No Training Wheels

When do you feel prepared to be a parent? Because occasionally it comes over me: a feeling of panic when I realize there is yet one more thing I don’t know about being a parent.

I really don’t know if I am going to know what the hell I am doing when we finally have Mystery Baby Girl and we are on our own. And I know, all parents go through it. And I know, all parents learn as they go. But here’s the thing: most parents aren’t plopped into parenthood of a 6-ish-month-old who already has some routines, and maybe eats more than just formula, and maybe already has teeth starting to poke through…

When you have a brand-spanking-newborn, you have a blank slate. And as far as the technical specs go, they all pretty much work the same for the first little bit. But then they start GROWING and CHANGING and ADDING BITS AND PIECES ON like teeth and hair and stuff, and then pretty soon you’ve got that many more things to deal with… And then they start MOVING and TALKING and…

AAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!! ***boom!*** (head explodes in panic)

I think I’d be better at this if my mom was around. She was all about the babies, man. She came from a large family, she wanted lots of kids, and I think she’d have been all over Mystery Baby Girl like wrapping paper on a prezzie. If things started going a bit haywire, I could have sent out the SOS. Maybe even just handed the baby off to Grandma and then crawled off into a corner to rock and weep.

At the very least, she could have pointed and given instructions. “Do this.” “She wants that.” It goes like THIS…”

But as it stands… it’s going to be us. Learning to do something new. Like riding a bike. Only we’ve got no training wheels. And like any kid who rides a bike without training wheels the first time… there’s going to be a few crashes. The odd scrape and bruise. Possibly, although it’s unlikely, I could even end up crashing arse over teakettle into the Harvies’ shrubbery again.

I am only just now realizing that there’s just so much I DON’T know. I’m trying to recall the stuff I knew when I, you know, HUNG OUT with assorted nieces and other babies over the years. And reading stuff. Books, websites, boards, stuff like that. And the more I read, the more I realize how little I know.

Do I need to start making lists? “Feed her X.” “If she cries it’s either A, B, or C.” “This is how you X”.

Sure. That’s what I need. My walls plastered in sticky notes. That’ll be GREAT. Not only a mess, but in a few months’ time (when the sticky part isn’t so sticky anymore), a choking hazard. Splendid.

I always imagined I’d just somehow transition nicely into motherhood like some TV Movie of the Week, where I swan in, hair immaculate, pick up a cooing baby, and it’s all happily ever after. But I have a feeling it’s going to be more like the late night horror movie, where I am running around the room, frantic, hair looking like it was just brushed with an egg beater, and the baby’s got a diaper held on with a belt made of duct tape.

Good doG, I hope she’s a patient baby.

7 thoughts on “No Training Wheels

  1. Every mother has starred in a couple of horror flicks at one time or another. And yes, forget about the nice hair and make-up.
    Camo shirts are a great investment as they hide spit-up, drool and various foreign foods. Hey, get a couple of these shirts for daughter too, and you won’t have to change her as much.
    As for the duct tape idea, masking tape works better unless you want the diaper left on for several weeks.

  2. Oooh, camouflage. Good tip.

    Also, I am worried about how long the masking tape will hold once Mystery Baby Girl is mobile and doing things like, you know, splashing in the toilet bowl and such. I mean, when that stuff gets wet, it doesn’t hold nearly as well as duct tape would.

    OH! I KNOW! Black electrical tape! Safety first!!

  3. I’m partial to the duct tape, you can get it in so many colours. You can coordinate it with all her clothes.

    I am so with you on what to do with baby. All the baby books I have read, start with bringing baby home from the hospital.
    What about bringing her home at six months or in my case possibly up to 18 months (depending on her age at referral). Luckily I have your blog to follow to see how to do it right. Unfortunately I am no help to you.

  4. Here is what I picture – they hand us our baby – I take him/her and look around to Yvan and say “what now?” – ha ha ha!!

    Thing is that these little, beuatiful babies have already had much more experienced caretakers looking after them…so me thinks they will know that we have no clue what we are doing 🙂

    I love the “running around the room, frantic, hair looking like it was just brushed with an egg beater, and the baby’s got a diaper held on with a belt made of duct tape” visual…


  5. Sort of the way I pictured it too, Rana. Only with baby turning to face me and SCREAMING her head off because my eyes/hair/skin are TOTALLY not the colours she’s used to.

    (I used to terrify babies on trains in Japan. I know from the “holy crap, a FOREIGNER!” baby terror.)

  6. Ha ha… I can’t wait to see how well we do with 2 at one go! 0 to 60 x 2. Wow. I do have my mom I can call… but mostly it’ll just be Jrock and I making things up as we go.

    You are in good company, anyway; we’ll enjoy laughing at our mistakes together!


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