Cardiogirl 19 percent body fat 100 percent fun


the fraternal order of parenting secrets


When I was pregnant, and it became obvious, everyone told me how much my life was going to change. The main comment was about the lack of sleep that was in store for me. How I would be stumbling about wishing I could sleep for just 45 minutes uninterrupted. After I had the baby that did end up being true, but I always wondered why the only thing people had to say about a new child was negative.

I try to be positive when I see a pregnant friend and simply say, "Congratulations, how exciting!" because a new baby is exciting. I don't want to contribute to the pessimistic karma following my gestating sisters. But now that I have children, I feel that there are a few more secrets out there that parents guard fiercely, yet nod sympathetically when asked about.

Secret Number One: Teething is a bitch.

It really is. It can start as early as three months old but will be in full force by the time your little peanut is six months old. It consists of red cheeks (on the face), excessive drooling, fever (sometimes) and constant crying and crankiness. It's real fun. This does not end until your baby has roughly 20 teeth. Yeah, 20 times you'll go through this. Keep the Motrin handy and don't be afraid to use it. Liberally.

Secret Number Two: Potty Training is also a major bitch.

It's hard to teach a small child how to suddenly change a habit that is genetically ingrained. No, no, honey. When you start to let your bottom relax (what does relax mean, Mommy?) stop and run to the toilet. Yeah. It's sort of like trying to teach a 2-year-old Greek and quantum physics at the same time. How do you explain what your bladder/bowels feel like to someone who doesn't know the feeling since their body just takes over and relieves them of the discomfort? How do you capture a moon beam in your hand? How do you stop the rain from falling? It ain't easy.

Secret Number Three: Vomiting/Diarrhea sucks it like no one's business.

At some point in time either before, during or after Secret Number One and Two your sweet little baby will get the flu. Sometimes you will experience just one side of this dastardly duo: perhaps just diarrhea. Believe it or not, that is a blessing. It's when your baby starts vomiting (and sometimes toots out a package in the diaper while simultaneously projectile vomiting) that the fun begins.

Why just two days ago I was vomited on three times. Yes, while I was holding the baby. Yup, all over the front of my shirt as well as on her shirt and pants. We had numerous baths and outfit changes that day. I tried to imagine I was modeling the latest fashions in Milan and this was just one more costume change before I made it back out on the catwalk. That didn't help.

I'm just saying it's not all about the lack of sleep and every step of parenthood is fraught with challenges. It's a completely different culture and once you join the ranks you, too, will be privy to the secrets. Whether the new parents down the street realize that or not they will be initiated soon enough.

Next time you see a pregnant woman simply say "Congratulations."


2007-02-07 at 6:29 a.m.

last post | next post