I’m happy to hear that my first post has resonated with so many of you. I hope you have shared it with anyone you may know having their first kid. Or even with other parents who may want to join us in solidarity. Lord knows I could use a few more friends telling me that my kids are not the only little wild things out there!
Now, to pick up where I left off. Here are some more things you know but don’t really know until you have kids:
#3: Kids Are Hoarders
You have kids, you’re gonna have toys. Everyone knows that. What I wasn’t prepared for as a parent was having my entire house practically turn into a toy store. A toy store that exploded. And then had all the toys copulate and give birth to newer and newer generations of toys. Much like the crumbs from the first post, this stuff can’t be contained. You’ll have toys everywhere. Kids’ room, check. Living room, check. Dining room, check. Your room, check. Kitchen, check. Bathroom, check. Stuffed in any drawer your kids can find because they’re good hiding places, check.
Even if you don’t buy your kids too many toys, you can bet your family and friends will. (And usually the kind that play loud, annoying music or can be used to make a lot of noise. But, that’s another topic completely. Love you family!) Not to mention all of the craptastic “toys” they’ll get from those kids meals you swore you’d never feed them. The ones that always seem to break 18.25 seconds into playing with them. The ones your kids go ballistic over if, heaven forbid, they find them in the trash.
And the more kids you have, the more bins and baskets and buckets and shelving units to hold said bins and baskets and buckets you’ll be buying to shove their toys in to. (Thank you, Ikea!) At first you’ll probably have some type of sorting system for the toys. You’ll want all of the plastic food to stay with the play kitchen, the gazillion trains and cars to stay together, and all of Barbie’s effing little shoes and accessories in one place so that when your kid is looking for things you know where to find them, hopefully avoiding an epic meltdown. (“Mooooooooom-mmy, where is my blue car?! I need my blue car! Not that blue car, the other blue car!” WTF?)
But eventually you’ll give up and just start throwing things in whatever container has even a smidge of free space. “You will fit in there!” Don’t feel bad about this. Just surrender; your sanity will thank you, and it’ll be so much easier in the long run. Plus, once you let go, you’ll find you’ll have more time to worry about other pressing issues. Like why the hell your one eye keeps twitching like that.
#4: Kids Are Moochers
When it comes to eating, kids typically fall into two categories — 1) those that eat anything and everything, and 2) those that eat hardly anything. If you have more than one kid, you may even get lucky and have both! Or your kid may fall into one category one month, day, or second and fall into the second category another. (Actually, you can pretty much count on this.) This makes for fun meal planning, I can assure you. *eyes rolling*
Regardless of which camp they fall into, all bets are off when they see you with food. They are going to want to cozy up to you and “share” whatever it is that you are eating. “Can I have a bite? Can I have a bite? Can I have a bite? Just one teeny bite?” For the love of Pete! And it won’t even matter what it is that you are eating. “Begetables, mmmmm, I lub begetables!” “Fish, I lub fish!” “Spicy, mmmmm, I lub spicy.”
If you actually want to eat your meal in its entirety, you have two options. Option 1: If you know your kid likes the food you’re trying to enjoy, DO NOT GIVE IN. I mean it, do not give him or her even just one tiny bite. As much as they say they understand that they will only get one bite and that’s going to be it, they’re lying. Always. Option 2: If you know your kid does not like the food you’re trying to enjoy, do the opposite of what I recommend in Option 1–give him or her a heaping forkful to nosh on. When your kid realizes what you’re eating is just absolutely disgusting, he or she will likely spit it out, right back on your plate, no doubt, and then go find something else to do. Until he or she forgets and comes back begging for more approximately 5 seconds later.
So I guess you’re just better off going with Option 1 in all cases. Unless you want to avoid this scenario entirely and you hide out in the kitchen (or bedroom or bathroom even) so that you can scarf down your meal in peace!
And while I’ve focused on food here, please know that your kids’ mooching knows no bounds. You should probably plan to stock up on chapstick and deodorant and pens, too.
Ok, now I know the title of this post, “A Couple More Things…” implies I would only be talking about two things, but I decided to include one more here so that the last post does not qualify for the longest post in blogging history. Phew, there, it’s out in the open, and now the editor in me feels much better. Onward and upward . . .
#5: Kids Don’t Sleep
When you want them to, that is. Everyone knows that new parents usually get very little sleep until their baby is sleeping through the night. (Those bags and dark circles under your eyes never completely go away, by the way.) What I’m talking about here are deviations from your kids “normal” sleep schedule once you
think you have found a groove. Like when your kid usually naps in the morning from 10-12, has been for oh, say, the last 6 weeks, and then the day you actually have something planned while your kid is asleep (maybe a conference call for work or, more likely, your own nap) or something planned out of the house after your kid sleeps (say a doctor’s appointment or play date), your kid says, “F you, morning nap!”
This results in you either 1) having to cancel what you had planned to do when your kid was supposed to be asleep but is now awake and probably incredibly whiney and clingy or 2) having to cancel what you had planned for after your kid was supposed to be asleep because 1 minute prior to you having to walk out the door you’ll find your kid, coat and shoes on, slumped over on the couch, drooling, and fast asleep. And sorry if you had something planned both before and after the nap was supposed to take place. Your day is screwed.
It’s the same for morning wake up time. You can absolutely count on your kids sleeping in on the mornings you have to be somewhere at a certain time and then being up at the crack of dawn the mornings you could have actually slept in. It always happens this way. Until it doesn’t. And then you’ll have no idea when the hell you’re actually going to get any sleep because you have no idea when the hell your kids are going to sleep. They like to keep us on our toes like that.
I will tell you a secret, though: The one thing that absolutely doesn’t change with kids, the one constant, the one thing you can always, without a doubt predict . . . your kids will be unpredictable. Predictably unpredictable.
Ok folks, that’s it for now. But check back later in the week for the final post in my “Things You Know But Don’t Really Know” series. I’ll be tackling why you’ll never be able to poop or shower alone again (well, at least while the kids are little) among other things.
Until then . . .