Back in my super-cool pre-kid days when I wasn’t a stay-at-home mom making PBJs and asking little people if they have a poopy diaper, there was this mental list I kept of the nerdy things I’d never do as a parent. I always thought I’d somehow retain my “cool factor” after the kids arrived, but the first time I was at the gym feeling tough and “C is for Cookie” blasted through my headphones, I knew for sure the “cool factor” was gone.
Here is my list of the top five nerdy things for which I am thankful as a mom.
1. My minivan
I swore up and down I’d always say no to a mom-mobile, and to my credit, I did have a mild panic attack walking up to look at our minivan. (In hindsight, I think the panic attack was actually my former cool-self having a massive convulsion before dying forever).
Once I got behind the wheel and realized I’d never again have to open a door without a simple press of a button, I was interested. Then when I discovered I could let my girls watch Dora on a road trip and listen to Cookie Monster on the entertainment system while carrying 7 people and our double stroller AND all of the junk I could ever dream of taking on a trip to Target with newborns, I couldn’t sign my name on the dotted line fast enough.
I owe all minivan-driving parents an apology for my past judgment. I love my minivan!
2. The dentist
I have enjoyed my dentist appointments SO much more now that I have children. It is a guaranteed kid-free hour out of the house to lean back and relax, and it happens at least every six months.
I actually secretly hope something shows up on my X-rays so I can schedule another appointment: ”What, a cavity!? That’s great! How long did you say the repair will take? How soon can you get me in?”
I have requested that my dentist add spa services like pedicures and manicures to the teeth cleaning procedure, but no one has listened as of yet. If you are an entrepreneur (or a dentist) looking for a way to make money off of tired and frazzled parents, you’re welcome.
That little bilingual exploradora is my BFF, my hero and my saving grace every now and then. Sure, I said my kids wouldn’t watch tv before they were two, but the first day they were sick and fussy and I was stuck rocking them all day, Dora saved my sanity and kept my babies distracted from feeling terrible.
And to all of you who are judging (because I most certainly did up until two years ago), Dora has taught my kids some amazing life skills. If they are ever on an adventure to save a talking animal friend from a gooey geyser, they will be able to count to ten in Spanish, look at a cartoon map for directions, dance with a monkey along the way AND protect themselves from cleptomaniac foxes.
I always thought it was terrible to let your kids advertise for a television show or movie with their clothing, but that conviction went out the window after the first episode when my girls fell in love with the pint-size and slightly annoying exploradora…the Nickelodeon empire has to be fully funded by all of the Dora gear produced and sold annually, one half of which I am convinced has made its way into our home.
4. Solo shopping
After you’ve taken multiple children to the grocery store, you begin to realize the beauty and tranquility of shopping alone. I can trade the impossible-to-turn shopping carts with the little car attached to the front for the normal, easy-steering cart or even the little hand-held basket.
Just thinking about that cute little hand held basket symbolizing a solo shopping trip makes me feel relaxed. Some how grocery shopping alone has blurred the line between chore and vacation. Beautiful beaches and clear blue ocean waters? Nah–just send me to King Soopers with Starbucks and turn me loose in the produce aisle alone.
Nerdy? Absolutely. But I can’t help it.
Shopping alone means I don’t have to keep up with shoes or free balloons or the doll that absolutely had to come shopping with us, and I never have to chase a runaway child across the store or parking lot. (Neither of which I am admitting has happened).
5. Zippered pajamas
This one maybe isn’t so nerdy as it is practical and efficient in a house with twins, but thankfulness for zippered pajamas came the hard way. The really hard way. The, “It’s two in the morning, both babies are screaming and needing clean diapers, and every fumbled and missed snap is prolonging the crying and increasing the stress in the house to epic levels” way.
I calculated (nerdiness again) that each set of pajamas had 10 snaps, and we had to do those horrid snaps on two babies at each feeding and diaper change. If all the snaps were correctly snapped the first time, we were attempting at least 120 snaps per day. Really?!
We tossed the snap pajamas in the donate pile and ran to the store to buy all the zippered pajamas we could find. I have yet to purchase another pair of those parent-torturing devices either for myself or for a friend’s baby shower. Friends don’t let friends fumble with snaps in the middle of the night!