I have the book "What to Expect in the First Year" by the same woman who wrote, "What to Expect when You're Expecting". That book is FULL of amazing and helpful information. Even on my third child in 4 years, I find myself opening the book when I'm unsure of something and can't get hold of my mom. However, there are a TON of things that the book, or any parenting book or magazine I've ever read for that matter, doesn't prepare you for. Following are some funny (and some not so funny) things that have happened with my children over the last 3 years. These are listed in no particular order of occurrence and I've had to recruit my parents and sister to help me remember most of them but they're still comical.
I've been told that a child is like a monkey. They hear you say something and they'll repeat it back. I never knew how true this was though until I walked in on my oldest in her room one day. She was upstairs playing in her bedroom, sitting at her table talking on her toy phone when I walked in to tell her it was time for lunch. She turned around and said, "Mommy, I'm busy right now." Then she turned back around and said, "Its ok, Santa, I'm back." When I'm on the phone and the kids are coming up to me and begging me for something, I tell them, "Mommy's busy right now." I just had my own words thrown back at me. I love that she was talking to Santa though. Probably giving him the scoop on whether Mommy has been naughty or nice.
I had a baby about 2 months ago. A baby girl. She's beautiful. I know I'm being partial but its still the truth. When I was in the hospital after giving birth to her, my husband brought my other daughter and son in to visit me. My oldest, my other daughter, walks in and immediately comes over to my bed and asks about "the baby that the doctors took out of Mommy's belly". My son didn't even notice her. The first time she cried after we brought her home, he suddenly realized that there was another person in the room. He screamed and ran the opposite direction. He's still not used to her though. Not too long ago, I told him to give her a kiss goodnight. I'm not sure what exactly happened, but he kissed her, gagged and ran the opposite direction looking terrified. I think she turned her head at the last second and he kissed her open mouth and it grossed him out. But his frightened facial expression was priceless.
My oldest turned 3 in early June. She talks non stop now. Most of the time she's on "repeat" but every once in a while, she says something that has me in tears from laughing so hard. She's also the child that takes everything literally. It makes for some funny moments. One day, she was whining about something her brother did to her and I told her to get a grip. She looks at me oddly, looks around her and shrugs. "Where's a grip, Mommy?" I love her. Another time, her pants were falling down and my husband says to her, "Pull your pants up. I don't want to see the moon." She looks out the window and the mid day sun and say, "The moon isn't out, Daddy."
No one ever tells you the weird, random stuff. At least, I hope its not just my children that do it. I have my oldest two, my daughter and my son, take their baths together. They have a Jack and Jill style bathroom going in between the two bedrooms. I usually clean up in the bathroom or pick up their toys while they're in the bath. I don't think this is unsafe. I am never any more than just a few feet away from them and can hear everything their doing. One day, my daughter starts screaming. Since this isn't unusual for my wonderful drama queen daughter, I kind of ignored it until I realized what she was saying. She was screaming, "Poop!" My son had pooped in the bath tub. When I ran in there, she was standing on one foot, trying to practically climb up the wall of the shower to get away from the floaters. She was totally terrified. I'm not going to lie, I was too, but her face was just so funny that I laughed out loud anyway. But no one ever told me that kids poop in the bath. My oldest never did. But fishing turds out of the tub so they don't go down the drain is probably the grossest thing I've ever had to do.
Last year, my children were in "school" only two days a week. I would get them up, feed them, dress them, put on some cartoons and sneak into my own room to put my makeup on so I didn't scare the other carpool moms. One day, I came out and noticed something all over my son's face that looked like chocolate. Upon closer inspection, I realized it was poop. One of the dogs had pooped on the floor (something very uncharacteristic for my dogs) and he had not only stuck his hands in it, but he had tried to eat it. This is not the first time this has happened in this house though. My female and male bred and we had six puppies at one time. It is NOT easy to make sure your yard is free of dog poop when you have eight dogs. My daughter was just over a year old. We were ALL playing outside one day when from across the yard, I saw her pick up a piece of poop and put it in her mouth. I wasn't able to get to her quick enough. Thankfully, she does not like the flavor and immediately spit it out. But no one told me that children are attracted to dog poop just as much as they are attracted to candy.
No one told me that little boys will turn ANYTHING into a weapon. I was playing with my oldest on our living room floor one day, bent over tickling her when out of no where, I felt a serious stab of pain in my butt. My son, who was barely walking at the time, had run into the room with a fork and stabbed me in the butt with it. I never knew being stabbed with a fork would hurt so much.
