Ironically, this sweet little phrase always comes at the tail end of a tantrum or public spectacle of some sort. It goes without saying that I love my daughter. She's the best. But each time one of those well meaning, meddling women speaks those dreadful words, I want to punch them in their nosey little faces."You'll miss these days. Cherish these moments; they'll be gone soon."
Not all moments of child rearing are bright and jovial. In fact, a fair amount of the time it kind of sucks. Constant exhaustion, riddled with screaming and whining, isn't a day at the beach. Sometimes I find myself wanting to break down and weep right along side of Grace. Fact is, these women have forgotten. It's been a minute since they we're in our shoes and they've obviously forgotten that the joys of motherhood aren't always so joyous.
I myself, have not forgotten. I'm in the thick of it. What, you ask, are the pitfalls of the modern day maternal bliss? I'll tell you. But I'll keep it brief, leaking just 5 of the not so cherished moments. After all - we still want those of you without babies to give the whole procreation thing a shot!
1. The "Fresh Outta the Bath Poop Explosion" - This is one of my personal favorites. Nothing smells quite as sweet as Johnson's baby shampoo. Why does this shampoo smell so delightful? I'm convinced it's a trap. After wrangling your toddler into the tub, the really enjoyable part awaits. Shampooing is a hot mess, and rinsing is even worse. At this point you're left with a seriously pissed off child, who is acting as though they've just experienced nothing shy of good water boarding. Said slippery child's next natural step is grappling their way out of the tub using only Mama's ponytail. But finally, when bath time is complete, Mama and child have a moment of rest. Mom is soaked but pleased with her accomplishment and baby is clean, smelling sweetly of Johnson's. And then it happens. Shitastrophe 2012. The room fills with a scent that only be compared to that of hot garbage, but your child's freshly washed, fluffy hair remains. (or so you pray)
2. The "I'm Going to Scream Like A Banshee the Moment We Enter the Library" : For this one, the location is subject to change. No matter the destination, we as parents set ourselves up for failure the moment we walk out the door with toddlers. As if by some unwritten cosmic law, these kiddy cats know exactly when to behave, and do the opposite. They rest on the car ride, saving their wind for showtime. They giggle and smile on the walk inside, making friends with strangers. And then, it happens. Total toddler breakdown. They begin to struggle in their strollers until their frantic parents release them. The moment they hit your arms they turn to noodle. These boneless babies will kick and scream until they are released, and then head for the most dangerous item in the place. Without fail there will be gawkers. They will judge and you will leave.
3. The "My Kid Just Tried to Bite You": This one's great. No body wants the jerk for a kid, but somebody always has em. Toddlers are a difficult breed, not quite bright enough to understand the acceptable forms of socialization, but total social butterflies at the same time. The best you can hope for when dealing with the violent toddler episode is that said victim is an understanding adult. This isn't always the case. Parks are the toddler fight club. Every kid wants your stick and you've gotta look out for yourself. Inevitably, your kid may try to go Mike Tyson on another kid. If/when this happens, don't panic. Best case scenario, no one is hurt. Worst case scenario, you get an earful from the victims Mother about learning to control your kid. After this conversation has commenced, you'll do your best not to bite the Mom and her kid yourself.
4. The "Nickles Are Delicious" Afternoon: In my experience, toddlers are drawn to two things more than anything else. Small choking hazards and food that comes from a tube. The latter must always be kept on hand. Gogurts and fruit pouches are essential to the toddler Mom, and can get you out of a bind if you land yourself in an unfamiliar environment. But there will come a time when the fruit pouch stash is depleted and your child must find something to replace them. You'll keep an eye out for loose change or buckshot dryer lint. Without fail, your child will get something past you. Then next thing you know, you're innocent little toddler is rocking a grill similar to that of Lil' Wayne, composed simply from a shiny dime they procured from beneath a couch cushion.
5. The "Is That Vomit Smell Coming From Me?": You should expect this one. Kids puke. All. The. FRICKIN. Time. The troubling part is that they don't vom in an adult fashion. We puke and we react. They puke and they don't miss a beat. And so, you find yourself in an tightly packed elevator or next in line at a busy store and you get a whiff. I should mention that child vomit, although it comes from an adorable, smiling package, smells like plain old sucky vomit. So you get this unmistakeable whiff and immediately scan the store for the cause. After failing to find the culprit, it occurs to you that the source may be closer than you thought. It is then that you glance over your shoulder and realize that you're covered in spew. This adorable toddler quietly barfed down your back while their unknowing mother made small talk with her fellow patrons. You'll hold back your dry heaves and quietly flee the scene.
And so, not all of these motherly memories will be jotted down as eagerly as the others, but we will carry on. We will smile and nod as the mother's who've come before us urge us not to take these moments for granted. And we will silently pray that next time our kid bites a stranger or breaks down in a shopping mall, that the nostalgic women is close enough to enjoy it, ideally in the form of vomit on their shoes or a kick in the shin.
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