Monday, February 2, 2015

Rookie Parents

Last week our 3 year old had the croup. I wouldn't wish that sort of crazy on my
worst enemy-parent. Ever. I told my mom that I'm pretty sure I could pass military
training without shedding a tear now. I mean it doesn't get more intense than not sleeping,
barely eating because you are feeding everyone else all the freaking time, spending your
free time rotating air purifiers, cool air vaporizers, and wiping down every touchable
surface with soap and water. And THEN going for walks at 3 in the blessed morning in a
brisk 10 degrees... thanking God because the cold air helps.

"Make sure you put a shirt on him before you go outside," I helpfully reminded my husband.
He didn't say anything, but I could feel the "I'm not stupid, woman!" laser beams from his
eyes burning in my direction. My bad. Captain Obvious here, reporting for duty.

But you guys, men and women raise babies differently. I reminded him of the obvious because
he does things like, "two pees" or sometimes even "three pees". Do you know what that means?
Let me tell you. "Two pees" equals two toddlers peeing into a very small oval target in the
bathroom. "Three pees" equals two toddlers and A MAN peeing into a very small oval target
in the bathroom. Hold me.

And the other day? I turned around at Whole Foods to see my little guys eating ice chips
out of the beverage display in the prepared foods department. "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!"

"Daddy said we can eat them."

Excuse me while I hold the eyeballs that just fell out of my head. I stood in awe as Nathan
argued that there were more germs at the library play center than in the beverage display.
Oh good. Let's make sno-cones.

5 years a parent and I still feel like we are such newbies.

In many ways I find this whole parenthood thing harder to adjust to than getting married.
I mean it was one thing to merge the hearts of two people in love. Quite another to let
those two, different, strongly opinionated, "I can raise babies with my eyes closed"
attitude, people have children together.

I mean we definitely discussed the whole thing before we even walked down the aisle.
We talked about faith, discipline, responsibility, allowance, baby names before a child
was ever even conceived. Totally thought we were the Toyota Sienna swag van couple:
"I'm an awesome parent. True!" Ha. Humility is good for the soul.

One Easter, a few years back, we BOTH made dinner plates for the kids.
We got to the table, turned and saw what the other had already done, and sighed. My uncle,
who has 8 children of his own, saw the whole thing and laughed, "ROOKIE PARENTS."

I probably punched him in the shoulder and told him to shut up, but the truth of the
matter is we NEED it. We need the forgiveness that humor often brings. We need the
"You're doing a great job!" or "Have you tried this?" from the next parent over.

They say, "it takes a village." They tell no lies.

I'd say I'm a fairly confident, perhaps even to a fault, person in general. But with
parenting? I crave the affirmation, opinion, guidance of others who have gone before me.

Because y'all, parenthood is no joke.

Not too long ago I asked my husband what he would do if I was taken hostage. I'm a planner.
It's nice to hash these things out. Just in case. Ha! Without missing a beat, he just said,
"I'd do anything, but give up one of our children for you."

There it is. The truth that every parent knows so well. We love our children, as mom or dad,
in a fiercely passionate, radically beautiful way. Even though on the day-to-day level it
comes out as extraordinarily different. I'm over here building play-doh villages to fire up
the motor skills and stimulate their little minds, and daddy is telling them that they can
have pocket knives when they turn EIGHT.

I'll probably veto all over that.

But who knows. I'll be a little less "rookie" by then.

I cannot encourage you enough to reach out today and share whatever wisdom or grace
you've received in your years of parenting with the next parent over. Let's make it a habit?
This "we're all ok" culture is failing. We need each other, we need community.
We all need to be mothered and fathered again and again -- spiritually and biologically.
Find the nearest rookie parent near you!!! Help save a mother from "two pees". XO

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  1. bahahhahahaa! If it makes you feel better, I totally remember eating those ice chips when I was really little! (although I know for a fact my mom had no idea) SO GROSS lol

    1. HA! It does, Giedre! It does. I don't even want to think about the things they eat when I'm NOT looking. That reminds me-- the other day my 3 year old was totally eating crumbs out of his CAR SEAT! EWWW! He said it was "good." Yea.

    2. OMG! LOL so I guess this is what I'm in for. Rookie mom of a 9 month old here, Can't wait! lol

  2. I just literally laughed out loud. I have no words. lol So glad I found your blog!

    1. Hey Monique!!! Welcome to The Lily Field!!! Glad I could fill a brief moment of your day with some laughter!!! Yes, you are in for the ride of your life :-) Enjoy that sweet baby!!! 9 months is the best! XO


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