Welcome, New Parent, to your first meeting with the Professional Parent training facility. Many have come before you, many will come after. We here at Professional Parent want to make your transition from non-parent (NP) to professional parent (PP) as peaceful as possible. For your dive into the unfathomable abyss of parenting, we are your floaties.
No doubt you’ve been given advice by your own parents and other friends with babies (FWB’s). Just remember, your parents most likely used a thin piece of string tied around a phone book as a car seat, and your FWB’s probably have more money and support than you do. Can you really trust what these people have told you? Trust Professional Parent training to help you understand things you never knew you’d get used to. Here are our first three things we know you’ll get used to:
If within three days of becoming a parent you haven’t been pooped on, peed on, and vomited on all at once by your new baby, you should return to either Toys “R” Us or NASA, for you are in possession of either a toy or an alien. Trust us, there will be poop. In fact, until your children have graduated college and begun to start families of their own, poop will be the major topic of conversation.
You will judge your child’s health almost solely based on poop: When was the last one? What color was it? Was anything in it? Why is it black and green? How can something so big come out of something so small?
Like the sixth sense of an animal fleeing before an earthquake, your senses will be finely tuned to your child’s grunts and faces such that you’ll know exactly when a poop is arriving and how to brace for impact. But don’t get overly confident: children are professionals at camouflaging the signs and signals–when an unexpected stain creeps up your child’s back, you will find yourself asking, “When did you do THAT?” Stay ever vigilant.
As a former NP, you may fondly look back on the days where the only poop you admired was your own, or maybe your dog’s. As a newly-minted PP, poop is no longer private. Poop will now take its permanent place atop the family discussion agenda.
Lastly, if your FWB’s have not told you, put diapers and wipes on each floor of your home and in multiple rooms. Wherever you spend time is where your baby will poop. The first step to becoming a PP is to outfit your home accordingly.
2. Stepping on Toys
Novice PP’s will not expect this one at first. For the first two years of your child’s life, toys are soft, squishy, and safe. But plastic toys with wheels and corners and tiny pieces will creep in and overtake their plush counterparts. Early on, each Duplo block and construction vehicle you step on will feel like a tiny landmine, expertly placed by your child to detonate at 5:45 am when you haven’t turned on a light or had a sip of coffee.
Fear not, novice PP’s. Your foot will form a thick callous from the repeated assault from fire trucks, plastic kitchen utensils, and puzzle pieces with those little knobs on them. Like the cushioned suspension of a luxury sedan, your feet, legs, and knees will absorb the shock of an unexpected toy with ease. When stepping on a series of crayons and Legos would elicit expletives from a NP, you will glide over the pointed plastic terrain with grace and aplomb.
3. Wiping Noses with Your Shirt
PP’s quickly come to terms with never having pristine clothes, not because laundry piles too high to keep up with (though it does), but because you will never have a tissue when you need one. You may think that having a tissue at the ready at all times would be the mark of a PP, but this is not the case. No matter how well-stocked, your pockets will empty of tissues and you will use your shirt. What once was merely spit up will become all manner of snot, crumbs, gunk, goo, and grime.
As you stare at yourself in the mirror while brushing your teeth before bed, you will not think twice when you see your shirt smeared with the remnants of your child’s day. In fact, there will come a day when you are alone and tired on the sofa and you need a tissue yourself. You’ll look around, see a box of tissues just out of reach, then look at your sleeve and think, “If it’s good enough for my child, it’s good enough for me.”