Parenting Gone Awry

Great Expectations

When my doctor confirmed that I was pregnant, he handed me the book “What To Expect When You’re Expecting.” Written in a user-friendly Q&A format, it addressed a lot of issues that came up for me as a clue challenged first-time mother. I liked it so much, that I bought “What to Expect The First Year” and more recently “What to Expect the Toddler Years”. While these books are very helpful, the book that new mothers really need is “What You Won’t Expect (And Couldn’t Imagine Even with the Help of Psychotropic Drugs).”

For example:

I expected that there would be a lot of diapers as this was in the book. And I expected there to be a lot of poo in the diapers, also in the book (in graphic detail). I did not expect to have to dodge sniper poo fired at me at point butt range. Not in the book.

I expected my baby would spit up. I did not expect that he would channel Linda Blair and selectively projectile vomit on things labeled “Professional Dry Clean Only”– which we all know really means, if this gets puked on, too bad.

The books I read never mentioned that some stuffed animals will melt into an unrecognizable wad of plastic goo when put in the dryer after a Linda Blair incident. Furthermore, they do not tell you that you will then spend the hours you normally would be sleeping scouring the internet to find an exact replica and not a facsimile thereof. And that you will gladly pay seven times beyond what you originally paid for it at TJMaxx because, of course, it’s now discontinued. Add in overnight shipping and you’ve now spent $50 to replace a $3.99 stuffed animal. This really should be in print somewhere.

The books do not tell you that toddlers have a synapse in the brain that is sensitized to the sound of a ringing phone. If you answer and attempt to speak into the phone within 2200 square feet of a child, this synapse fires in the brain of the child thus causing him to hunt you down like a rabbit and whine like a jet engine as he attempts to claw his way up your leg to your throat. The only thing that can relieve this discomfort (yours) is hanging up the phone, at which time the child will resume ignoring you and return to destroying your den.

They never mention in the books that despite the fact that your child cannot even say “mama” or “dada”, he will be able to repeat any forbidden four-letter word with utter clarity for the Sunday school teacher.

They do not tell you that the theater classes you took in college will finally pay off as you pantomime your way through every feeding. “Look Sweetie! Mommy is a green bean! Now mommy is a green bean standing on her head! You like green beans! Here, have a bite of…” (now wearing beans).

They do not tell you that when your child decides that all food is evil except applesauce, you will go out and buy a truckload of applesauce and that the next day he will not be able to tolerate being in the same room with anything named apple or sauce.

They don’t tell you that the absolute sweetest thing you will ever taste is a mushy-slobbery-chewed-up-cookie kiss planted somewhere between your bottom lip and your chin by an earnest little boy. They don’t tell you this because until you get one, you’d never believe how deliciously addictive it is. And then you will want at least one every day for the rest of your life.

1 thought on “Great Expectations

  1. Comments imported from Blogger:

    McSwain said…
    Okay, I have read your archives, and I have decided that “Antique Mommy” would make a very nice title of a book. Which you should write.

    9/06/2005 5:01 PM

    SJ said…
    Cheryl is right, you do have a flair for this.
    Did you read “The Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy”? Very funny.

    9/06/2005 5:16 PM

    M&Co. said…
    You nailed this one, especially the mushy-slobbery-chewed-up cookie kiss.

    9/06/2005 9:51 PM

    Mountaingirl said…
    This is good stuff… and so true.
    Great post.

    9/07/2005 1:32 PM

    Wendy said…
    I can totally relate, and was also going to recommend the “Girlfriends Guide” line of books. =)

    9/13/2005 7:00 AM

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