Parenting: Some Good, Some Bad, a Lot of Ugly

Okay, so I embarrass myself in public on a regular basis but I had no idea what was in store for me when I became a parent.  Boogers, poos, sleepless nights....parenting is not for the faint of heart.

Before I gave birth I imagined my days as a new mother to be filled with walking an adorable baby in her cute little buggy around parks, eating only homemade, fresh, organic food; going for fair trade coffee; playing with toys locally made out of renewable resources and taking time to write during baby naps.  My mom laughs hilariously when I remind her of this.  In general parenting has turned out to be a huge exercise in humility (and love!) for me. Plus, being a great parent does not (necessarily) mean looking good while doing it.

  • When my waters broke I was in Temple Bar having lunch.  We walked from the restaurant over the Ha'penny Bridge and tried to hail a cab to the hospital.  A couple guys jumped in the cab that pulled in and my partner nearly had a conniption fit right there on the street while the amazingly large khaki trousers I was wearing were soaked from my ginormous belly button to my thighs and my face had a look on it that said "Holy shit, I have no idea what's happening to my body".  Nowt another taxi in sight we walked to the Rotunda.  That's right, walked.  Luckily, when you're hugely pregnant and have soaked trousers people tend to get out of your way.  Even on a Saturday in the city centre.  
  • A couple weeks into breast feeding my newborn baby, I came down with what we thought may be mastitis.  Luckily, our public health nurse just happened to be visiting that day and when I undid my nursing bra, so she could have a look, I completely soaked her with breast milk that was shooting, laser style, out of my right boob.  I couldn't stop it.  There is no boob switch. 
  • When my daughter was a toddler we frequently took the train to visit friends and she used to love to adorn me with stickers.  All manner of stickers.  Typically, as I was grabbing all the baby stuff we were traveling with, I would forget to remove the stickers off my forehead, cheeks, neck, chest, hands etc. and walk like this, decorated, all the way home from the train station, typically stopping in a shop of two along the way and having no idea of what was stuck to me until hours later.  Creativity - the gift that keeps giving! 
  • Once my daughter learned to speak, using restaurant bathrooms got very interesting (all of the below should be said with a very loud and very earnest voice)...
  • "Do you have to do a poo, Mommy?"
    "Mommy, did you just do a fart?"
    "Mommy, why aren't you sitting down on the seat?"
    "What happened to all your fur, Mommy?"
  • Two summers ago we were in a department store on Grafton Street.  When its warm I like to sleep in shorts and if you buy boxers in the men's dept they are usually cheaper than the pajama shorts in the women's dept.  Anyhoo...as we joined the queue in the men's dept to pay for the boxer shorts my daughter announces in a very clear, loud voice: "MY MOMMY IS BUYING BOY PANTS.  SHE'S BUYING THEM FOR HERLSELF!  MY MOMMY LIKES TO WEAR BOY PANTS WHEN SHE'S SLEEPING!"   There is a little smile I get on my face when I know the gods hate me and I also know there's not really anything I can do about it.  

As my daughter gets older she is more self-aware and now asks me not to do anything in public that will embarrass her.  This is a hard ask.  Although I would never do anything on purpose to humiliate her in public, parents in general are just....embarrassing.

To be fair to my daughter, I also get a lot of love.  A couple summers ago, we had this conversation:
Boo: "Mommy, ThisBoy at school says only girls can marry boys and boys can marry girls!"
Me: "Well, some people believe that but I think that girls can marry girls and girls can marry boys and boys can marry boys and boys can marry girls.  Because, really, its all about love.  And you can love whomever you want."
<pause>
Boo: "Mommy, I want to marry you."
<swoon>

But then, I also get this:
"Mommy, your coffee breath is smelly!"






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