They say when you experience life through the eyes of your innocent children, you appreciate the little things so much more. And I suppose it’s true. Kids do change your perspective on things.
But kids change everything in your life, not merely the way you look at it.
It re-jiggers your comfort level. It alters your standards. Things you wouldn’t have been caught doing in your pre-parent life become the norm. Outrageous behavior becomes a way of life.
Your younger self wouldn’t even recognize you. And if s/he did, s/he’d think you were a TREMENDOUS loser.
Here’s a little before-and-after list of the ways kids change everything in your life.
At a restaurant
Before kids: “It’s awfully loud in here, do you want to leave?”
After kids: “Thank God it’s so loud, no one can hear their screaming!”
On a road trip
Before kids: “Careful with your soda, babe, I just got the car detailed.”
After kids: *Tosses Doritos and a bunch of fruit boxes in the backseat* “Now shut up!”
Going to the movies
Before kids: “I can’t wait to get the movie theater popcorn! There’s nothing like it!” *Finishes popcorn during previews, gets more* “Extra butter please!”
After kids: *Spend 20 minutes preparing microwave popcorn and shoving sodas in our pockets* “Eight dollars for Junior Mints? Please. This is already costing us $100 bucks. And we’ve missed the previews!”
Before kids: *Blacks out, wakes up Saturday morning* “Where am I?” *Pukes … grabs a beer* “ROCK AND ROLL!”
After kids: *Wakes up during the credits of some crappy animated video* “God, I love sleeping.”
Having friends over
Before kids: *Spend all day cleaning* “The place is spotless. We’re finally ready for guests.”
After kids: “I wouldn’t sit there if I were you. .… A coaster? HAHAHAHAHA! … Go ahead. I’m pretty sure that’s just chocolate.”
Before kids: *Hits snooze* *Hits snooze* *Hits snooze* “The boss won’t notice if I’m a little late.” *Hits snooze*
After kids: *Wakes up at an hour before alarm goes off* “I FORGOT TO MAKE HIS LUNCH! WHERE’S HIS BACKPACK? SO HELP ME GOD IF HE MISSES THE DAMN BUS!”
Before kids: *Hours of blissful nothingness* “I love my life!”
After kids: *Gets kneed in the balls at 5:30 a.m.* “At least I made it past 5 a.m.!”
Before kids: *Considers multiple outfits, takes leisurely shower, makes drink, listens to music, gets ready, heads out the door at 11 p.m.* “LET’S DO THIS!”
After kids: *Totally forgets about plans until babysitter arrives, throws on smock, rushes out … gets home an hour later* “I’M GOING TO BED!”
A version of this first appeared on Dad and Buried.