Friday, 28 August 2015

What Parenting Means

So the other week while working at a craft stall with a good friend of mine, we had a heavily pregnant woman come and sit down at our table to make a card. Some gentle probing later we discovered she was about a week away from popping. We decided this was a perfect time to terrorise the poor woman by telling her exactly what being a parent meant, right when it's too late for her to back out. Of course it was all in good fun, and we didn't reveal any of the real horrible truths (we like to leave some mystery for new mums). But it has been on my mind a bit since that weekend. The word parent is universal, and while customs and traditions can vary from person to person, there are some things that stay the same no matter whether you live in an igloo in Antarctica (do people really do this?) or a mansion in the Hollywood Hills. So as a handy guide for anyone who is thinking of being a parent, or for those of you who are already parents, and just want a reminder of why you're not going back for a second (or third) I present the following.

  1. Putting yourself last. Forever, and ever, and ever.
  2. Never getting to blow out the candles on another birthday cake. And forget about unwrapping your own presents. That job now belongs to your children.
  3. Being woken up by a tennis racket to the face (seriously)
  4. Acting like you know exactly what you're doing, despite the fact that inside your head you're screaming as loud as the baby is right now.
  5. Boring all of your friends with all of the super adorable things your little one did in the few hours since you last spoke to them.
  6. Using your clothes as a tissue or napkin for someone else.
  7. Catching vomit in your hands.
  8. Eating baby foods to find out exactly why your darling one is spitting it out. (Hint, it's because it tastes like butt. You'll find this out the hard way.)
  9. Having someone new to blame any time you break wind in company. (This one only works until they learn to speak.)
  10. Having your heart explode with pride and love every time they do something new. It never gets old.
  11. Having a deep seated hatred for toys that need batteries to work.
  12. Watching the same movie twice in one day because it's their absolute favourite and they'll scream the house down if you don't let them watch it again.
  13. Ice cold feet pressed into your back when they sneak in to sleep with you at 3 in the morning. 
  14. Waking up to a little person sitting on your head, because they're hungry and you're being boring by sleeping right now.
  15. Discovering that toy makers hate you, I mean really hate you, by making you build every darn thing you ever buy for your child. It seriously took me over an hour to put Miss K's bouncer together when she was a baby. I'm not a stupid person, but that thing needed an engineering degree just to assemble four parts. And don't even get me started on her bike.
  16. Spending the day convinced that you have given birth to the spawn of Satan, only to forget every horrible thing they did that day the minute you see them sleeping like an angel.
  17. Feeling like the worst person in the world every time you have to discipline them. 
  18. Spending the first four years of their life complaining that they are so needy, only to realise that was only temporary, then spending the next few years panicking that one day your kids aren't going to need you any more. 
  19. Feeling like your heart is going to break in half every time you see them growing up right before your eyes.
  20. Being someone's super hero, simply because you were able to fix a slightly broken toy.
  21. Hating yourself the minute they realise you aren't a super hero, and are in fact (gasp) human.
  22. Being a policeman, chef, maid, clown, magician, chauffeur, referee, cheerleader, hostage negotiator, and anything else you need to be just to keep your house running.
  23. Looking at every other parent you ever see and wondering how they can possibly have it all together like that. (Little hint, they don't, they're just as confused as you are.)
  24. Hour upon hour spent worrying about things that once upon a time you never though worth your time. 
  25. Lying awake at night convinced that today was the day you screwed up your child. 
  26. Finding yourself singing the theme song to your child's latest favourite TV show, while in public.
  27. Apologizing to a million strangers because your child walks like a drunk old man, and keeps crashing into everyone they find.
  28. Feeling mortified the first time your child swears. Bonus horror if it happens in public. 
  29. Months spent carrying your sleeping child to the toilet because if you have to wash one more pee soaked sheet you are going to lose your mind.
  30. Discovering exactly how fierce you can truly be the first time someone hurts your precious little one. You're normally a placid person, but right now you could cut a b***h.
  31. Feeling a mixture of pride and revulsion the first time you realise babies are capable of farting like full grown men after a meal of baked beans.
  32. Endless games of "What is that mysterious smudge on my new shirt?"
  33. Dancing like a one legged man in a butt kicking contest all around your living room because it makes your child squeal with laughter.
  34. Feeling like you've lost a part of yourself the first time they spend a night away from home.
  35. Rediscovering the joy of jumping out at someone as they come around a corner. This one never gets old with kids around.
  36. The joy of hearing your kid tell you that you're the best mum/dad in the world. 
  37. Bony elbows, knees, backsides, all in your internal organs. You wouldn't believe something that chubby and squishable is really able to inflict immense pain with one well placed limb.
  38. Being able to heal all boo-boos with a kiss.
  39. Having to wait until your child has been kissed, cuddled and questioned before any adult will speak to you ever again. 
And finally...

  40.  Loving someone, and being loved more fiercely than you ever thought possible.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...