From the moment the plus sign appears on a pee stick, people come out of the woodwork with stories about what to expect from parenting. They tell of sleepless nights, diaper blow-outs to rival the worst industrial accidents and colicky cry-fests that test even the most patient of parents. What they don't tell you is that you will often find yourself in the most ridiculous situations, all on behalf of your children.
Take, for instance, 7:00 this morning; when I found myself in the garden, hunting for five examples of insects for a science assignment that was due by noon. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find insects when you want to find them as opposed to, say, when you don't want to find them (in your salad, perhaps)? Factor in a nearly hysterical teenager (If I don't turn them in I will faiiillll! And I won't get to decorate the Homecoming float! Whaaa!!!) and a recent cold-snap that has seriously depleted the number of available specimens and you have a recipe for parental disaster, otherwise known as: The Mommy Meltdown.
And I hadn't even had my coffee yet.
Happily, I managed to keep my cool and, with the help of the Man-Cub, we found a grasshopper, a cricket, a (dead) wasp, and an ant. We thought we had a Praying Mantis but, unfortunately, it was missing its' head, and having a head was required for the assignment (Insects must have three body parts and six legs. Science 101). We hoped to find a butterfly or a moth but were out of luck so, The Teenager had to make do with four out of five of the assignment elements which is good enough for a B and; a B will entitle the child to push tissue paper into chicken wire float decorations quite nicely while, hopefully, impressing upon her the need to do homework assignments well before they are due. Not that she usually has a problem with that. I blame Homecoming which, by the way; today is Color Wars Day and The Teenager was rocking the hated pink quite well. Isn't she preshus? That totally makes up for all the ridiculousness (I'm lying).
You think I'm going to let a headless Praying Mantis jeopardize my status on the Honor Roll? Ridiculous! In fact, that's almost as ridiculous as seeing my mom crawling around in the garden in her bathrobe calling "Here grasshopper, grasshopper, grasshopper!" Almost.
So, yeah, the things we do for our kids. Parents-to-be? Don't say I didn't warn you.