The One Part Of Parenting Nobody Warns You About
Are you pregnant? Thinking about adopting? Saw a kid once and thought he was cute? This is for you.
Preparing to become a parent is daunting, but it’s important and you need to make sure not to skip any steps.
First you have listen to your grandma’s weird old wisdom about using cow udder cream for diaper rash. Then you need to move on and listen to your parents describe the rainbow of poops you made in your diaper when you were a baby.
Once you’ve sucked up everything the older generations have to offer, it’s time to move on to your siblings. Listen to your sister tell you about the evils of circumcision and your cousin describe her wonderful natural childbirth in a tub with Enya playing.
Then you can move on to books. Read about sleep training, breast is best and when you’ll be able to tell if you child is a genius or not. Read about how to raise a musician, a surgeon or an NHL Goalie. Worry. Read more. You’re getting closer.
But your homework isn’t done. Next you need to find out if that crib you bought on Facebook Marketplace has been recalled. Research daycares in your neighborhood and find out how much a yearly membership to the Children’s museum is. Get some confusing paperwork from your health insurance company about adding a new member to your policy.
Then you need to buy shit. Thirteen different sized towels and seven different lotions. Everything should be cream colored or white so the slightest spot makes it looks gross. Get bright colored toys for brain development. Wobbly toys for balance development. Gender neutral bedding and books that don’t promote sexist stereotypes. Bumpers and padding for your furniture.
Keep going! You’re almost ready!
Last stop is the Blogs. Baby blogs, mommy blogs, terrifying medical blogs. Read these only late at night when your rational brain has fallen asleep. Pull your mind in and out of reality as you wonder what you will do when a rabid raccoon unlocks your front door and gnaws at your child’s toes.
That’s it! Time for you to become the prepared, smiling, calm parent that was on the cover of all of those baby books!
Except you’re not prepared. There’s one thing that none of those asshats writing books or blogs will tell you and it’s this:
Once you become a parent, you are going to step on stupid, painful shit all the time.
Most of the other stuff you don’t need to worry about. All kids shove stuff up their noses and most kids eat and sleep at some point. But when you become a parent, your feet will suffer from pitter-pattering around a house littered with a rainbow but deadly assortment of sharp shapes that you will frequently step on.
Adults drop things on the floor too. Nice, soft, rounded things. Step on a chapstick, no big deal. Stub your toe on a novel and you’ll barely notice. Step on a damp bath towel and it’s almost a massage.
But wait until you set the full weight of your body down on toy t-rex toy while you’re carrying a full laundry basket. It’s a whole new world of hurt.
Try landing your heel on a tiara in the middle of the night. It will not leave you singing “Hail to the Queen.”
A Lego can leave you limping for a week.
Matchbox cars hurt, but micro-machines have a one centimeter footprint that can leave an excruciating impression on your poor battered bare foot.
Toy tractors, doll brushes, and giraffes you expect to hurt. But then there are the sleepers — the ones that surprise you. A mini sno-globe to the arch of the foot can drop you to your knees.
An unidentified piece of plastic that surely broke off a Hess truck may be forgettable, but you’ll always remember the time it was embedded so deeply in your foot you had to use tweezers to get it out.
Through the baby years, terrible twos and beyond you’ll go. Smiling and limping all the way, because those terrible things from the medical blog didn’t happen and the udder cream really worked and is now a staple moisturizer in your bathroom. And because you are stepping on painful shit all the time.
You’ll love your kid, blah blah, and it will be great.
Someday they will grow up and move away and it will break your heart.
But at least by then, your feet might feel better.