November 7, 2011 at 8:08 pm , by Nick Shell
Not that we ever have the patience to go out for a meal with our son, but when we rarely do, it’s a safe bet that when we leave the restaurant, the waiter or waitress will have some smashed Cheerios under the table to deal with. But it’s okay; we have a “Parent Pass.”
Did we just show up 35 minutes late? Oh, that’s alright. Our wrinkled clothes with dried baby formula on them make it very clear: We have a Parent Pass.
It’s not that I’m ever intentionally trying to look cool by growing a 10 day-old beard. The truth is, four days go by (which is evidently the point of now return) without me having 90 seconds in the morning to use my electric razor. And this happens often. Parent Pass.
Similar to recently reformed zombies, first-time parents of young children like myself are still suffering from the culture shock of living in a different version of reality called parenthood. Therefore, we may appear to be any (if not all) of the following:
Frantic, dazed, confused, exhausted, unkept, unprepared, on edge, or checked out.
(No, I’m not describing a sterotypical pot head from any movie starring Seth Rogen.)
Those with a Parent Pass earn an unspoken level of (un)pitied respect from onlookers and bystanders. It’s not even a case of “takes one to know one.” Common sense says that parents of young children, especially, are constantly a bit preoccupied.
This constant preoccupation isn’t a good thing for people like me who are already awful multi-taskers. To make it worse, I’m easily distracted by the very thing I’m not supposed to be paying attention to; whatever it is. I think I fall in the “dazed and confused” category more so than the other adjectives from my list above.
I’ve recently realized that I unintentionally started my own catch-phrase; I say it at least three or four times a day: ”Say that again?”
Yes, I’m constantly a page behind and a card short of the deck. I do expect this to change, though. I don’t know at what point I’ll get normal again, but I was never that normal to begin with.
As for now, I’m totally going to take advantage of my Parent Pass; while I still have a reasonable excuse for my Keanu Reeves-ness.