Originally posted on the website Aiming Low, reposted here for posterity.
Looking to get kicked in the nuts while simultaneously realizing you are the worst parent ever?
Send your kids to preschool.
You potty train(ish) them. You tell them not to hit or bite. You go over counting to ten and pointing out shapes and colors. You make them promise not to eat their boogers or put their fingers in their butt.
You drop them off. You have a good cry. You wander around the grocery store like Anne Heche when she is channeling her alien alter ego, staring at all the random items your 3 year old would be tossing into the cart, had he been there, not at preschool, like a big kid, for 3 whole hours, which totally isn’t long enough to go home and do anything relevant, like plot to kill the woodchuck that is living under your deck mocking you, but is long enough for you to have a separation anxiety induced panic attack and quarterlife crisis in your car in the McDonald’s parking lot.
Then, you return to school, find your place in the car line, behind women in better cars in yours, that won’t make eye contact with you, and you wait…because you are super early…but it gives you a chance to rearrange the Glee songs on your blackberry, which is way more important than any stupid charity work the other mothers are going on and on about.
Your kid comes out, and he looks…older. Like a boy. Not a baby. And you want to tackle him and smother him with mommy kisses, and then you see he is wearing different pants than you dropped him off in, and the teacher comes to your car and is all, hiiiiii, Jude is such a pleasure to have in class, if you could just work on these little things with him, like, teaching him not to piss himself, how to speak coherently, and how eat crackers without me having to pre-chew them first like some kind of bird, that would be great, k? Thanks.
And in your head you are like, what the fuck!? My kid is a genius!
So, you say, wow, I am shocked, he does all those things wonderfully at home, he can even count to 20 in Chinese, I am shocked.
And she is all, um, well he may do it at home, but he doesn’t do it here, sooo no countsies! And, she flicked me in the ear and left me sitting in the car with my jaw agape.
I don’t know, that may not have happened. Things were blurry.
But, it’s then that you realize. No one will ever appreciate how awesome your kid is like you do.
So, you throw his poopy underwear in the trashcan at the gas station, and spend the afternoon driving around drinking cherry icees, listening to the cast of Glee sing Gold Digger, and talking about how much fun he had at preschool that day.
The kids that wet themselves in school always had more fun anyways.