I had this image in my head of what this whole parenting thing was going to look like. I knew that not every minute of every day was going to be sweet and perfect, but I was pretty sure that there were going to be lots of moments that look like the commercials on TLC: the baby giggling in the bubble bath, singing to a sweet smelling bundle in the rocking chair, reading Guess How Much I Love You to a content, attentive baby. I keep trying to explain to the kids the way this is supposed to go, but they keep screwing it up.
Example: Olivia is always the first baby awake in the mornings, and I love having these moments of time when it is just she and I to snuggle and play. The other day I carried her down to the couch, put her up on my shoulder, and was whispering to her what an amazing baby she is and she nuzzled into my neck… and started licking it. I tried to kind of ignore it at first, but she was really going to town, slobbering all over the place and licking my neck up to my ear. Beautiful moment, turned downright awkward by a 3 month old.
Example: I always loved the lullaby Baby Mine from the movie Dumbo (it’s also in Beaches… sniff) and could not wait until the day that I could sing that song to my own baby. I even learned all of the words to the song when I was pregnant because I just KNEW that the first time I sang that song to my little lovely, it was going to be PERFECT and our love for each other was going to be sealed FOREVER. Needless to say I didn’t get into the second verse the first time I sang that song to Olivia before she was SCREAMING in my ear, having a total full-fledged spaz. I didn’t know what the hell to do (this was soon after they were born) and so I just sang louder and louder, determined to preserve my vision of how this moment would play out. It pretty much turned into a screaming contest. Now whenever I sing that song to them I remember that day and the whole thing is kind of ruined for me because I can not stop laughing.
Example: Nursing my sweet Sophia in the rocking chair, just like in the commercials, and her little hand reaches up to touch my chest… and claws the living shit out of me. I swear to god. It was like I was breastfeeding Wolverine or something all of a sudden. I hate trimming their nails, so this ruined perfect moment was kind of my fault, but still.
I could really give about 1000 examples, most of which involve the lovelies pooping their pants at inopportune moments, but I think you get the idea. Not that there have not been any picturesque moments, because there have been countless ones, they just do not always look the way I thought they would. I think I might start directing commercials featuring more realistic parenting moments to advertise products- a bubble bath commercial featuring the baby peeing in the bathtub, detergent commercial showing a little one spitting up when playing peek-a-boo, etc. Like the “Real American Heroes” series, but with real parenting scenarios. What do you think?