Dear people without kids, who think motherhood is a walk in the park and say things like how your kids will never, ever throw a tantrum in public, or at the candy aisle in a supermarket, or at a restaurant, or at a churchyard, or wherever…
I used to say that too.
Now I spend my evenings taking vodka while wiping a pool of tears and snot off my chin, and during the day, I just pretend that my child is dead to me.
You will develop certain abilities that you don’t ever imagine you can possess. For instance, you will realise that you have the ability to be deaf. Your child will be crying around for nothing like a bloody fool but you won’t even hear. You will continue watching Lilian Muli, or eating your stale scones, or just staring at the wall clock debating within yourself whether to have another glass of vodka or to smack the little piece of shit to deathly silence. You will choose the former.
A supermarket attendant will tap you on the shoulder and ask you, “Is that your child?”
S/he will be pointing at a toddler clutching a big Dairy Milk chocolate bar in one hand, holding it tightly against its chest, and a can of Mortein Doom will be held against its side. Another attendant will be stretching their hand to the toddler, asking the toddler to hand back the items, but the toddler will refuse.
“No,” you will lie. “That is not my child.”
The attendant will tell you that s/he saw you walk in carrying the child, but you will explain to them that the child is dead to you.
They will throw a piece of, say, meat, on the floor at a restaurant because they don’t want meat, they want chips. You will smash their head against the table and let them know that you didn’t bring them into the word to have the liberty to make choices at 3 years old. You will tell them to eat. They will cry and sulk and not eat and you will coax them into eating because you love them. They will throw a tantrum next weekend because they don’t want chips, they want meat, meat is better, meat is more delicious. You will smash their little head against the table again and dislocate their forehead. You will remind them that you did not get your vagina ripped by their head just so they can have an opinion. Then you will ask them to eat before you break their skull. The other weekend, they will refuse meat and chips. This time you won’t even smash their head against the table. You will just not give a shit anymore. You will ask the little monster to go screw itself. Then you will take the plate of meat and chips and eat to your fill. The other weekend, well, it will be the beginning of your journey to taking vodka every evening and being deaf.
Dear people without kids, who say things like how your kids will never, ever trow a tantrum in public, or at the candy isle in a supermarket, or at a restaurant, or at a churchyard, or wherever, you will realise that toddlers are insufferable drama queens. And they will unleash a tantrum every now and then, before they finally understand that you are prepared to kill them should they embarrass you in public again.
Then you will have a little break until they become teenagers.
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