Karma has it in for me. You may not believe me, but it’s true. Since becoming a mother, I’m doing all sorts of things that I swore I would never do. Here are just a few examples of how Karma smacked me back to humble reality:
I never thought I could forget my purchases at the store.
Last week, I officially lost my mind. I arrived at this conclusion when I nearly pulled out of the grocery store parking lot without my groceries. The teenager behind the customer service counter looked at me with pity when I rushed back inside the store and explained what happened. “Well, it could be worse,” the girl tried to console me, as she handed me my groceries. “At least you didn’t forget your baby in the store.”
Is this my future? Forgetting my children in public places? As I walked out of the store with my groceries in hand, I double-checked the stroller to make sure my daughter was still in there. Before having children, I never would have been this forgetful. In fact, there was a time when I probably mocked people for being this forgetful.
Naturally, I’ve forgotten who I mocked. But Karma doesn’t forget. And she holds a grudge. Consider yourselves warned.
I never thought I’d use a drive-thru window.
I admit it. Once upon a time, I didn’t understand why people used drive-thru windows. If you’re a healthy person, how hard is it to get out of your car, walk from the parking lot to the counter, and place an order in person? The drive-thru window at a local Starbucks was a special source of irritation to me. I would stand at the counter and watch several drive-thru customers get their coffee before I did. Why were most of the baristas catering to the drive-thru customers? Why was Starbucks rewarding sloth?
Obviously, things have changed. Since I tend to leave things behind when I step out of the car, it’s in my children’s best interest that I use drive-thru windows whenever possible. Karma must laugh her ass off at me since my daily routine includes hitting the same Starbucks drive-thru that I used to complain about. At least I haven’t driven off without my coffee.
I never thought I would drive a minivan.
Let’s face it. There’s nothing sexy about a minivan. A well-endowed topless woman could drive around town in a minivan without attracting attention. Why? Because a minivan is a womb on wheels. No single guy in his right mind wants a piece of that action. In my “Single Girl looking for Mr. Right” days, there was no way in hell I was going to contaminate myself with this male repellent.
Fast forward fifteen years later to the arrival of child number one. And the bulky car seat. And the stroller. And all that other baby stuff that new mothers feel compelled to lug around in case of an emergency. I remember driving my minivan for the first time. Disturbing thoughts filtered through my mind. Wow, this thing has a smooth ride. Hey, look! The seats fold flat! Look at all that storage! I could fit a house in here! My late thirty-something, sleep-deprived mom brain fell in love with the minivan and never looked back. Yep. Cosmic retribution at its finest.
I never thought that I’d burn water in the kitchen.
Back in college, a friend tried to make pasta and ended up burning the water. Water. The girl burned water. Who does that? How is that even possible? As we rushed around her apartment, opening windows to let out the smoke and trying to figure out how to turn off the fire alarm, I wondered how she could have been so careless. How hard is it to pay attention to whatever you’re doing in the kitchen? This is why kitchen accidents happen. Because people don’t pay attention.
Karma smacked me on this one late last year. It was a rare day. The floor wasn’t crunchy and I looked human, so I decided to live dangerously and invite a visitor over to the house. Instead of offering my guest a refreshing cup of air, I put the kettle on for tea. It was all very Downton Abbey-ish. I did NOT set the timer because I didn’t want to look like a moron in front of company. I don’t need a timer, I thought. I’ll hear the charming whistle of the tea kettle when the water is done boiling. How delightful.
Fifty minutes, two tantrums, two dirty diapers and two dirty pull-ups later, I thought I smelled smoke. The fire alarm started beeping as I ran into the kitchen. There was smoke. Amid the chaos of my squawking children, I had forgotten about tea time. The kettle was still sitting on the red hot burner. All of the water had evaporated. The bottom of the kettle had melted and fused to the burner. I turned off the stove top and tried to unsuccessfully pry the kettle from the burner. So much for tea time.
I never thought I could love so many people so much.
This is admittedly sappy, so bear with me. I didn’t realize how much I could love someone until I met my husband. That love grew to amazing proportions when I had my son. But when I was expecting my daughter, I was actually worried. I didn’t think I could love another child as much as I loved my son. Maybe it was the raging hormones, but I had this bizarre notion that love was like a pie. A fixed pie with a limited number of slices. No more slices for you, second child. The pie is baked, the crust is done and I’m all out of love.
Or maybe I was just thinking about pie. I’m not sure. Well, whatever was floating through my mommy brain changed the first time I held my daughter. As I fell head over heels in love with my baby girl, Karma laughed at me. Silly, sleep-deprived mommy. Such a ridiculous thing to worry about. The first time I saw the two of my children together in the same room, my heart swelled with the realization that love grows. All thoughts of limited pie supply vanished. Well, not all thoughts.
Now that I want some pie, I’ll stop here. This concludes my PSA about Karma. She still laughs at me, but I’m okay with it. I just do a headcount and a pie check before we leave the parking lot at the grocery store.
Well, I’m not too surprised about this one. Seven days have passed since I submitted this (my third) article to Scary Mommy and “all is quiet on the Western Front.” I’m assuming that since their turnaround time is 7 days and I haven’t heard back from them yet, this article was rejected.
After what happened at the grocery store a few weeks ago, I finally felt compelled to write about some of the major ways having children has changed me. I’m still amazed that I could have done what I describe in beginning of this essay. Truthfully, these days, I should be amazed that I still remember what happened. If time travel were possible, I suspect that “Before Children” Taara would slap “After Children” Taara if she could see some of the stuff I do today.
As always, any constructive feedback is welcome. Thank you for taking the time to read this!