When you become a parent, you prepare for the sleepless nights and adorable outfits. Poopy diapers and sweet smiles. Oh, and the baby smell. Thinking about the baby smell got me through my last three weeks of being pregnant without going completely crazy, by the way. But even through all of that preparing, there are several things you could NEVER totally prepare for, especially as a first time parent. Ten things that, well, I’m about to partially prepare you for (or remind you of) right now. And I will forewarn you: not all of it’s pretty.
1. The first time you get pooped on. Oh yes, you read that correctly. Pooped ON. Because the day will inevitably come where you’re changing a diaper only to have projectile baby nasty squirt straight out onto your arm. Or worse, your shirt.
2. The carseat scream. I think every child goes through this phase at one point or another: they decide – seemingly overnight – that they HATE their carseat. There is no combination of toys or singing or basic distraction that could possibly convince them that, “hey, this carseat thing isn’t so terrible.” Nope. My recommendation? Do what you can until you adapt. Because you do eventually tune it out a bit.
3. The first real smile. OMG. That moment when your baby recognizes you and smiles? Amazing. It’s the BEST.
4. The first laugh. AHHH – if you’ve ever heard baby laughter, you know it’s contagious. But when you hear your own baby laugh? It’s even better than that first baby smile. I can’t get enough.
5. The blowout diaper. Whether it happens once a day or once a month, you could never possibly get used to changing a blowout diaper. They’re positively gag inducing, no matter how many times you’ve been through it.
6. When they start feeding themselves. Suddenly you come down for breakfast and realize your child can give himself a bottle in his high chair. And then you have this thing that single people call “free time” – for all of fifteen minutes. It’s blissful. You could check your email. Or you could empty the dishwasher. Or you could sit on the kitchen floor for fifteen minutes of uninterrupted quiet. Not that I’ve done that or anything.
7. When they start crawling. It’s like this extreme happiness and extreme fear all wrapped into one. Because at first you’re like, “OMG he’s crawling and it’s so cute and it’s so funny and he can follow me around and I just love this!” And a split second later you’re like, “OMG MY HOUSE ISN’T BABY PROOFED. The stairs. The outlets. No gates. Must.contain.baby.”
8. That moment when you realize that your child doesn’t LISTEN to you. Slash they think it’s funny when you tell them no. This could happen when you catch them trying to eat out of the dog’s dish. Or at Target, when they insist on standing in the cart and the cashier comes around to hold him steady while you unload your cart. Or when they start heading for the stairs, you yell, “NO” and they laugh and start crawling faster. Oh all three in one day. What can I say – life with a mobile child is not so easy as you originally think it’s going to be.
9. When you find yourself turning into the mom who eats kid food most of the time. Applesauce, green beans, graham crackers. Sometimes it’s just easier to eat what you’re preparing for baby. It may not be fancy, but at least it’s healthy?
10. The moment you realize how much you love your baby. And how much your life has changed to revolve around their every little move. And how much you don’t care about anything you don’t have time to do anymore.
Tell me in the comments: what were YOU not prepared for when you became a parent?