Sometimes This Parenting Thing Is Easy

Once in a while…and it isn’t very often…I actually think I’ve got this parenting thing under control. I’ll be out with one or more kids, and get an almost out of body experience, where I can see myself and think wow, that guy makes it look so easy.

I had Thing 2 and Thing 3 (toddler and infant) to myself one evening after picking them up at daycare, so I decided rather than go home as usual, we’d stop at a new pizza place for dinner. Thing 3 usually sleeps in his car carrier, and Thing 2 loves to eat.? How hard could it be?
There was a long line to order food. Thing 2 started to wander off. My arm was about to fall off from holding the baby carrier. We ordered a slice of pizza and a sandwich and found an empty table. When I went back to the counter to get the drinks, and Thing 2 couldn’t see me anymore, he started crying and everyone was staring at the dad who looked to be in way over his head. Then Thing 3 woke up and needed a bottle. Why didn’t I just go to McDonald’s drive through?

But then everything seemed to line up perfectly into place. Thing 2 was happily eating his pizza and asking a hundred questions. I was eating my sandwich with one hand, feeding Thing 3 a bottle with the other, and keeping the toddler’s attention at the table, all while watching the Yankee playoff game on the flat screen TV on the wall!

This is where the out of body experience happens, where I can see the same strangers that were glaring at me earlier, now looking in awe at the dad who has it all under control. Or maybe they were looking at the mess of cheese Thing 2 had assembled under his chair and was now stepping on, or the baby spit up running down my shoulder. No matter, at least for a few moments, I was making it look easy.

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