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Teach Your Parents Well…

Teach Your Parents Well NashvilleMomsBlog

I’m ready to call it. I will not buy any more ‘How to Be a Parent’ books. They are worthless. Trends come and go, I’m busy, and no one knows how to parent my little one like I do. Why? I have the best teacher in the world: my son.

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He has some good assistants. My own family and friends are great role models, and when I’m feeling overwhelmed, I think of all of the parents out there who are surviving. If John and Kate/those pregnancy pact girls in Massachusetts/*insertscarypeoplehere* can do it, my husband and I certainly can.

I’m sure people who adopt older kids have special superpowers that I’m not aware of, but for me, nothing has prepared me for being a parent better than being a parent. Each stage is exactly awful, wonderful, surprising, and exciting enough to get me ready for the next one. At 20 months, we’ve gotten through:

The Traumatic Birth:

I won’t bore you with the details, but I ended up naked on the table with about a dozen strangers sewing up my third degree tear while my grubby newborn shrieked in my ears. “Golden hour” it wasn’t.

  • Lesson 1: Shame is not for parents.
The Q-tip Incident:

There was constipation, there was a red-faced newborn, and there was a q-tip. Q-tip entered rear end, and there was poop. It was exactly as gross as it sounds.

  • Lesson 2: I will do anything for this little alien.
The First Cut:

It wasn’t really the deepest, but something I DID made my precious little bit bleed. Nail clippers and bouncing babies don’t mix very well.

  • Lesson 3: I will screw up.
Moms_Milk_Club_v2The Other Baby Drops:

If I hadn’t had the horror of Lesson 3, this one would have felt worse. I was at Milk Club at Vanderbilt, and we had JUST been talking about how we had to start watching our babies—because they were going to start rolling. Then mine did. Off of a table and onto the floor. It was the worst three seconds of my life, but he was fine.

  • Lesson 4: I will continue to screw up.
Weaning:

After 14 months of low supply, pumping, and supplementing, we called it quits and went full-on solids. I worried about the transition for a few weeks. However, when it came down to it, my kid was like ‘Boobs who?’ My Google search history went from poop pictures (IS IT SUPPOSED TO LOOK LIKE THAT?!) to what on earth I should be feeding this guy. I frequently used my mouth to cut up food instead of taking the time to use a knife. (Confession: I still do.)  There’s no way I would have fed the kid cantaloupe from my ACTUAL mouth if I hadn’t gone through the Q-tip incident and Lesson 2.

  • Lesson 5: Nothing is as bad as you think it’s going to be. Just suck it up (or bite down), and do it.
Baby’s First Tantrum:

This happened at The Local Taco in East Nashville, and Mixon was hot and tired after the Hot Hen Showdown. He started eating my husband’s chicken quesadilla like the world was going to end if he didn’t finish it, and then came the bite that brought us to our final moments on earth (apparently). Suddenly, the kid was screaming—I think the spice must have hit him—and no amount of milk or talking it through was going to stop him. My husband took him out of the restaurant. I stayed there and ate my tacos. They came back, Mixon stole my hat, and the world continued to spin.

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Post-meltdown

  • Lesson 6: Nothing lasts forever, shame is still not for parents, and I will eat tacos even if the apocalypse is upon us.

I know that there are worse things to come— and better (Mix recently started talking, counting, and making letter sounds, which I find to be probably the best thing ever). However, I also know we’ll keep working through it together. Nothing I read in any parenting book could have taught me how to make my son laugh (currently: saying crazy old mommy and snaggle toe, making bubbles in the bath, and yodeling IN PUBLIC do the trick). No Google search will tell me that he loves it when I sing “Wash That Man” from the musical South Pacific to him in the bathtub. I know what I know because I’ve been where I’ve been—starting back with the fourth trimester animal-creature that just needed to be fed and watered. With this kind of school, there’s no need to hit the books. Ain’t nobody got time for that, anyway!

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