Kid Karma

114_2671825I made a giant mistake with my first child.  I bragged.  He was such a good baby and toddler, that it made me proud.  I could leave scissors on the table and he wouldn’t touch them.  He didn’t hit , scream or throw fits.  He was potty trained by the time he was two.  He cleaned up after himself, (not that he needed to) because he didn’t dump his toys or make messes.  He was easy and he was perfect.

When mothers would complain about their tantruming two year olds, and sleepless nights or messy houses I would say, “I can’t even imagine” – ensuring to make them question their (clearly sub par) capabilities as a mother.  My kid was perfect, because I was the perfect mom, with incredible patience and the most amazing parenting skills, and I never even read one parenting book.  Unfortunately, my perfection was not long lived.

From the second child two was born, it was obvious that I jinxed myself.  He was extremely difficult from the start, screaming non stop from the second he came out.  We couldn’t be discharged from the hospital because he refused to poop.   When they finally let us go, my husband never showed to pick me up.  (“I don’t think I’m ready for a second child,” he said when he finally answered his cell.)

My first year and a half with this baby was crazy.  He screamed like a nut.  He didn’t sleep.  He didn’t poop.  He would turn into a wet noodle if I tried to get him in his swing or carseat.  I didn’t know how to handle him.

Things only got worse as he entered toddlerhood.  He touched everything.  (I couldn’t leave scissors out anymore.)  When we go shopping he would stick his hands out as wide as he could on both sides of the cart and knock everything down.  He shoplifted on multiple occasions.  He’s was that screaming kid in the high chair that everyone wished would leave the restaurant.

While my older child tried to teach himself to read and lining up his matchbox cars in size order, my little one would throwing toys down the vents, and licking the phone jacks.  He would even remove the childproof coverings from the outlets, and chew on them, making me nervous that I would get electrocuted when I put them back.

185_2576176Child  number 1 was appreciative and up for anything.  Child Number 2 was a real life “Debbie Downer”.  He “hated” everything.  I would give him dinner and he would tell me, “I HATE dinner.”  I’d give him chicken nuggets.  He’d say, “I HATE chicken nuggets.”  I’d give him rice.  He’d say,  “I HATE rice.”  I would remove him from the table and he’d tell me, “You no feed me dinner, you a bad mommy.”  His strong dislike for things extends far beyond food.  Bedtime, baths and preschool; he hated it all.

For a two year old, the kid was beyond the “typical terrible“.  He could work my iphone and buy applications.  He snuck popsicles and gum.  He makes up stories that his teachers stole his lunch at school, and I never knew if I should believe him or not.

Now at age 5, the worst thing this child does is pick on his older brother.  He knows how to push his buttons.  He pretends to be “scared” of television shows my eight year old wants to watch so we have to change the channel.  He steals food off his brothers plate.  And he mimics everything the older one says until the eight year old can’t take it any more and yells something rude and gets punished.

We praise my third grader for getting straight A’s and at the same time praise my Kindergartener for not getting in too much trouble in school each week.

I preemptively removed a big tree outside his bedroom window so he can’t sneak out during his teenage years.

I parent both of my children the exact same way.  I can’t figure out why one of them is an angel and the other is such a handful.  The only rational explanation is Karma.  All that bragging and pissing off moms when Child 1 was a baby is having lifetime repercussions.  I need a time machine.  Or some Xanax.  Preferably a time machine.

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Lauren Karpf

Lauren Karpf

Lauren Karpf is the kind of girl who in the nineties couldn’t figure out how to tight roll her jeans or tease her bangs high. She tried to embrace her individuality but instead embraced NY pizza. Now 20 years later, with a husband and two kids she’s still trying to figure it all out. Lauren writes about the realities of being a mom, friend and wife; because everyone knows life deserves a Five Second Rule too.