10 First Moments in Parenting That No One Warns You About
Creationists Ruined My Ability to Enjoy Watching My Daughter Ride a Dinosaur
5. The First Time You Get a Drink Immediately After Putting Them to Bed: As a person that likes to unwind at night with a glass of wine and a book, it never seemed strange to me that I would have a drink once her nibs was tucked in. Still, there will come a day that starts at 6 a.m., involving several meltdowns in public, no nap, probably that search I just mentioned, and they'll resist every attempt you make to feed or clean them. That's the day you can't pretend a drink is a pleasant ritual, as you swig straight from the bottle staring at the electric clock until whining noise in your head drowns.
4. The First Time they Make You Hate Something You Love: Do you have a beloved television show, movie or book from your own childhood you've been waiting all your life to share with your own offspring? Great, but here's what's going to happen. You're going to watch The Wiz at every single possible opportunity to the exclusion of all other choices until you can time the blinks each character makes. Now this piece of art you held so dear makes your skin crawl whenever you even think of it.
3. The First Time You Steal Their Treats: No matter how much of a die hard capitalist you are, you are going to redistribute the wealth after Halloween. At least until they're old enough to take inventory and know you did it. Usually by then they're past the point of being so aggravating that you need the sugar high to survive the night.
2. The First Time You Scare Them With God: I don't believe in God myself (Well, I believe in all gods equally and worship none... it's complicated). I do know why he's so effective, though. At one point you will simply snap and tell your child that if they don't straighten up and stop acting like the world's shortest meth head that you will tell Jesus/God/Santa Claus on them. It works, and you immediately feel horrible about it.
In my case I threatened to tell Doctor Who that my daughter wouldn't take a nap... I'm not proud of that. It's OK, though, because there's also...
1. The First Time They Forgive You For Doing Something Thoughtless and Cruel: We have a genetic predisposition to respond to a baby's cry with comfort and sustenance. That wears off, and the noise from your child's mouth hole defying every single request you make in order to establish their separate identity by opposing you will wear out your sanity faster than a Saved By The Bell: The New Class marathon.
And that's when you go a little schizo and start taking away toys, or sending them to bed without supper, or screaming at them, or blackmailing them with the love of a fictional character they happen to look up to very much. No rhyme or reason to it, no calculated punishment meant to correct behavior. I'm talking about a reaction as willful and childish as the one that prompted it.
Then, a little while later, after you've calmed down you'll call for a hug. Your baby will give you that hug with complete abandon and without reserve. You're not a bad parent, but this stuff is really hard and every once in a while it gets a little too much. As long as you work every day on loving your children with that same abandon you'll get past these little pitfalls.