October brings out the ghoulish decorations at local malls, coffee shops & schools. Some parents spend months planning their children’s outfits or candy routes, some parents don’t celebrate the dark day, and some wing it every year. No matter which type of parent you are, you know that parenting can be far more scary, gross and weird than anything Hollywood or Hogwarts have come up with so far. Before we get too far into October, I thought we’d take a minute and reflect on the real life horrors of parenting.
If you’re anything like me, when you’re pregnant you’re often thinking of the fantasy of parenting brought to you by Hollywood, and your own innocence. Then you give birth and realize that you need a manual for the crying infant in your arms. Everything from how our baby is breathing to if they are sleeping right can have a new mother up all night googling away, glowing in the light of her cell phone. (Luckily for us every Barnes & Noble has a whole wall of hundreds of how-to-parent books, so if we don’t want to, we don’t have to wing it or depend on shady websites).
The real horror for each parent however is the first fever. For some reason sickness likes to strike when the parent is most tired, oftentimes in the dead of night. When my oldest was 6 months old she had croup. Did I know that at the time? No. All I knew was that my beautiful cherub was wheezing like Ozzy instead of breathing like heaven’s latest model. The raspy breathing terrified me and waiting 6 hours to go to the doctor felt impossible. For any parent going through this, you’re not alone and you’ll both make it out of this stage alive!
When a new couple gets married, old people love to tell them to hurry up and have kids! They get reminded that they are not getting any younger and they need to populate the earth. Besides being a lode of malarky, to bring a new human into the world should be a decision given more than a passing thought. Old ladies never tell new brides that parenting has a plethora of gross moments involving body fluids of all kinds. I’m not saying don’t have kids if you don’t like poop, but I’m not judging you if that’s one of your concerns.
When my son was 4 months old I decided to give him a bath. I filled up the tub with lukewarm water and bubbles. Off went the socks, onsie and diaper. And since I was terrified of being peed on, I faced my son to the wall, as I lifted him up Simba style and lowered him into his bath. Mommies there is something way worse than being peed on. As I lowered my son into the water, he chose that moment to expel orange mush from his tush. Into my mouth, onto my shirt and into the bath tub. Gag. I don’t know how our son or our tub got clean because I’m pretty sure I blacked out after that.
Kids are weird. It doesn’t matter if they are vegan or meat eaters. It doesn’t matter if they are vaccinated or have never seen a needle. Homeschooled or Public schooled. They are little weirdos who are new to this world, discovering life in the strangest era of history. Some day’s they’ll decide they will only eat spinach and other days they’ll throw it on the floor.
My favorite weird moment from my kids is when they went to a play date a few weeks ago with other children from our church. The other mothers and I were feeding our younger babies while the older ones played in by the swings. During a lull in our conversation the other moms and I heard children chanting. We looked across the playground. 7 children were sitting in a line along the fence chanting, “Listen the first time, listen the first time.” Not one of us moms had told them to do anything of the kind. Yet here they were, sitting in a line, instead of running around like little free spirits. A minute later the youngest kid pushed the oldest kid, and chaos resumed but, wow. It was weird. Like invasion of the body snatchers weird.
We love it
Parenting is everything. It is funny, it is horrifying. It is happy. It is sad. And many many many times it is scary gross and just plain weird. But I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It isn’t some trick. It’s actually a treat.
Do you have any scary gross or weird stories? We’d love to hear them!