When you're closing in on 39 years of age and you want a child, but have never had one, the need to parent can become overwhelming. Since I started trying to have a baby almost seven years ago, that's a lot of mothering that I've needed to get out of my system. At least, that's where I find myself right now.
Sure, I consider myself an excellent mother to my adopted son, who still isn't here. I have never given up on getting him home and spend hours working with our attorney and Senator staffers, strategizing, doing paperwork, praying, worrying and dreaming about his future.
But, I need to be childrearing in person. My poor dogs and cats are treated as though they are my tots walking around on four legs. When they get in trouble, I send them to time outs and I also restrict their TV and computer time. (Note: this doesn't seem to affect their behavior much).
When I talk to friends or colleagues about their kids, it's all I can do to not give out my own parenting advice. A work friend was telling me how he didn't want his kids to focus on just one sport or activity just yet. He wanted to give them an opportunity to try lots of different things before settling on just playing baseball or the clarinet. I really wanted tell him that I thought that was a good idea and that I hope to do that with our own child. But, I think that would just be weird.
In Church, it's all I can do to not scold unruly or loud kids, and the same is true when I'm in Target and see a kid whining about wanting a toy and stomping his feet.
Conversely, I not only want to parent kids, but I want to give advice to their moms and dads. When I see kids not strapped in seat belts, I roll my window down and give the "parent" a piece of my mind. The same is true when I see a mom buying four boxes of the sugariest cereal on the market to feed to her crew (this happened just last week).
I am not saying I will be a perfect parent by any means, but the desire I have is palpitable right now. It's all bottled up and it has very few places to be expended. I'm like a dormant volcano whose top is about to blow.
My dogs don't understand what I mean when I ask them to put their toys back in their box and they're pretty good about eating everything on their plates.
So if you see me coming toward you or your kid you might want to watch out. I just might tell you to put your kid's hood up and wipe the milk mustache off his face.