Becoming a parent hammers home a lot of skills that you might have only been familiar with in passing before Baby took over, in chronological order, your body, your heart, your brain, and your living room, bedroom, kitchen and sanity – skills like hearing him wake up from three rooms away, or inventing new baby food flavors using 3 ingredients on 4 hours of sleep. And with those new skills comes a new knowledge-base.
- Everyone thinks they know best
It’s one of the mysteries of the universe, how people who see Baby once a month for 2 hours at a time, and have never actually put him to bed for the night, or tried to convince him that mushy spinach is really exactly what he wants for dinner, always seem to have an endless supply of advice about how he should eat, sleep, dress, and play. All of this sounds really sensible right up until you actually try to put it into practice, but you know to take every bit of advice with one or more grains of salt.
- At least once or twice, your mom really was right
She was right, and you really do understand that one thing once you become a parent. But even though you know your parents were right, when you hear their words coming out of your mouth for the first time, you’re going to have to take a moment to digest it.
- In a pinch, any flat surface is a changing table
The counter of a public bathroom that doesn’t have a changing table is amatuer hour. Other things that are actually changing tables in disguise include park benches, a towel on the beach or your sweater across the grass in the park, the hood of your car, the seat next to you on the bus, the pool table in your uncle’s basement at the family reunion when all the bathrooms are full, or your partner’s lap.
- You’ve always forgotten something
Even if you’ve packed half of Baby’s wardrobe and every toy he has so much as looked at in the last two months, you’ve forgotten his lucky sweater that’s just what he needs in the surprise flash flood or hail-storm, and the one lights-and-music toy that would keep him occupied all the way through the car ride. And if it’s not that, it’s something even more important, like diapers, a snack, or, somehow, your own socks. People forget things, and it’s even more likely when you’ve got a little one.
- There are days when you are that person
You know the one. The person with a million different pictures saved on your phone of Baby wearing the same outfit and playing with the same toy at three different angles with a range of different expressions on his face; the person with a selection of Baby’s drawings tucked into your wallet; even the person with an inappropriate-for-the-dinner-table story involving Baby’s bodily fluids when a friend you haven’t seen in a while asks how you’ve been. You may never have wanted to be one of those people who only talks about their kids, but Baby is a huge part of your life, and sometimes it’s hard to avoid.