No one ever told me that kids are attracted to only the messiest things they can find (which, I should have known any way and maybe that's why no one ever actually said it). Recently, my two oldest were up in their rooms playing. I listen for them and can usually tell what they're doing because of how wonderfully loud they are. This particular time though, I noticed NOTHING. That scares me more than the screaming. I ran upstairs to see what they were up to, my husband on my heels. As soon as we were halfway up the stairs though, we noticed a very strong odor. We rushed into my daughter's room to find them both covered in Vick's vapor rub with Barbie brushes in hand and hair sticking straight up. They had gone into our bedroom (which, in all honestly, almost always has the door shut and locked) and grabbed a jar of Vick's vapor rub, dipped Barbie brushes in it and brushed their hair with it. School open house was the next day. I bathed them twice in the following 9 hours or so just hoping to get the smell off them. My daughter hasn't had a plugged up nose since. I can still walk into her bedroom and smell it.
The world we live in is a scary place. I read the news every day and sicker and sicker things are happening to children. We decided that now is the best time to teach our kids about how to act around strangers. We taught my oldest to say, "Stranger, Danger" if some one approached her that she didn't know (forgive me if you think this is weird. I'm trying to do the best I can while trying to keep my children safe). While pregnant with my third child, I always made sure my OB appointments were on days that my kids were in school. One time though, I got a call from the office asking if I could reschedule. What was I supposed to say? So I did. I had to make it for a day that the kids were home and with the prices of babysitters now, I didn't feel like getting one just for an hour or two. So they came with me. The entire time, my usually shy daughter decided to talk to every human being that crossed our path. It was driving me nuts. Since they were pretty good during my appointment, I took them to McDonald's for ice cream and the playground afterwards. Before ordering though, we went into the bathroom for a potty break. I tried to talk to my daughter then and explain that we shouldn't talk to every random person we see because it isn't always safe. I then asked her what it was that Mommy and Daddy had taught her to say. She then proceeds to scream, "Stranger, Danger" at the top of her lungs in the McDonald's bathroom. I have never been so nervous and mortified in my life. I was expecting some one to rush in and check on us at any moment.
I wish there was a set way to potty train too. When my daughter was first learning how to use the potty by herself, we had to teach her to wipe properly. If she went #2, I would have to check and make sure she was clean before we left the bathroom. Around the time this was taking place, my husband was traveling for work more than he was home so he wasn't used to the things we were doing. One day that he was home, she went #2, called him into the bathroom and bent over. He came out wide eyed and scared. "What in the world is she doing? Why is she bent over like that with her pants down?" I cracked up and then explained to him that she was waiting for him to help her clean up. No one tells you that sometimes, the Daddy gets scared too.
No one tells you that you have to explain EVERYTHING to your kids. While we are outside, my son will brush his hair with the tire brush.
I clean our leather couches with Clorox wipes. My son doesn't know the difference between these and baby wipes. He will pull out 100 wipes from the pack and start cleaning the furniture with them. While I appreciate him trying to help, I don't like that he's wasting the stupid wipes.
I heard stories of kids taking their clothes off randomly but no one ever told me that kids LOVE being naked. My amazing mom has made toys for my kids out of wood. Instead of rocking horses, she made my daughter a rocking motorcycle that looks just like her own Harley and she made my son a rocking airplane. I don't think she expected the kids to ride them naked though. After bath time, they love to run out of the bathroom and jump on their wooden toys and go. Thankfully, I haven't had to pull any splinters out of weird places.
No one ever really explained breast feeding to me in full either. I didn't know that milk could shoot out with out any stimulant other than just being totally full. I remember when I was trying to breast feed my first baby. I had her laying on the floor in front of me while I prepared to breast feed her. I must have been really full because my milk was flowing with out my control. It shot in a steady stream and hit her right in the face. I didn't realize what was happening at first. I saw the stream but thought it was a hair. I kept trying to grab it and pull it away from myself only to realize that it was in fact the milk coming out. It really does just shoot out like a tiny hose. But I'll never forget her moving her head back in forth trying to get it out of her face while I'm confused, trying to pull a hair off of me. Pretty sure I called my mom right away with that one.
A couple nights ago, we had our daughter say the prayer for dinner. I had ordered Little Caesar's Pizza (hey, a large pizza, 8 piece crazy bread and a 2 litter for $8 can't be beat!). We all held hands and closed our eyes. She happily exclaims, "Thank yo, Jesus, that Mom can order a good pizza." I don't think that prayer time is meant to be taken lightly but how do you not laugh at that?
There are a ton of funny things that happen that no one prepares you for. Kids pooping in the tub. Kids eating dog poop. Kids screaming "Stranger Danger" in public bathrooms at the wrong times... Its all priceless. As much as many of these moments make me cringe, I'm glad they happened. I'm able to look back on them and crack up. They weren't funny when they were happening, but they are now. I'm sure there are many such moments in our future. I'm nervous about most but looking forward to all.