On any given day, I spend what feels like ten hours a day in the kitchen. Washing, chopping, buttering, wiping, stirring and attempting not to burn myself with the torn oven mitt I keep meaning to replace. Organizing, folding, standing in front of the refrigerator trying to remember what it was I came to get. Whatever the grand total, it amounts to a lot of time on my feet. Despite this, I can pretty much guarantee that the moment I sit down, the precise second that my no longer small and perky ass hits the chair, someone will ask me for something.
It’s the mother of all Laws of Parenting.
Call it Murphy’s Law or Sod’s Law. Call it bad timing or bad luck. Call it what you will, every parent out there knows it’s true. Those universal parenting truisms that leave you shaking your head, pulling out your hair or just plain crying into your coffee.
I realized this the other day as I was changing bed sheets. As I contorted my middle-aged body to cram a fitted sheet onto the back corner of the bottom bunk, I sighed. Because it goes without saying that as soon as I change the sheets, there will be an accident. If they happen to be white sheets, it will be a nosebleed.
In my house nosebleeds are not a gentle trickle or mild spotting. In my house it more often resembles a murder scene. I would only be half surprised to see a chalk outline on the floor and a team of CSI agents mapping out splatter patterns. I can’t tell you how many crime scenes I have cleaned up the morning after I’ve changed the sheet.
If you mop, take a good, long sniff of your pine-fresh floors, because you can rest assured there will be a downpour on the way home from school. I’m not sure about Daniel Day Lewis showing up, but I can tell you, There Will be Mud.
Parent’s Law means you can count on your children rising with the roosters on the morning after you’ve had too many glasses of that smooth Pinot Noir. Even if you normally have to drag them out of bed. It’s a corollary of the law that states they will keep farmer hours on the weekends and holidays despite needing a military reveille to rouse them on school days.
Parent’s law states that someone will get a fever while on vacation on the one trip you decided not to pack the Tylenol. Alternatively both children will get sick the day that school resumes after a three-week break.
Parenting law means that if one child is going through an easy patch, throwing his arms around you and remembering to chew with his mouth closed, you can assume another one will start channeling some sort of childhood demon resulting in behavior usually reserved for horror movies.
Parenting law means that regardless of 73 reminders, someone will need to pee five miles into a car trip or as the bus is approaching.
Parent’s Law states that if you’ve factored in four extra birthday party goodie bags, a fifth sibling will tag along.
Parent’s Law states that if you donate a toy they haven’t touched in five years, if you throw away the broken pieces of a Happy Meal prize, they will immediately ask for it. Even if they have never played with it before.
Parent’s Law states that there will always be one Lego piece that you can’t find. ALWAYS.
Parent’s Law states you can do 15 loads of laundry on a Saturday and come Monday morning, no one has clean underwear.
Parent’s Law means that if you’ve done meticulous research so that your flight times coincide with naps or bed time, your flight will be delayed.
Parent’s Law states that as soon as you remember to stock up on a favorite cereal because it was on sale your children will unilaterally declare they hate it.
Parent’s Law states that they will only play in the sandbox on the days that you vacuum.
Parent’s Law states it will take you four times as long to set up and clean up for an activity that takes five minutes.
Parent’s Law states that out of 33 possibilities, the one thing they ask for will be the one thing you’ve just run out of.
Parent’s Law states they are only hungry for a snack fifteen minutes before dinner.
Parent’s Law states that your children will have a growth spurt as soon as the sale has finished.
Parent’s Law states that if you buy a size bigger size off-season that it will sit, unused, until you pull it out a year later to find it a size too small.
Parents’s Law stats that the one time you forget your phone at home, the school will call you to come and pick up your sick child….the day before you leave on vacation…..
Maybe it’s just my family, though I don’t think so. Because that is the sneakiest Parent’s Law of all–making us all think our kids are the only freakish, weird, nose-spurting devil children in the world.
Don’t worry, they’re not. I don’t mind sharing with you, as long as you don’t ask me for anything.
I’ve just sat down!