Summer is, without a doubt, the worst season for parenting. I thought as I wrestled my screaming toddler into her car seat. The sweat from walking from the house to the car already drenched us both, rendering her more like a greased hog and I, some hillBilly circus act. She slipped through my hands again and began bouncing on the seat, laughing like a maniacal Loony Tune.
“Show mamma how a big girl puts on her seat belt” I pathetically begged as an old lady and her apathetic basset hound tottered by. The dog looked up at me through drooping eyes. Even he looked unimpressed by my amateur attempt at manipulating my child. I couldn’t be sure, of course, but I swear he raised a disparaging eyebrow.
In the winter months you can, at least, dress them like an anemic Inuit and send them to the park. But there’s nothing you can do about heat. There’s no amount of clothes you can legally remove to remedy the hell. Sure you can take them swimming, but applying sunscreen to a child is about as easy and pleasant as coating a cat in peanut butter. Really, when it is this unbearably hot out, the list of activities outside of the house are few. So once my walls were covered in chalk and my furniture covered in kitty stickers, I try to take her to a secondary location. The vision being that, somehow with the added, unpredictable element of a public setting and the judgement of of other, better parents, my child will somehow behave differently: parents might approach me saying “Wow, she is developmentally miles ahead of my spastic child. What’s your secret” and I would smile and shrug and say, “Oh, we’re just blessed, I guess.” But they would know the truth, that I was simply a superior human being.
As I was prying my child’s fingers from the frail ponytail of an unsuspecting blond toddler, I decided that the public library, perhaps, was not for us. I apologized profusely while removing the delicate strands of blond hair from my child’s clutches, handing the girl’s parents a substantial handful of their daughter’s hair…