When you dream of becoming a parent for years, as I did, you picture something quite idyllic. A cute little baby making gurgling sounds. The smell of baby powder. You might even dream about all of things you might say to your bundle of joy like how much you love them or what wishes you have for their future.
The reality of parenthood is far different. Sure, your baby is adorable and you do hear gurgling sounds…usually before a massive diaper explosion. You do smell baby powder, but it is in efforts to cover up the massive stench of your diaper pail or even yourself, covered in baby vomit. You do often tell your child how much and how completely you love them, but you also say a lot of other things…things maybe not so pleasant.
Blue Poop and the Other Things I Thought I Would Never Say as a Parent
1. “So…let me tell you about her poop.”
There were days, before parenthood, in which my husband and I whispered sweet nothings to each other. Or we might discuss our day or even events in the news. Since becoming parents, the majority of our conversations revolve around bodily functions…specifically poop.
We have discussed, in detail, our daughter’s poop. The color, size, and texture. Not to mention the frequency and duration. I am not saying that it is not important to discuss your child’s poop. Indeed, your child’s poop can tell you a great deal about their health. Click here to read about what is normal and what is not concerning your child’s poop. Who am I kidding? If you are a parent, you have already googled this about a million times.
Allow me to set the stage for a typical poop-related conversation with my husband. My husband arrives home from work and after some initial pleasantries, I say,
“Let me tell you about her poop.”
“Was it blue again?” my husband might ask.
“Blue stinkies!” my daughter will chime in.
“No, it was more of a yellowish-green and the consistency of mashed bananas.”
This could go on forever. It was pretty much a constant while we were introducing my daughter to solid foods. Those were certainly some interesting colors! Now that my daughter is potty training, she has joined in on the poop conversations. She is obsessed with her own accomplishments and those of others.
There is nothing quite like being in a public restroom and having your child shout at top volume, “Mama! Are you making a stinky?!” It is awesome. If you are not a parent, you might not spend this amount of time discussing your bodily functions. However, if you are a parent, you know poop-talk is on the daily agenda.
2. “Don’t Drink the Bath Water!”
Aahhh…bath time. It supposed to be the time in which you help your child relax and unwind before bed time. Somehow, this does not end up being the case. Now that my daughter is a toddler, she likes to exert her independence in the bathtub by bathing and entertaining herself.
As I supervise her bathing, it is not too long before she takes her cup meant to scoop water and starts guzzling. The cup does not have a straw. It is not a sippy cup or contain her requisite amount of ice. Yet, she tosses that dirty, soapy water down her gullet like a champ.
As I admonish, “Don’t drink the bath water!!!” my daughter just looks at me with a mouth full of bubbles and grins. One would think we could save the mouth full of soap for her teen-aged years at least!
3. Don’t Eat the Dog’s Food!
My daughter and our beloved dog have become besties. There is just something about my dog’s velvety-soft ears and long tail that just begs to be touched. My daughter has spent most of her short life crawling or running after my dog, trying to emulate her every move.
Sometimes she stands next to our dog at the fence in our backyard, matching her bark-for-bark. I am sure our neighbors just love that. It is just that she wants to do everything our dog does…including eat her dog food.
I am a work-from-home mom. As any work-from-home mom knows, sometimes your attention is divided between your work life and your mom life by necessity. I am a teacher and try to give my students my undivided attention while teaching online. However, one day, as I am teaching, I happen to glance over at my daughter. She was on all fours, face first, in my dog’s food bowl.
Oh sure, she will not eat chicken, but she will eat chicken-flavored dog kibble. Another time, she was taking my dog’s kibble out her container and “making it rain” while my dog scurried to gobble up every piece.
This may seem odd, but before becoming a parent, I thought I would say, “No” far more often than “Yes.” Being a parent can turn you into a nervous wreck. In effort to protect your babies, you do say “no” quite a bit. However, I have discovered that I actually say “yes” more often.
I have learned that the more I say “yes” that the more powerful my “no’s” become. My plan is to allow my daughter a bit of freedom so that she can make her own choices and decisions. So far, she is learning that maybe the big slide is too big for her and if she runs in the house she might fall.
Now, when I do say “no”, my daughter amazingly heeds my warnings. I am selective with my no’s and always explain the why behind my instruction. It is possible that by doing this I am building trust with my daughter. My hope is that she may not always listen to “Don’t eat the dog food” now, but maybe someday she will hear me when I say, “Don’t date him! He’s a dog!”
5. “Here is a lollipop.”
Somehow I have managed to become somewhat of a “crunchy” mom. This did not necessarily start out as my intention. Since becoming a parent, I have gravitated towards “all natural” and “wholesome”.
That being said, as much as I ensure that my daughter eats a healthy diet, there are times in which it is flat-out necessary to offer a lollipop. Swim lessons and trips to Target are two occasions (among many) in which you want to be armed with a lollipop or two.
Sometimes my daughter just loves carrot sticks and bananas. Other times, there is nothing that is going to freeze that toddler meltdown in its tracks like a lollipop. Coming from the mama who has continued to breastfeed and made every ounce of baby food from scratch, it may seem incongruous to offer my child a lollipop. But they are organic and a life saver, so pass the pops.
The Future of My Words
I have a feeling that there will be many, many more things that I will say as a parent that I cannot even fathom now as possible. This parenting gig is sometimes a day-to-day and moment-to-moment kind of thing. I am learning on my feet as I go. To my daughter, I am sorry if I do not always say and do the “right” things. The one thing I say, that you can always trust, is that I love you more than words can express.
What are things you thought you would NEVER say as a parent? Please comment and share below!