“We’re never going to sit in a restaurant while our children scream”
“We will never ever bribe our children”
“My children will never have snotty noses, where are all the tissues?”
“Our children will never be that naughty”
“If our kids cry like that, we’ll leave the store IMMEDIATELY”
“We’ll never let our children sleep with us”
“Our kids clothes will always match”
“I am absolutely going to have a natural childbirth” (Major props to you that do!!!)
“I will never quote my mother”
“Our house will never look like that”
“Our kids will never have that many toys”
“Our baby will sleep through the night, and if she/he doesn’t they can just cry themselves to sleep”
“We can do all the things we did before with kids”
“Our kids won’t fight like that”
and the list goes on and on and on…I mean it this could be like a 10 parter!
It’s like from the moment you recognize that you want to or will have children, you start mounting this little righteous front about how you will be a superb parent. Most likely setting yourself up for complete failure. Maybe you are the supermom who can do it all but if you’ve never bribed your child in a moment of weakness/emergency or forgotten to swipe the permanently dripping green snot off their nose in a sleep induced coma after two weeks of circulating the flu around your house, I will be amazed and perhaps inspired to reach a new level of
mothersainthood, that even the church doesn’t recognize.
So we tell ourselves these little lies and they build up into this attitude. Then we have children and we become completely fucking unglued. That’s okay though, as long as we can bend, stretch, flex, adjust and grow in our attitude towards parenthood we’ll be okay. The biggest thing is to not be too much of a critic on yourself. If you bribe your child the moment you walk into Target, 4 days a week, you’ve got a problem. If you pull it out occasionally in times of emergency or just to retain your sanity (as long as your sanity doesn’t require it 4 days a week) so what. If your toddler spent the better part of her first 1.5 years sleeping with you, I’m sure there was a reason, we sure had ours. It’s not like most people take a perfect crib sleeper and toss them in their bed for funsies. So don’t get down on yourself if you told a few lies before this whole adventure began. Look back on them, recognize them and laugh at them.
And remember, I’m only writing this post so I can feel better about myself, not make you feel worse, no judgment over here. What’s the best lie you told yourself before kids?
Phase 1: Valentines Day Before you Had Children-
You plan the entire night in d.e.t.a.i.l. and nothing will deter you. Your favorite restaurant doesn’t take reservations on Valentines Day, eh what’s a two-hour wait when you have nothing better to do. You go to your favorite italian restaurant, wearing a new outfit after having spent an afternoon admiring the flowers you received. You order whatever you like and stuff yourself silly while drinking copious amounts of wine and
watching gossiping about all the other people around you and what they’re doing. Then you head home to do unspeakable things that will launch you into the next phase of Valentines Day.
Phase 2: Valentines Day with a New Baby-
It’s okay, a new baby doesn’t have to change things. Maybe you don’t want to pay a babysitter while you sweat out the 2 hour wait at the bar for your favorite restaurant. Pshhh no biggy you can go to a restaurant that you enjoy that’s not your favorite. You make a reservation, hire a babysitter, skip a new outfit for yourself, outfit your new baby in something ridiculous that says something like Mommy’s Little Heart Throb and in a mildly panicky state you hand over your new baby to some teenager while you go out to enjoy an adult evening without the youngster. You spend the entire evening talking about your baby, rationalizing that it’s totally normal as is your irrational fright that the babysitter has somehow put him in the clothes washer and turned it on, how misguided were you trusting today’s youth, and eats a little faster. Then you go home, find relief that the not so misguided youth has actually kept your baby alive and put him to sleep so you proceed to do unspeakable things that will launch you into the next phase of Valentines Day.
Phase 3: Valentines Day with Multiple Children Under 3-
You’ve now rationalized that your husband’s recent sporting goods purchase is gift enough, chalk up the sweater you bought earlier in the week to your gift and consider major gifts done. You find yourself eating a heart-shaped pizza the day before Valentines Day with the kidlets in tow because you just have too much going on on the real day to get any kind of “special meal” in. You haul the kids to Barnes and Nobles to pick out Valentines Day gifts, where they are enamored with the train table and could care less about the books. You dash into the local candy store for your husbands favorite chocolate covered potato chips, buy your favorite candy as well and call the day done. You prop the candy up with the new pilates mat you bought him, which you would have bought him anyway and are good to go. You can cross Valentines Day off your never ending to do list and go back to getting things ready for a birthday part this weekend and all the other shit you have to do. New outfits for anyone? Hahaha, you just hope you made it through the day matching and with clothes that aren’t covered with stains, snot and food bits. If it’s a good day you’ve remembered the kids should wear red/pink, but really it was whatever you grabbed out of the drawer first that was seasonally appropriate.
Valentines Day Done.
Happy Valentines Day from My Cracked Pot to Yours!
and in case you need a last-minute e-card, here’s a few of my favorites
Where the capital H have I been? I know, that’s clearly been on your mind, like you don’t have 30,000 other more important thoughts. But just in case, a teeny little part of you wondered, I’ve been heavily involved in shit, literally, I’ve been in the trenches. The trenches of potty training, oh and in Chicago and cutting all my hair off in some kind of last hurrah to my 20’s which are almost over. This is not a fun task [potty training, turning 30 seems painless so far but ask me in September], in fact initially it’s far worse than changing diapers unless you loathe diapers like me, then it’s about even. Taking Brecken’s lead he picked the date we would finally get rid of the diapers. I then grabbed a shovel, calmly scooped up all my mommy morals and natural parenting philosophies and buried them in the flower bed and went out and bought snazzy things to bribe him with. The results, we are nearly a month free of diapers. This sounds like victory but it’s kind of been like riding a roller coaster in the dark, that you’ve never seen before in the light so you have no idea when the twists and turns will hit you. The first day went super, he earned a shiny Thomas the Train backpack to keep all his future matchbox cars he would earn by pooping on the potty, really I threw away all scruples, buried them. Poop = car and it worked, the key is recognizing when to take away the cars. I think the only piece of advice that I could truly give that I believe could/should be repeated from our experience, we started on a Saturday when we both would be home and I think that was key! In the early days this is a two parent job, because at least one of you will occupy a LARGE chunk of time [like all day]to nagging, dragging, encouraging, cheering, entertaining etc. to, in and around the potty. Anyway it was smooth sailing for the first week, then he regressed and started pooping randomly in his pants except he wasn’t wearing underwear yet so it would just fall through, a good and bad thing all at the same time, see below. We went back to the cars briefly and he seems to be back on track, he seems to have finally got it down that we’re not going back to diapers and this is his life now. So as not to bore you with a novella about potty training, unless you actually want the stinky details, in which case send me a message, I give you:
Highlights Horrors of Potty Training a 29 Month Old Boy
Doesn’t he just look bigger now that you know he doesn’t wear diapers?
B checking out the water display at the Chicago Children’s Museum