Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Rookies vs. The Veterans

Parenting like every competitive sport has it's rookies and veterans. What? Parenting isn't a competitive sport? You must be a rookie!

A friend from college recently had his first child and I've been following the adventure on Facebook. It's very hard not to chuckle at every status update but because I like him and he's a good friend I have not mocked him in his new fatherhood. Yet.

"Babies smell so good!"
Wait until you start solids dude! Nothing yummy about that.

"I don't want to go back to work."
I give that 2 years if you don't immediately have another; 18 months if you do.

It's fun to watch new parents. Every coo gets a picture. Every bag of diaper trash becomes a baby book entry. First trips anywhere are documented with glee and delight. And before anyone jumps on me about it, I did it. I made a fool of myself just like every other new parent and therefore I am making fun of myself too! Get over it.

Then your second child comes along and you still take fun pictures because now it's the first time X and Y did Z together. But the glow is a little fainter because now you are trying to get two children to keep their shoes on while buckling four arms into carseats and packing two sippy cups and snacks and heaven only knows what else.

You can spot the mom of 3 or more from a mile away. She looks completely at peace. She smiles at everything and she maintains a calm and easy exterior. You know why?

She has surrendered to the enemy. Waved her white flag. Tossed in her towel. Bowed out. Given up and given in. She knows that if everyone makes it through the day with nothing more major than a scrape and 4 bandaids she has won. She never worries about people coming over and seeing a mess because people don't come over. They're too scared of the duct tape. She doesn't bother with her appearance because she knows that somewhere on her personage there is poo, spit, snot, vomit or jelly and if there isn't there will be soon.

The rookie is constantly seeking the approval of others and taking too much advice from too many well meaning people who may or may not have children of their own.

The veteran has perfected smile and nod. She will smile and nod and pretend to listen to you and take it all in when in her head she is really saying, "Your turn is coming. They will break you too."

And before the debate starts about parenting being a competetive sport let me say this. Your way is the best way. It always is. Moms who nurse are superior to moms who don't and vice versa. Moms with slings are cooler than moms with strollers and vice versa. Moms who don't vaccinate are infinitely wiser than moms who vaccinate and vice versa. See! Told you it was a competitive sport. Rookies get caught up in those debates and get tweaked about them. Veterans look at their children and say, "Nobody's dead yet, so I'm ok."

I really should run. There should be a Facebook update for me to laugh at soon. Bless their little family Lord! And Congrats again Joe!



Fer said...

ROFLMAO... "They're too scared of the duct tape."

Hubby always points out any foreign substance that ends up on my shirt and always asks me if I'm going to leave the house that way and the answer is inevitably always "Yes... why change when the next shirt will be covered in goo before I make it out the door, too?" I can't very well go topless until I walk out of the door.

Sissy said...

is it bad that I've given in and I've only got 2? cuz I'm totally their hostage...

Sissy said...

is it bad that I've given in and I've only got 2? cuz I'm totally their hostage...

Jenni Jiggety said...

I don't like to think of myself as broken...I am definitely worn in though!

Michelle said...

Ahhhh, the nod and smile. I use it often (even with the parents of the students I teach). I feel lucky if we get out the door, don't forget anything and are fully clothed. The fancy hairbows and cutesy outfits are far and few between these days. Let me tell you though, my first girlie knew how to match a bow to her outfit before she was ONE! Oh yeah, I played the game as a rookie...now I sit back and enjoy others. :-P

Shannon said...

Ah, I also call it competitive parenting... Yes I agree if no one is dead its been a good day, LOL. Got go, one screaming just now...