There’s this thing that we parents say to try and make ourselves feel better. Because being a parent to two babies and three dogs is a lot of work some days. Ok, most days.
Ok. All the fucking time.
And not only is it a lot of work, it’s shitty work. Literally and figuratively. My life, on an average day, revolves a good 50% around the bowel movements of other living beings in the house. Even my own desire to take a shit has to go on the back buner, because a baby always seems to have dibs on that, doesn’t it?
So, what we say to ourselves is this:
“It could always be worse.”
That is the singsong of comfort that we mothers whisper to ourselves as one child is throwing up and the dog is eating it and some asshole is banging on your door when you have clearly indicated that you do not want ANY of what they are selling EVER.
“It could always be worse. At least I don’t have to wash the floor, because the dog cleaned up the mess.”
It’s the reassurance we give ourselves when the baby wakes up at waytoearly o’clock and you come downstairs to fetch a bottle and instead find a steaming pile of dogshit at the bottom of the stairs.
“It could always be worse. I could have fucking stepped in it.”
It’s what we do when the toddler grabs her brother’s penis because she doesn’t have one and still doesn’t understand the differences between boys and girls.
“It could always be worse. They could remember this one day. Good thing children have no memories before what, 5?”
The trick, however, is not to say “it could always be worse” in front of your demonic little spawns of love. Because if they hear you, they think it’s a challenge. They think that you are daring them to make it worse. Like they don’t want to be the only ones who cry in the house.
They already know how to keep you up all night if they hear the words “I’m tired”. They will keep themselves up to the point of their own misery just to fuck with you. Why? Because it’s the only power they have.
You are in charge of all the things in their life, and they want a piece of it back. So the only way for them to really get you by the balls is to come up with a mystery ailment in the middle of the night and watch you do the dance of “How the fuck can I make this kid happy and get it back to bed?”
And then you whisper to yourself:
“It could always be worse. We could be out of rum.”
And that is when you know you’ve hit rock bottom. There is puke on the floor, you almost stepped in dogshit, there is an imposter salesman at your door, the toddler is freaking out because she doesn’t have a penis, it’s 4 am and you haven’t slept yet and now you’re out of rum.
So the moral of the story?
Keep the bar stocked.