I remember wondering (pre-parenthood) why Elmo became the muppet of choice amongst toddlers and pre-schoolers. He’s annoying and talks in baby talk, I thought, is that really what kids like? Yes, these are the deep, meaningful musings of my pre-parenthood self, but the shorthand answer is yes, the tots love that dude. I’ve seen it with my own two eyes. Similarly, what about raisins? Who eats raisins? Kids, that’s who. This dried fruit, cast aside by most adults, is basically toddler fuel. I guess it’s the small size and the red box? One of the world’s biggest mysteries. The truth is, each day I learn things as as a mom that I just didn’t get before having our daughter, and it’s one of my favorite parts of parenthood.
Pre-parenthood me: Why does it seem like little kids always have a snotty nose? Ew.
Me now: Oh, because they do! These little incubators of every single germ in the country are sick all the damn time. Part developing immune system and part “did she just really just lick the slide at Chick-fil-A,” there is always some new ailment just around the corner. And “ew” becomes relative. The new “ew” is that clear snot gets wiped on their shirt, and crusty, yellowish junk gets wiped on our shirt. The underside of the shirt, come on, I’m a professional.
Pre-parenthood me: Are “mom friends” really a thing? Seriously, a whole different set of friends now that you are a parent?
Me now: Let’s cut right to the chase on this one: yes, it’s a thing and mom friends are LIFE. Now don’t get me wrong, Girl Scout anthem holds true, some are silver and the other gold. And sometimes they overlap, and it’s best case scenario. But yes, you truly do need friends that are moms, especially moms in the same stage of parenthood. If you stay at home with your kids, you will spend just as much time with your mom friends as you do your significant other. They are essentially coworkers at this point in life. Your momtourage will save your sanity, and they are the original google. “Hey, have you seen a rash like this before?” “Watch this video: is she possessed?” “Is it normal that she just put away 12 nuggets and fries?” And the best part of all: they love your child like their own.
Pre-parenthood me: Why are parents always taking their kids to the park, even when it’s super hot, cold or even raining?
Me now: Why do you take your dog for a walk? Because if you don’t, your dog pees on the floor and chews shoes up? Welp, turns out same goes for toddlers.
Pre-parenthood me: If I have a kid, they are going to wear super cute clothes all the time, very fashionable, very European. Nobody needs to wear Crocs. Nobody needs to wear a glittery My Little Pony sweatshirt.
Me now: In all honesty, this is still me. Real life though? I keep a solid 25% of my kid’s wardrobe stocked with crappy, ugly bribe clothing. Does wearing this two-sizes too small Minnie Mouse dress mean that we may get to leave the house fully clothed today in less than an hour? Then I’m on board, let’s squeeze this puppy on. Will Frozen underwear decrease the likelihood that my kid pees her pants in public? I’ll take 20 pairs.
Pre-parenthood me: (Silent judgmental thought while riding in friends car.) How does a car even get this filthy and why are parents ok with it?
Me now: It’s not that I’m ok with it, per se, it’s just that cleaning out my car is literally last on the never ending list of things that need done. Yes I would love for it to be clean, just as much as I would love my daughter not to be the reigning world champion of “most smashed Goldfish in one back seat” contest, but you pick your battles, right? And to the next generation of judgmental ride-a-longs, just throw that backpack, nap mat, stuffed unicorn, 13 books, and moldy sippy cup behind the seat and take a deep breath, okay?
What else did you just not get before you became a parent?