Only a little more than two weeks away from Miss Skyes first birthday — OMIGOD, WE’RE ONLY A LITTLE MORE THAN TWO WEEKS AWAY FROM MISS SKYE’S FIRST BIRTHDAY! — I thought it would be a good time to reflect on my lessons learned and offer a follow-up to my list of “Top 10 Things I’ve Learned Since Becoming a Mom,” which I wrote when I was a mere two months into motherhood… a time when I was existing on no sleep, countless lattes and diaper fumes.
Awwww. Some things haven’t changed.
Ten Things I’ve Learned During My First Year of Motherhood
10. Turns out, moms don’t ever catch up on sleep. We just get used to living without it somehow. (Go-to survival kit for sleepless moms: Concealer; big sunglasses; caffeine; mommy adrenaline; ability to take power naps at red lights and during phone conversations with mothers-in-law.)
9. If my 11-month-old refuses to take something, such as a sippy cup, from me, all I have to do is place it slightly out of her reach as though she’s not supposed to have it… and suddenly she’s on it like Lohan on a Grey Goose bottle.
8. Once I learned dirt would not kill my child, I started applying the “Five-Minute Rule”: As long as a toy hasn’t been on the ground longer than five minutes, it’s fine to give it back to the baby! Especially if I sanitize it by wiping it on my shirt first. (This rule, of course, does not apply to food. Gross! I would never let my child eat a Cheerio that’s been on the ground longer than ONE minute.)
7. When I go out in public with my baby, I am expected to somehow acknowledge — that is, nod, smile and/or converse with — other people with babies. Sample of obligatory conversation: Awwww, so cute. How old is your baby? …Yes, she’s had teeth for a while now! …Yeah, she does think that straw is tasty!
7a. I will also, for reasons unbeknownst to me, tell my daughter to say “hi” or “thank you” to the stranger EVEN THOUGH I KNOW SHE IS NOT CAPABLE OF DOING SO.
STRANGER: Your daughter is so pretty!
ME: (SMILES, TURNS TO SKYE) Say ‘thank you!’
SKYE: (FLASHING ME A LOOK) Why do you keep telling me to say that, woman, when you know “Dadadada” is about the extent of my conversational skills?!
6. Any time my child learns a new talent, utters a new syllable, makes a new face or farts in a different octave range, my husband and I will freak out with excitement, as though she has just walked on the moon. I never imagined I could feel so much pride about a successful, baby-initiated game of Peek-a-Boo.
6a. This one was shocking for me: Other people, with the exception of grandparents, are not as impressed with our children’s seemingly mind-blowing milestones. I can vividly recall a time we were out to dinner with good friends, who also have a baby, and all of us were so consumed with encouraging and watching our own babies “perform” their new smiles, laughs, Mozart-reminiscent farts, what-have-you — all the while assuming the other couple was just as fascinated with our baby — that we didn’t realize we weren’t paying attention to each other’s kids at all.
In short: Nobody else cares that our child can now point at streetlights. And, to be honest, we’re not really beside ourselves with excitement over the fact that your baby has finally taken notice of the dog.
5. When you have a child, time passes 400.5 times faster. True story.
4. While pushing a stroller has decreased the number of men who ogle me on the street (I hope you know I’m not saying this with vanity… I think we can all agree men ogle most anything with a pulse), it hasn’t deterred all of them. At least, not the creepiest ones. A pick-up line from last week…
(AS I BEND OVER AND PICK UP SKYE’S DISCARDED RATTLE [AND RUB IT ON MY SHIRT] FOR THE FIFTIETH TIME ON OUR WALK TO STARBUCKS):
CREEPY MAN WALKING BY: Next time you bend over, I’m going to be behind you watching.
Be still, my beating heart. Also: Ew. I AM A MOTHER, YOU PERVERT!
3. Filing my daughter’s nails is akin to waterboarding and forcing her to eat live scorpions. Yes! It’s true! Her screams and crocodile tears don’t lie.
2. I always dread going out without my baby, whether it’s a date with my husband, a girls’ night out or an appointment to groom my jungle-like eyebrows, where small monkeys have taken up residence… and am always happy when I ultimately do indulge in that “me” time. (The displaced monkeys, however… not so much.)
1. I am capable of loving somebody infinitely more than myself, enough to even learn how to use the oven and stove for something other than storage purposes.