Sometime over the last few years I had a pretty severe mental shift. I can’t quite pinpoint how the shift happened or when I became aware of it. More likely than not, it was a gradual change. Where once I would have seen or heard of a thing and thought to myself “I couldn’t possibly believe that”, I now see and experience the unthinkable, the fantastic and grotesque and think “Sure! Of course that just happened.” This is all thanks to my kids.
The altered reasoning probably began for me the moment I became a dad, as it must for all other fathers out there. I’d assume it begins earlier for the ladies who have their own cornucopia of unimaginable things happening to them during pregnancy. Suddenly you have an 8 lb infant who is capable of excreting 12 lbs of poop every 3 hours or so. Milk is projectile vomited with pressures that can only be rivaled by a Springtime valve release of the Hoover Dam. All sense you’ve ever had of day and night become a hazy blur of a memory. That first year, you learn to believe a lot that you never would have dreamed before. Much like everything in parenting, it’s just the warm up for the years to come.
I’ve found myself uttering sentences that I never would have conceived as being possible.
“Why is the dog wearing my underwear?”
“I think I got all the bird poop out of his mouth.”
“So you put ALL the shampoo into the toilet? Even the bottles from my room?”
“I didn’t think I needed to tell you that the dog’s bowl shouldn’t be used for your cereal.”
“You wore two left shoes all day??”
“It was how many weeks since you changed your underwear??”
“No, you can’t have that as a snack. Because no matter how good it tastes, it’s still toothpaste.”
A younger and more naive version of me would have read these and been incredulous. I would have assumed a person just threw word magnets at a refrigerator and that’s what stuck. A random collection of words haphazardly strewn together in no particular order. But now I know better. Now I’m the one saying these things and all shock and disbelief has been driven out of me.
I hear them from other parents and I meet it with a shrug of indifference. “Oh, your son poured syrup into all of your shoes?? Sounds like a typical Tuesday around here.” I’ve always been into Sci-Fi and fantasy for entertainment. Now I get to sit back and watch the fantastic being created all around me and know that it is indeed my reality.
Honestly, they’d have to try really hard at this point to drive me to the levels of disbelief that I should be feeling every day. “You guys caught a rainbow farting unicorn with laser eyes and put him into my bed?? Well, did you wash your hands when you were done?”