playground politics

What I Know & What I Don’t Know Since Becoming a Parent

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Happy Monday, everyone!  And welcome to my first instalment of:

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I’m calling it my first instalment because I imagine this is the sort of list that I’ll be building on constantly.  Kids are kind of amazing creatures; I’m finding myself learning something new and being baffled by them every day.

This particular list started last week when I watched Bee for the very first time climb the ladder to the big slide and actually go down, all by herself.  The big, yellow, twisty slide usually reserved for bigger kids; kids with a little more courage than she has shown in the past.  Bee’s always been very thoughtful in the playground – not exactly a risk-taker – and preferred to be pushed contentedly on the swing while seemingly contemplating the bigger picture of the universe, as evidenced by this recent photo:

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But, back to the slide.  As I watched this mini-human, all wild hair and bare feet (she also suddenly decided that shoes are for chumps?) climb the ladder and spin down with a look on her face I can only describe as hysterical joy, I wondered to myself, “where does this courage come from?!  What is it that makes a kid say to herself one day, ‘yes.  Today is the day I’m going to do this slide!’??”

I just didn’t know the answer.  Not that there is an answer to it, but all these other things started rattling though my head, things I didn’t know about children and life – and also all the stuff I realized I now do know.  Stuff that I never in my entire existence would have come to know or not know, had I not been blessed to become a Mama.

Sure there’s probably scientific or anthropological explanations for most of this stuff. But let’s just say there isn’t and go with it, k?

WHAT I KNOW

I know that not two children are alike when introducing solid food: one will choke with every mouthful you feed her, and the next will scarf with such abandon that you’ll wonder if they even have a gag reflex at all.

I know banana is incredibly difficult to get out of hair/eyebrows:

IMG_5541Yew, boy.  Poor kid.

I know Velcro is awesome.

I know that learning to share is HARD and often incredibly emotional.

I know playground politics is a real thing.

I know following through with promises and threats is crucial if you want solid parenting cred with your Littles.

I know putting a towel over your head and pretending it’s long, flowing princess hair is instinctual.

I know I can hold my pee until I forget I have to go.

I know that baby farts will always be funny, especially in completely inappropriate situations like church, or while talking to baby-less single, ultra cool people you used to be friends with until you decided to become one of “those” people who got married and had kids.  Baby farts are especially awesome in that situation.

I know that when my toddler cries, “mommy, I NEED A LOLLIPOP RIGHT NOW!!” she truly believes she needs a lollipop in that moment or else she will probably crumple and die.

I know my floors will be perpetually sticky until the kids move out of the house.

I know that a baby will be just as happy playing with a spoon and an old face cloth as it would be with a $50 toy.

I know that somehow there will always be a dirty diaper somewhere in the house at any given moment, regardless of how diligent I am with throwing them in the bin.

I know that baby socks are bullshit.  Like, seriously.  Teeny tiny pieces of fabric to cover a baby’s feet that will only end up in a gutter somewhere on the other side of the city or lost at the bottom of a purse?  Ridiculous.  I say, footed sleepers for Fall & Winter, then bare feet in Spring & Summer, or until they are able to walk and then need socks and shoes.

I know I will always, without a doubt, have some sort of food/bodily fluid substance on my shirt until the kids move out of the house.

I know that babies and kids will live and thrive just fine on non-organic food & dairy products.

I know that this parenting gig is the hardest f*cking job in the world, but I am all the better a person for it.

 WHAT I DON’T KNOW

I don’t know what makes a child love salmon one day but then gag dramatically just thinking about it the next.

I don’t know why it’s so true that you can buy a kid every damned toy in the world but all they’ll want to play with are the boxes they come in.

I don’t know why I bother to HAND WASH this $18 Old Navy dress, but I do:

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I don’t know how a child can survive for days on nothing but Cheerios and raisins.

I don’t know how I am surviving on no sleep.  Seriously.  How is this happening.

I don’t know how I would get through the week without parenting drop-in centres, public parks and the library.

I don’t know if there actually is such a thing as “too much coffee.”  Sheesh.

I don’t know where the irrational fear of pooping on the toilet comes from.

After everything I’ve gone through with two kids, I honestly do not know how people have more than two.

I don’t know where this love for my children comes from, if you can even call it love.  What’s bigger and deeper than love?  Because that’s what I feel for them.

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I’m sure I’ll be updating this list in the coming weeks.

Until then, I’d love to hear from you!

What are some things you now know or realize you don’t know, since becoming a parent?