Being a new parent, there are obviously a lot of things that take me by surprise, probably on a daily basis. I’d never been around babies before Hazel. None of my siblings or friends have kids, none of my friends growing up had younger siblings; we were all the youngest or they were an only child. SO, in hopes that I might enlighten some of you, here are a few things that really were new concepts to me. (I like lists.)
1. It’s almost always extremely difficult to get your baby to nap when they aren’t a newborn anymore. Yes, you need to put that sucker down before she shows signs of being tired. Uh, sure. If your baby does that. Hazel is always Miss Instant Gratification. It’s usually OH MY GOD I AM SO TIRED or HOLY SHIT WHY DID YOU LET ME GET SO HUNGRY IT’S BEEN ONE MINUTE PAST THE NORMAL TIME YOU FEED ME. Never “ohh I’m going to rub my eyes a few times and yawn to let you know I’m getting tired,” or “I’m going to just sit here and do things with my mouth and look around at you so you know I’m hungry.” Nooo no no. So every time it’s nap time, she is like *yawn* and then *scream* and there is no in between for her. I try to stay on her “schedule” but I pretty much let her do what she wants, so, that doesn’t always work either.
2. Baby poop is so smelly and very disgusting but if you get a little on you, eh. I mean, it is one of the grossest, most distinct smells you will ever whiff. And yet you get it all over your arms, and you’re all, I’m just going to wipe this with an already poopy wipe and then go wash my hands when I get her clothes back on. If I ever had David’s adult human shit on me, LIFE WOULD END. What’s up with baby poop?
3. You really do just “know” things. Before she came along, I was always wondering “but how do you know” about various things such as: when do you go up a size in diapers? when will you know to increase formula? how do I know she is ready for this or that or the random thing over there? Mom intuition is real, apparently.
4. You really can just fling them around, really. They are sturdier than they look. All you really have to do is watch out for that weird soft spot, and I really hope you aren’t trying to bash your baby’s head into things.
5. You will pretty much always have spit up/puke on you. Fact of life. Just changed baby’s outfit? Going downstairs? Well then expect there to be some puke as soon as possible. New shirts must have spit up on them within five minutes, no exceptions. Even if it’s just a little bit. Spit up is such a lovely aroma, especially if it’s been a few hours since the last bottle.
6. You always need more crap. The flow of baby stuff into your house is basically endless. You need an Amazon Prime account so you have two day shipping and never have to leave the house. NEED.
7. You really don’t do anything, but you never really have time to talk to anyone. Sometimes I feel like I don’t do anything during the five hours a day that Hazel naps. And a lot of times I don’t because I like to just sit and relax and not worry about this human being that is totally and completely dependent on me. And I should probably call people during these times. But I never do. And then they call me, and I’m always at the grocery store, or cleaning up poop/puke/pee, or washing bottles, or most annoyingly of all wiping up dog vomit or something of that nature. Sorry, people. I do love you. I do.
8. Your children can actually really really really annoy you sometimes. It’s very rare. And a lot of people probably won’t ever admit it. The fact is though, they are just annoying sometimes. They can’t help it, and later you think it was super adorable, actually. But I mean really, why does Hazel want to scratch her eyes out with her thumbs while she is having a bottle and I have no hands to stop her. Why does she pull the bottle out of her mouth four hundred and seventy-six times and shove it back in four hundred and seventy-seven? All while trying to look at anything else. Yeesh! It is actually making me more patient I think. And, it is really cute.
9. The biggest cliche of all: How much you love them. I know everyone says it and it’s super lame, but you can never expect the love that you feel for your child. Pukey Pants is your everything, and you would do anything for her. You know you are going to love your kids before you have them, but then you have one and it’s about a billion times more than what you ever thought it could possibly be. And that’s why you are okay with poop up to your elbows and pee all down your shirt.
© Carli Garrison and cllgarrison, 2014.