What have I learned about parenting in the last two years? Some practical stuff like:
- It’s not easy to wipe your child’s bottom when they are running away from you.
- Just give up on keeping their face clean. Just give up.
- Earplugs work great for dealing with middle-of-the-night baby screaming sessions. It’s takes the edge off but still lets you hear.
- Don’t count on any food being your child’s “favorite”. Tomorrow it will be like kryptonite.
- All your nicest clothes and all your child’s clothes will get messed up. Most things wash out.
- Tea party attendance is usually mandatory, though the dress code is casual.
I’ve learned some life lessons such as:
- Kids are much quicker to forgive and forget than adults.
- Sarcasm is incomprehensible to very young children.
- You are your child’s greatest hero. Don’t betray that trust.
- Any time is a good time to sit down and read a book.
- Sometimes it’s better to laugh when you want to scream. Embrace the outrageousness.
- It’s true: your child is smarter than every other child their age.
- Too many hugs is better than not enough.
But the number one rule I learned is this: It’s not about you. We grow up focusing on our own desires and needs and it requires a 180-degree shift when you have a kid. This doesn’t mean you live like an ascetic. It means take care of your child first, and you second. Except when the gas mask thingies drop down in an airplane. Then do what the flight attendants say.
Here is one of the little joys of my day: seeing what will happen next with my daughter’s hair. The curls in the back are gone, replaced by Hasidim locks above her ears.