We attended my oldest nephew’s graduation reception this past weekend. Which meant one thing for my kids, and one thing only:
Cousins are the human equivalent to crack in our household. Our closest nephews and nieces live five hours away, so it’s a BIG FREAKING DEAL to see the cousins. The kids run around all crazy eyed a full week in advance planning every detail of how they will spend each minute with “the cousins.”
The cousins are freaking awesome, I get it. But a five hour car trip with three kids hopped up on the promise of family bonding can be wearing and we find ourselves saying things like this,
“Honey, I know you are excited to see your cousins, I’m excited too. However, we have four and half more hours in the car together so we’re really going to need you to calm the eff down so Mommy and Daddy don’t lose their shit before the first bathroom stop.”
Also, “I’m sorry honey, but, ‘I don’t like the way my brother smells’, is not a valid complaint. I haven’t liked the way my brothers have smelled for over 30 years.”
And of course this, “I’m going to need you to stop licking me. No, not even pretend licking. No, you can’t lick your sister instead.”
Somewhere it that five hours, it occurred to me that being a parent is basically a big game of listening to the words coming out of your mouth and trying to figure out what kind of person would ever have to say those things. And then someone farted (again), and among the finger pointing and yelling to open the windows and the “I told you, I don’t like the way he smells!”, I remembered that it was me. I am the kind of person who has to say those things.