I thought about parenting and how bad I might be at it

Reading this again before I post it reads like a very rough comedy act.

Parenting doesn’t have an “entrance exam,” but if it did, it should have a few challenges or thresholds you need to clear for basic parenting. There should be a challenge that asks things like “Can you cut fruit with a knife?” Or, “How long does it take you to go to the market, buy a specific thing, and back?” A child’s life could be at stake.

I tried cutting apples with a knife today and it took about 20 minutes to wash and slice them. These weren’t pretty pieces either like you would see any other competent person doing the slicing. I ended up with weird, rhombus-shaped looking things. Some were big, some were small pieces. I would fear a child choking on the them.

When I go to the market, I don’t always find things I need. My brain doesn’t think like grocers do. I just don’t have that sense. I also panic when there are more than 15 people in a grocery store. I once walked in, saw three people by the produce section, panicked, then paced around a few aisles and left without anything. Security could have thought I was canvassing the place for a future crime or something. I get very self-conscious there. It’s as though I fear someone will look at me thinking to themselves, “This idiot must not have children. Thank God. He’s been looking at those apples for five minutes. Just pick some and go.”

There are other times when you tell yourself, “I just need orange juice … and some milk. Rubber gloves. I really liked that one cereal I tried last time … Some napkins. … Oh and I need a new, one of those, um, that thing on the drain in the sink. Yeah! What aisle would that be in?” But if you have a kid, you need to find that one thing: formula, diapers, or something else and come back in about 20 minutes or your child will never forgive you. And you’ll feel terrible when you come back with ingredients for a new vinaigrette recipe your sister gave you.

OK, thanks guys! You’ve been great!



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