We are all sick AGAIN! This year has been one big booger fest. It got me to thinking about all the things that they don't prepare you for in those pregnancy books. When you want to get pregnant you think about this beautiful pink little baby to hold in your arms. At no point do you have any almost sense of what you have in store. I guess if we knew what was in store, there may not be many babies.
I have compiled a few off the top of my head things that occurred to me while I luxuriated in my silky bubble bath (with the door locked and glass of wine in hand). Here they are in no particular order....
#1 In the "What to Expect When You Are Expecting" I seem to remember there was about a page of the common child illnesses and what their symptoms are. This does not really prepare you unless your child catches some text book illness, which mine rarely do.
My advice to childless women who are contemplating pregnancy... be prepared to have your child vomit in your mouth / and or hair (in my case repeatedly). Consider it a right of passage. If you are not prepared to have a vomit shower, may I suggest that you either start working extra shifts / and or begin playing the lottery, because you will need lots of money for your live in Nanny. If you are not prepared to hire a nanny nor are you prepared for a mouth full of vomit, may I suggest sterilization and perhaps a house full of cats? I have come to realize that children are walking talking germ magnets. When they are tiny everything goes into their mouth. When mine were tiny I would carry along in my diaper bag Lysol wipes. I would wipe every single nook and cranny in those shopping carts. Let me tell you I got some strange looks and more than a few people would elbow each other to look at the crazy lady. The first thing a baby does is mouth the cart, even if you have one of those fancy seats that fits in the cart, and I did. When you have school aged children it is futile to pretend that you can prevent them bringing every germ home. Just know that they will bring home the Bubonic Plague and they will infect every single member of your family... just know this. Also know that they will not allow you to go into your child's school and Lysol their desk and pencil sharpener, and any object that those other germ infested classmates may touch. When I say "they" I mean my kids. I have now begun to stock up on kleenex, cold medications, and Tylenol when I buy their school clothes.
#2 If Hell hath no furry like a woman scorned, then what do they say about the whole world of hurt you are in for if you hurt one of my kids? I am a pretty nice, mild mannered lady. I say please and thank you, I hold open doors for people. If you lit me on fire I would be shocked, but I doubt I would say anything to you (for those of you considering this, I'd rather we did not test this theory). In other words I am a pretty nice person .... that is until you wrong my child, then all bets are off. I will tear off your arms and legs and then use you like a soccer ball if you dare to hurt one of my children. You don't want to make me angry, you would not like me if you made me angry. My kids have a sense of security knowing that I will always have their back, no one will ever wrong them and get away with it as long as I have breath in my lungs.
#3 Once I became a mother, I became everybody's mother. I feel like I have to mother every child I see (whether they would like me to or not, just ask Gabe's poor friends). I cannot see a child hungry without remedying it. I cannot see a child go cold without fixing it. I have embarrassed my kids on numerous occasions by asking other children if they need me to run back to the house and get them a jacket. I feel like every child deserves the love that my children receive unconditionally, it physically hurts me to see other children in terrible situations (this means with parents who cannot or will not properly feed or cloth their children or look after them). On more than a few occasions I have become an advocate for children who do not have one, I just can't seem to help myself. Do you see now why I feel a bit sorry for our principal and vice-principal? The books did not mention this in any chapter.
#4 Your kids are going to have friends that you strongly dislike. If you voice this they are probably going to tell said kid, and do you want to give that kid a complex? Even if you don't care about making a kid sad, when you tell your child you don't like their friend, you have just catapulted that awful little wretch from "friend" to "Very Best Friend In The Whole Wide World". You have just thrown gasoline and a match onto open rebellion that may not have otherwise existed. Did I mention that I am telling you this from experience? I have learned that it is best to keep my big mouth shut, and wait, like a sniper. I wait until the opportunity arises for passive aggression. For example " Mom.. Suzy said that I couldn't play with her at recess, and then she said something rude about my new shirt". I act mildly surprised by this. I then casually say something like "Oh I am sorry that you had such a bad day. Wow what would make Suzy act like that? Did you say something that might have hurt her feelings?" You need to understand that at this point I am trying hard not to smile, you know that evil smile that the Grinch uses after he has just stolen all of the toys and food in Whosville? "It sounds like Suzy isn't acting like a very nice friend." Then I wait for them to deduce their own conclusions. I then go about my business, and will casually, innocently ask "Who did Kathy play with at recess today?" Instead of "Kathy" insert the name of a kid I would like them to play with, you know a nice kid, with nice parents. That's all it usually takes at least until they get on to me, and then I guess I will need a new game plan. This one, also not in those books.
#5 Last but certainly not least. Those books did not prepare me for the depth of love that I would feel for my kids. It is almost a religion for me. When I watch them (not always, I'm not perfect you know) I can almost feel waves of love hit them and repel back. I feel my self soften when I look at them. There are no words that could adequately describe the love I feel. Don't get me wrong, there are times that I would like to very much run away from home. There are times when I would like to give them a nice tight hug around their little necks. I adore my kids, but there are times they drive me crazy. I feel like I need to add that it was not love at first sight (don't tell them that, because I will deny it). Everyone always tells you that you will melt when you first look at your baby, I didn't. I had huge babies (9 pounds 3, 9 pounds 10 ounces, 6 pounds 12 ounce, 6 pounds 4 ounces and that was twins and a whole month early, and my last was three weeks early and weighed in at 8 pounds on the dot). I had monster babies and with all but two of them the stupid OBs decided that I would have a better push urge if they let my epidural run out at the time that I most needed it. No, I was too exhausted to feel that rush of unconditional love. It took me a little while to forgive them for causing me all of that pain. I fell in love with them after I got some energy back, after the pain was just a memory. It was more like almost love at first site. I think too often as mothers we do not feel secure enough to admit this. I think we feel that it makes us less. It doesn't matter if it was love at first sight, what matters is that you love them now.
So there you have it, a random list of things those pregnancy bibles don't tell you about.