. I don't know where anything is. At all. Least of all my keys and my wallet. It's a miracle I arrive anywhere, ever, even remotely on time.

* * *

Parenting: the only occupation in which the more experienced you are, the worse your skills become.

Or is that just me?

* * *

2 comments:

bleu said...

I just have one and I have definitely felt this way sometimes. That supermom cape doesn't always fly. One week I forgot a book sale, field trip and something else all in a week. I called it my slacker mom week... lol

Kayla said...

I was just thinking something similar the other day....like - when I just had 2 or 3 kids - I used to feed them so much better...I used to actually make them lunch instead of just sending them in to fend for themselves - and, oh, while you are there, throw in a few nuggets for your sister....I can still every now and then pull out the location of a missing pony tail holder or favorite car....but never, never, the last missing library book!