Whatever, Mom | Culture Features | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
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Whatever, Mom 

"You'll understand when you have kids of your own."

Sorry, but your mother was right. And so was mine.

I didn't even make it six months as a parent without using the cliché momism on my own child; what a shameful, pathetic rationalization to give to an infant.

But hey, you'll understand when you have kids of your own.

I used to despise children on airplanes. Countless flights, I'd watch in disgust as the little demon two rows up drilled his feet into the back of some poor nonparent's seat, screaming bloody murder and smearing regurgitated Fruity Pebbles all over his mother's hair. It was like watching a bad reality TV show.

Like most of the other childless passengers, I would ever-so-intentionally use a 12-inch voice to express my annoyance. I would join in on the overdramatic sighs and raised eyebrows, swearing to myself that I'd be crushing up Ambien and sprinkling it on my kid's applesauce before ever allowing myself to be that mom.

And then I got pregnant. And then I had a kid. And then I took that kid on an airplane.

The first time I took Cade on an airplane, I was terrified—positive I'd be lynched or worse before the flight was over.

After running a marathon through the airport with 72 bags and a freshly-changed baby in tow, I boarded, prepared with three full bottles, electronic distractions and some Children's Tylenol just in case (apparently, the Department of Child and Family Services frowns upon Ambien for kids).

But 30 minutes after takeoff, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was. A woman next to us even commented on Cade's great behavior.

But then, like clockwork, the tears started rolling and my "well-behaved little boy" was wailing and flailing, and notably turning down all soothing tactics known to man.

I could feel the stares, hear the 12-inch voices and smell the god-awful stench coming from Cade's freshly-destroyed diaper. Of course, the seatbelt sign dinged just then and the captain, in his sound-proof booth, ordered us to remain seated through some light turbulence. Helpless and claustrophobic, I downed the Bloody Mary from a nearby tray table and crawled under my seat to die. Mother-of-the-year.

But, you'll understand when you have kids of your own.

And it's not just the airplane. Or the grocery store for that matter. More times than I care to admit, Cade's unwarranted crying fits have left me helplessly bawling on his bedroom floor, screaming obscenities and wondering what I could've possibly done to deserve his unremitting hysteria. Karma is a bitch.

Dear Mom, now I understand.

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