Thursday, 22 September 2011

Automatic Dumbass

At Escape From Mommyland we always try to provide you with up-to-date information on the latest Mommyland discoveries.  We were the first to discover Helpless Husband Syndrome and are at the forefront of Mommybrain research.   Today we bring you the latest Mommyland Medical Discovery – a condition known as Automatic Dumbass.
This is big people.  You know all those times you yelled “weeee!” when taking your child down the slide at the park?  Or the time you sat in your kids stroller at the Santa Claus Parade because the ground was too damn cold?  Or the time you forgot that you had let your daughter help apply your makeup that morning and dropped her off at preschool oblivious to your resemblance to Krusty the Klown?  I could go on, but the point is that none of these situations were your fault.  Apparently, when you become a parent you become an Automatic Dumbass.  Stay with me now – you become an automatic dumbass because, in order to be a good parent, you will be forced into situations in which you will have to look like an idiot.  And the worst part is that it is not accidental – you don’t become a dumbass from sleep deprivation or watching too many episodes of Elmo’s World (though neither of those things really help the matter any).  To be a good parent you have to purposefully act like an idiot, which I am pretty sure is the definition of being a Dumbass.
"Congratulations DUMBASS!"
Remember the dad from That 70’s Show?  You know, Red Forman, the one that called everyone a Dumbass?  Well, when you give birth to that screaming, poop -factory-of-joy that some call a baby, picture Red Forman at the foot of your bed saying “Congratulations Dumbass” because it seriously happens that quickly – hence the ‘automatic’ part. Take the classic example of putting a child to sleep.  It seems simple enough at first; rock a baby in a chair until they fall asleep, then put them in their crib and walk away.  Yet I maintain that the majority of parents cannot complete this seemingly simple task without looking like a dumbass.  The problem is that you have to transfer the child from your arms to the crib without waking them up.   Generally this involves having to complete an intricate series of movements reminiscent of Crouching -Tiger Hidden -Dragon, in slow motion, while upside down and straddling a crib. Then comes the hardest part – the retreat.  Sometimes this is done on tip-toe, other times crawling; a few times I have even had to slither out like a snake.  And God forbid you crack a joint or have a squeaky door because then have to stop breathing while you wait for the inevitable freak out that will result in you having to start this process all over again.  Now, are you trying to tell me you can do all that without looking like a dumbass?  I thought not.

The put-to-bed example is far from the only dumbass parenting moment out there, and unfortunately, unlike the put-to-bed example, most of them happen in public. Like when your kid freaks out because you won’t buy him another unnecessary piece of plastic at the toy store and you are forced to carry him like a very wriggly football back to your car, while simultaneously fending off sympathetic glances from other parents and convincing the non-parents at the store not to call child protective services.  Oh, and when the alarm at the door goes off because your kid shoved said unnecessary piece of crap in your bag when you weren’t looking, you should just suck it up and plead DUMBASS.  It may not be complimentary, but it works.
So, as you can see, being a Dumbass is not always a bad thing.  In fact, I purposefully look for friends who are dumbass’s too.  Which is probably why me and Alice get along so well.  The first playdate we ever had involved me and Alice playing Ring-Around-the-Rosie for about 2 hours – something that is very difficult for someone over the age of 5 to do without looking like a dumbass.   The fact that someone I had just met was willing to forgo grown-up conversation and caffeine(which, let’s face it, are the real purposes of playdates) and instead dance in a circle for an hour just because my kid kept saying “Again!” told me that this girl was real friend material.  The fact that I later learned that she likes to dress up like Barbie and the Rockettes on the weekends was just icing on the cake. 
So I say we should embrace our dumbass status.  I would rather be a labelled a dumbass for splashing in the puddles with my kids then to be thought of as ‘Normal’ any day.  Not that many people would consider me “Normal” even if I did stay out of the puddles.  I think that ship sailed a long time ago.
-Wendy, A.D. (hey, I always wanted to get to put initials after my name!)

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