The Four Stages of Parenthood


I’m having one of those weeks. It started when the littlest copped a fever halfway through her 2nd birthday party. I got to send parents away with goody bags and the casual warning that their beloved children may be infected with God knows what. And one of them with a three day old baby at home. It was like the STD talk you have one night too late. Or so I imagine.

So we put off the birthday zoo trip until the thermometer stopped reading “one-oh-holyballs!” That’s 105.6. No shit. With kid one, we would’ve been at the ER sitting between the carpenter with a finger in a bag of ice and the guy puking into his boss’s hat. But this is kid two, so we know the drill, drugs and liquids and crossed fingers. For three days.

When she finally rallied, we went to the zoo. The Engineer called in sick (don’t tell anyone) and we went to see some monkeys. The kid loves monkeys. Perfect birthday trip, I thought.

But she’s my kid, so instead of prancing about in paroxysms of joy, she clung to me and wept as though the monkeys had been sentenced to death by firing squad. She was like the Madness at a parade.

I don’t know what I’m going to do when these kids are 16. My children are already made of angst and suspicion – the teen years aren’t ready for them.

It’s been downhill from there. I’m now convinced the fever that started this week was no illness at all, but actually a rabid mutation into the realm of 2, when adorable babies become demanding, mercurial terrorists.

So that’s been my week. There was fun, too, of course. It crept in around the edges and occasionally overshadowed all the crazy. It often involved wine and the children being asleep.

That’s what prompted this comic on the four stages of parenting. This is the life of a parent, experienced on an hourly/daily/weekly/lifelong basis. I wake up every day with my shit together.

I go to sleep that way, too.

Everything in-between is chaos.


7 thoughts on “The Four Stages of Parenthood

  1. Don’t worry about the teen years; there are tools to get you through. Try picking up an angstameter at Walgreens. You can find them near the pharmist’s window just below the blood sugar and blood pressure testing equipment. I am not sure how it works but I heard that it taps into their music streams and warns you when they hit the skids. Anything above 100-oh-crap indicates that they may not need treatment but you do – time to self-medicate with a stiff quart of gin.

  2. Wait! How do you wake up with your shit together? Does that mean you are actually getting restful, restorative, sleep? Or, does the shit just magical come together over night while nobody is paying attention to it?
    The Queen and i keep joking (not joking) that once I’m a famous author we will hire zoo keepers to keep our house, our child(ren), and our lives in order, because they are the only ones with the knowledge and experience to successfully pull it off. Currently, though, we are on our own… and when we pass out at the end of the long days the shit is definitely not together, and disappointingly the cats don’t fix it all up for us over night. Usually they make it worse…

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