I’ve recently begun thinking about the differences between parents and non-parents. Maybe I’m mulling just another excuse to break it off with the boyfriend candidate because the more I think about it, the more I think it makes us incompatible.
When you have children it changes everything. Seriously, everything changes. The meaning of words, time, your health, summer, spontaneity, butterflies, bed time, on and on. We don’t speak the same language.
When I tell the BC “The boys and I are dropping by”, I know what I’m saying is, house proof for children. I’m really saying even more than that. It’s more like, “If you love me and want to be some small part of this family you will child proof your house in such a way as to demonstrate your commitment to the safety and integrity of the three things that give my life meaning and direction.” I’m also saying there needs to be food and drink appropriate for them and if he really wants to impress, entertainment. And any parent would know that’s what I meant because our secret handbook confirms it.
We get to his house and his blown glass art collection is still on floor around the fireplace, fire roaring with the glass doors open. His work papers are across the dining table in tempting proximity to colored Sharpies. His adult beverage is on the end table enticing my eight year old with a fruit garnish. There is no toilet paper in the bathroom and no towels for hand drying. He has nothing for them to drink (tonic water does not count) and he announces that he could grill up some salmon and asparagus if we’re hungry. But most alarmingly, Playboy Magazine on the breakfast table. Opened. To the centerfold.
So I pull him to the side. “I said I was coming with the kids. This place is a minefield. What did you think I meant?”
Without skipping a beat, “That we’re not having sex tonight.”
See what I mean.