You know what I’m talking about right? The things you witnessed in others and instantly said “my child will never do that” either in your head or out loud. Then… you actually had a child and all that went to, well, you know what.
My growing list, for example, looks like this:
My child won’t have a pacifier past 1…. turned to me prying the Nuk out of my son’s mouth with the jaws of life at age almost 4.
My child won’t watch T.V…. turned to me talking about the Paw Patrol characters like they live in my home or knowing every word to every single Daniel Tiger song.
My child will only eat organic… turned to my kid who eats frozen chicken nuggets on the regular… literally frozen like he’s gnawing on a chicken ice pop.
I want to be a stay at home mom… turned to me sprinting back to my office after 10 months of being a work from home mom like Usain Bolt in the Olympics. (Blessings to all you parents that do in fact stay home, you’re superheroes.)
I’ll never let my child throw a fit in public… turned to me staring at my son flailing on the Target floor over not getting a $75 garden hose as a toy snake.
I’ll never yell at my child… turned to me losing my mom cool when the magic markers weren’t so magical on my white living room walls.
The point? I had these, hysterical in retrospect, preconceived notions on what I would be like as a parent and how my child would behave. It’s laughable truly, but we all do it.
We do easily look at the mom in the grocery store with a screaming toddler trailing behind her and think “get control of your kid”. I know I’ve done it. Now, I smile and tell her I’ve been there.
Did I think my definition of a fed child would be my 5-year-old consuming frozen chicken nuggets on the regular? Zero percent. Yet here I am, gagging as he happily chows down.
There’s no handbook for parenting. You just wake up every day and wing it and exude grace and understanding to the fellow parents out there doing their best. Let’s be honest if your kids are alive and happy and fed then you’re doing it right, no matter if it’s steamed broccoli or frozen chicken.