By EMELIA SYMINGTON FEDY
I just finished babysitting your child today.
I have salmon stuck on my neck and in the crease under my left breast.
My eardrum is damaged due to high frequency screaming.
I had to hold her while I was peeing because from her perspective it seemed like Satan himself would kill her slowly if I put her down thus I did not get the chance to wipe myself properly…
…no matter though as I am covered in a thick layer of sweat from pushing the stroller up the hill so a bit more wet between the legs even things out.
I washed my hair this morning but all of a sudden it looks like a stringy bag of shit pile.
I haven’t had a chance to eat anything except snatching a few cold peas from her snack pack and my head is pounding.
I watched her draw on her vulva with sidewalk chalk and I didn’t bother to read the ingredients to see if it was non-toxic.
I fed her a pizza crust to keep her occupied and I know you want her to be gluten-free.
I felt her shit herself and then I left her in her shitty nappy for when you get home.
My entire body is an exhausted heap of jangled muscles and burnt out nerves.
You were only gone for 3 hours.
To the parents: I am sorry.
For judging you because your style went down the tubes.
For being annoyed when you forget to call me back.
For thinking you are not being a very good friend anymore.
For saying “I’ll lose all my baby weight, I’ll make the time.”
For telling my partner “we’ll be much sooooooo more relaxed about parenting than they are.”
For wondering why you don’t mind leaving the house looking like a drunk, homeless 10-year-old.
For assuming you must be a hoarder now, with your piles of clothes and teetering books and dirty plates and gummed-on toys strewn all over the house.
For calling your life chaotic.
For thinking that I will do it better and it will be easier.
For secretly considering your parenting techniques to be kinda weird.
For agreeing that I won’t lose my creative focus when I have a kid.
For being frustrated when I watch you forget your keys every goddamn time you leave the house.
For wishing you could just feed him and talk to me about my next career move at the same time.
For not getting it. Any of it. At all.
Parents – you are a superhuman and I bow down to your grace and patience towards friends like me.
When I am a parent, I hope we get to hang out more. Maybe you can wipe my crotch for me before he cracks his head on the bathroom tile. Maybe I will have a chance to make you a cup of tea before she spills it all over the floor.
Let’s smell the top of their heads together.
And we won’t care what our childless friends think of us because we both know that we know nothing now.
We parents have nothing left to prove.
And that is such a relief.
This post was originally published here and was republished with full permission.
Emelia is a writer, theatre maker and yogi. You can find more of her offbeat essays at tryingtobegood.com