Comedy: Also known as “parenting”

My husband dared me to write and do stand-up much like he dared me to get pregnant on our honeymoon. We have two kids now – SHOWED HIM!
It didn’t happen right away though. (Any of it, because I’m stubborn and want to do things in my own time so I procrastinate so he can’t take credit. Which is why I haven’t done standup. Also I would have to wear something other than yoga pants.)

We struggled with infertility. It was brutal and demoralizing. Infertility fights dirty and attacks you in your genitals and your wallet. It’s like Victoria’s Secret but it smells better. It’s expensive, time consuming, messy, and your reward if it works is a baby. The most messy, time sucking, expensive pursuit in life. Funny, they didn’t pitch it that way in the pamphlets.

That was the first thing that struck me as odd about the fertility clinic was the marketing. Really? I think this is a done deal, folks. We’re here because we want a baby so you don’t need to do a sales pitch. Unless of course this is a complicated way to extract large sums of money from us while you do nothing. If that’s the case then we’ll just call this place “Congress”.

When you sign those big checks away to a fertility clinic you’re actually signing away your dignity and self-control because they’re going to tell you when to fuck, how often, and cut you off if you’re not doing it right. All of a sudden I was being tested on something that I thought I was a natural at and I failed. Two years, almost three – until we gave up. My husband said it was making us miserable and he was right. So we decided to party hard instead and plan a trip. Two months later I was pregnant. Bushmills and cider was our fertility specialist. Affordable, friendly, approachable, and non-judgmental to boot. After three expensive rounds of IUI we discovered that the acronym meant something different for us, “intercourse under intoxicants” for those that are classy. “Inebriation until intercourse” for those that are not.

Now that we have two kids, we just want to run away, and they’re great. I can’t imagine what its like to have a shitty kid. That must really suck. To go through all the heartache we did and to have ended up with a dud would have been sugar in the gas tank of life. It would be like having a job you hate but you can’t ever leave. A stay-at-home mom in the Hotel California. Two things that I detest in life, hippies and California – for eternity! Fucking shoot me. I’d rather wear a scratchy sweater and get my annual done daily by someone with Parkensons. I always thought being a stay-at-home parent would be awesome. Until I was one. Now I think being a travel show host would be awesome. Maybe that will come out of my uterus as a surprise someday too.

I would see these women smiling and racing around with their kids, eating lunch, taking cute photos, reading books together, cuddling. Now I know what was really going on. I’ve seen behind the curtain. That’s not a smile that’s a grimace. She’s taking photos to make them stand still. That cuddle? It’s a choke hold. That racing isn’t exuberance it’s an attempt to wear them out so they’ll nap and the food is to silence them.

My daughter excelled at running off once she could walk. It was a fucking nightmare. We couldn’t leave the house unless I was holding onto her or had her strapped into something. Even that wasn’t a gaurantee because she used her nimble little fingers to pry apart buckles, laces, and electrical parts even. Between that and mimicry skills I thought I had given birth to a baby Terminator. Watch out Sarah Connor!

The worst decision ever, other than most of our baby gear purchases, was getting a Zoo membership. When new parents ask me for advice, which they don’t but if they did, this would be my advice:  stain resistant furniture, replacement remotes and grocery delivery. That’s it. Everything else is political posturing, unnecessary, or a fad. Don’t buy memberships for anything until they’re older and potty-trained . In diapers? Can’t spell their own name? Do stuff you enjoy and let them people watch. Anything else is a waste of money. Make friends with like-minded moms and force your kids to be friends. This is the one time in your life where you can do this.

It was on an adventure with my mom friends at the zoo that I discovered my daughter’s penchant for behaving like a cross between Houdini and Helen Keller. Great for an S&M sex party but not so much for the toddler set. Sneaky, agile, methodical, silent, & obstinate. What does that amount to in a two year old? Scaling the fence to the billygoat exhibit like a Navy Seal in training. That thing had a sheer cliff on the other side with a moat to break your fall. I dashed after her, pushing through parents and strollers, and grabbed her up that for a moment it looked as if I was wearing her like a ventriloquist’ puppet on my arm. She screamed bloody murder and then of course people wanted to help. Not when she was scaling the fence to certain death, of course, but once I had a hold of her. Which is symbolic of parenting, marriage, life in general really. When you struggle in silence you can’t assume someone will notice and help. Sometimes you need to make a scene, a mess, a disturbance to get the attention you need. If that doesn’t work, I recommend Bushmills and cider.