There are so many parts of parenthood that strike me as absolutely illogical and impossible, and yet, we have to do them.
Beginning with getting a baby out of a vagina, or even being pregnant at all, actually. Enduring the last month of pregnancy. Not a thing, and yet, we all do it, repeatedly.
Potty training is another one: Oh so NBD I’m just supposed to get a toddler who last week didn’t mind sitting in his own excrement and sticks blueberries up his nose to communicate with me about when he has to urinate.
Cool good talk.
And yet, all four of my kids now use a toilet. Weird.
Maybe I’m just old and tired, but I have to say, above all insane requirements of parenthood, the most baffling and batshit is “Teach your teenager how to drive.”
Okayyyyyyy let’s talk about this. My teenager, a 16-year-old, who takes frequent Snapchat selfies and inquires about “when I’m going to actually start parenting my children” is supposed to enter the roads with common humanity, 3,000 pound boxes of metal on wheels barreling down freeways at 70 MPH, half of their drivers drunk or texting, while I sit at home hoping for the best.
HOW ABOUT FUCK YOU INSTEAD.
I don’t even know who I’m talking to.
But for real, this ain’t right. The first time I sat in our minivan with my teenager in the driver’s seat, I noticed how she looked like a tiny baby in charge of the Pentagon. Like a toddler at the front lines wielding a mini sword, much like our POTUS, perhaps, only significantly more moral, reasonable, and capable of intelligent thought.
So not like him at all.
I got my phone out and told my husband to deal with it since I was for sure about to have a breakdown and needed to pretend none of this was happening.
It’s my go-to parenting move until I come up with a better one.
When we got home, I told Mac, “Um, she’s terrible at this.”
Now, I realize the whole learner’s permit thing is to remedy the “terrible” thing and my kid is responsible, smart, and careful, but I think she needs to be driving for about three years before she’s let out into the wild world of assholes and other nondescript rush-hour drivers who are for sure hellbent on crashing into her.
But no. We’re supposed to do this for a few months then let her drive. In the world. On roads. Without parents but with Snapchat. Hoping for the best.
Can I just simply fucking opt out?
Can I just not do this and call it a day? Like potty training, I’d just like to wait until this phase passes, but this one ain’t passing.
Everybody keeps saying “But she can drive her siblings around.”
Sure good plan. But first, tell me: What exactly are you inhaling?
I can barely comprehend letting her drive herself around, let alone her chattering, flailing siblings arguing incessantly because they never get to choose their song on Spotify.
Never. Okay? Never ever.
Also, 100% suddenly regretting some of the driving decisions of my life. Every time I made a hasty turn, took that call, sent that totally required text at a stoplight, or fished around behind my seat to retrieve the monster truck the toddler just dropped and is now screaming about – why didn’t I think of this?
I just wish parenthood would stop asking me to do insane shit that could lead to death.
Okay? That’s all I want.
In other news, can we talk briefly about the fact that parents are supposed to teach a child how to drive precisely at the time when that child believes to the very core of her being that her parents know nothing?
Who the fuck formulated this plan?
Teenager: No action.
Us: “BRAKE NOW.”
Teenager: Eye roll. Brakes. Looks at us like “How is it that you’re so old and yet know nothing?”
Us: “WE ARE TEACHING YOU HOW TO DRIVE YOU HAVE TO DO WHAT WE SAY WHEN WE SAY IT I SWEAR TO FUCKING GOD.”
Great. Yes. Teach a teenager how to drive. This makes sense.
Let’s learn to drive.
There is nothing in this post except wonder and awe at the insanity of this endeavor, much like putting my teenager on the road.
High five. And to the dude who flipped my kid off because she wasn’t going fast enough: If I ever find you, I’ll kill you in your sleep.
It’s fine. I’m rational.
Yay road rage, metal boxes flying down the road, and loved ones!
Did you know that
Amazon editors chose I’m Just Happy to Be Here as a “Best Book of 2018 So Far” in the
– wait for it –
HUMOR category (?).
Who knew Amazon editors had such a jacked up sense of humor? (This is not an insult.)
Anyway, that made me particularly delighted, because we talk a lot about the book’s seriousness, and not much about the parts where I, at least, laughed my ass off writing it. Nice to see that aspect of it highlighted.
Thank you, Amazon editorial staff.