every parent has these moments
So, you realize you are turning into your own parents. Hearing their words coming out of your mouth, are you? That's cute. As a seasoned mom, I've already passed through surprise, acceptance and am now in full embrace of my inherited parental skills. This is beyond basics. Experienced caregivers will know what I'm talking about. Those who are still a little wet behind the ears, this is what's in store.
- I Wish My Kid Was Just a Little Less Smart -when your child asks questions about everything or even already knows more than you realize. It means you have to up your game, which is just one more item on the list of things you don't have the energy for. Therefore, "Because I said so" becomes the new law of the land.
"Daddy said I could watch this TV show, but not with Duke and Phyllis because they need to be close to my age, but I'm watching it with Duke because he is close to my age."
"No, Duke is not really close to your age."
"Well, he's three and I'm six and three is halfway to six."
"Yes, but that's not quite what Daddy meant. Turn the show off."
"Because I said so."
- I Can't Believe I Did Something So Stupid -when your debt-laden education fails you. It's placing the cup of coffee on the edge of the counter because they can't reach it yet, right? It's leaving the kids alone in the house/yard/car because rounding them all up means turning a three minute job into 25 and that might be what finally breaks you. It's placing a family heirloom on a high, unsteady shelf because you are irrationally determined to have "nice things" out. You think, "It's just for a minute" or "It'll be fine" or, more truthfully, you didn't think at all because the only shred of brainpower left is focused on getting your youngest to sit on the potty before she trails more urine on the floor.
- OhThankGoodnessI'mNotTheOnlyOne! -when you realize the thing you were secretly freaking out about is really okay. Say your kindergartener kissed a boy at school during playtime. Being the progressive parent you are, your brain goes into hyper-drive attempting to calculate what you should say because maybe this is the start of something huge or perhaps your child was being innocently playful and if you don't respond EXACTLY RIGHT you may irrevocably scar your precious darling. You spend the next four hours repressing a panic attack and searching the Internet for information on the development and behavior of young children. Then, you meet up with a friend for a drink. She tells you that her kindergartener is kissing boys on the playground because it's funny when they run away and you practically faint with relief. You both have sons, by the way.
- Oh, We're Doing This Now, Are We? -when you've accepted certain stages of your child's development (see above) and are moving on. Family is visiting for the weekend. Your kids and their cousins are playing dress up. Aww. Your son is in his police jacket and your niece is in a two-sizes-too-small Snow White outfit. Fun. They're giggling in the other room and when you walk in, your niece proclaims, "We're getting married!" You politely decline to officiate and bring out more beer.
- It Doesn't Make Sense and I'm Okay With That -when your kid's words or actions defy logic and reason, but you don't try to correct it or make sense of it because, well, no one's dying. It's mediating who has rightful possession of a toy even when there's an exact replica two feet away, placing the straw just so in the juice box because otherwise it's undrinkable and accepting that light blue is better than dark blue. It's not expecting an answer when you ask, "Why did you do that?" There is no answer and there never will be.
- I'm Never Going to Sleep Well Ever Again -when you realize that just because your kids have started sleeping through the night, you still don't get to. More experienced parents who say otherwise are lying, possibly to offer some hope as you acclimate to a new sleep deprived existence. Or, they're laughing at you behind your back. Nightmares, lost teddies and "I need you to fix my blanket," not to mention "Can I sleep with you?" will interrupt your slumber on a regular basis. Even on the occasions the kids sleep don't disturb you, you will still wake up because you're getting old and your body needs more frequent bathroom trips.
- Things Will Never Be Easier, Just Different -when it becomes clear that even after you're done with bottles, diapers and strollers, nothing gets easier. For those of you who like the delusions of silver linings, you'll never be bored because the hard parts will always change. Yay. For my fellow realists, you can't train for this, you'll never be fully prepared for everything and your best chances lie in strong defense mechanisms.