The Ongoing List of Things I Never Thought I’d Do as a Parent – Toddler Edition

The phrase, “I’ll never do that as a parent,” seems like a pretty universal statement made by all parents at one point or another.  See those kids wearing animal backpacks that have a leash attached for their guardian to use?  Surely, you’ll never use those!  Fast forward to navigating Denver International Airport during, unbeknownst to you it is the busiest time of day, with a toddler that thinks it is fun to practice her running skills as you’re trying to find your connection.  Suddenly the leash doesn’t seem so terrible, right?

While I haven’t started to use the leash (yet), there are things that I have started to do as a parent that I am finding down right funny.

  • I tell my daughter that the bubble gun only works in the summer.
    • When I bought the bubble gun it was because she was having a hard time blowing the bubbles through the wand. Instead of blowing bubbled, she was essentially eating the soap.  Wanting to avoid raging bouts of diarrhea, I bought a bubble gun thinking it would be the perfect solution.  Well, I wasn’t completely wrong; she no longer ingests the bubble solution.  However, what she doesn’t ingest ends up on my clothes because she likes to sit on my lap when we blow bubbles.  I love the cuddle time.  I do not like being spilled on.
  • I fake like I’m asleep when she is taken to bed.
    • More often than not, my daughter will fall asleep on the sofa each night as we wind down from the day. She loves feeling her mommy at her feet, and her daddy above her head with his hand on her back. What she doesn’t love, is being separated from us just to go to bed.  To that end, when her daddy takes her to bed I find myself faking sleep so that she doesn’t think mommy is awake and wants her to stay up with us.  Does this work?  I’m not really looking forward to stopping just to find out for sure.
  • I use a fake phone to call Nana so my daughter will lay down and go to bed.
    • Nana’s seem to have skills that the rest of us dream to have. Perhaps it is the practice they get with their own kids and grandkids, but either way, I want those skills. While my daughter isn’t a nightmare to get to bed, it isn’t a walk in the park either. As of late, she has this plastic phone she likes to play with when she should be settling down for the night. She asks me to call damn near each person in the family, and wouldn’t you know it, each time we call Nana, Nana says it is time to lay our heads down and fall asleep. You would think the heavens parted and the angels descended upon us, because she always puts her head right down. She may not fall asleep right away, but she isn’t up trying to play either. I can only dream for those types of skills of persuasion.
  • I’ve eaten somewhat soft Cheerios from the hands of a toddler.
    • If you had known me prior to procreating, you would have understood that I was a bit of a germ freak. Not the type that brings my own silverware to a restaurant, or refuses to touch all handles with my bare hands, but the type that unless I know where you’ve been and how you live, you’re not coming near my mouth with food. End of story. Now add a toddler to the mix, and I’m licking food off her hands, letting her put food in my mouth, and even wiping her drool off with my bare hands. There is a part of me that still grosses out at the sight of food touched by dirty toddler hands coming near my face, but there is a bigger part that just loves the fact that my toddler wants to share with me in the first place.
  • I sing Disney songs at the top of my lungs.
    • While I do like a good Disney song, you wouldn’t normally find me belting them out unless I was totally inebriated (true story. Zip-a-dee-doo-dah sounds phenomenal at 1:00 am. Just ask my husband.) Now I’m willing to sing all sorts of songs, regardless of time or volume, especially if it means doing so makes my daughter laugh and gets her to sing with me. Changing her diaper? Zip-a-dee-doo-dah it is. Trying to get her to take a few more bites of dinner? Sure, I’ll sing songs from Elena of Avalor! It’s pouring outside, and what better way to celebrate it than having the entire family singing Itsy Bitsy Spider loud and proud?! Really, if she’s laughing and dancing with me, I’m up for it.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: being a parent is a trip. No one can prepare you for it, and no one can come close to describing to you what it is like on the best and worst days. In the end, though, you find joy in things you never would have expected. Even if it is a Disney sing-a-long.

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