My college roommate recently posted about discovering her 6-year old's self-administered haircut. It got me thinking about some of the milestones we go through as parents. These range from the famous firsts (first time Baby throws up down your shirt, first time Baby bashes her head into your mouth and gives you a fat lip, first time Baby -- or toddler, or preschooler -- sleeps through the night) to the life-altering changes that come later on.
Here's an incomplete list of some of the milestones I've passed in the past 15 years:
- Realizing I can't make my kids happy all the time, and (later) figuring out (again) that that's not the goal, anyway;
- Transitioning from "Don't do that, you might get hurt" to "Whatever... as long as we don't have to go to the hospital later on";
- Choosing to ignore what other people think when one of my kids goes for the tantrum world record in the worst possible place, at the worst possible time, because I can't be mortified and be a patient mom at the same time;
- Learning that what look like bumps in the parenting road for other people feel like mountains when I get there myself;
- Finding out that silently congratulating myself on being a decent parent somehow triggers almost immediate outrageous behavior in my children;
- Understanding that I can't fix everything... and sometimes I can't even make it better (this one's hard!);
- Realizing that being smart and resourceful is no guarantee that I'll have any clue how to handle a given parenting situation;
- Discerning which part of my conflicts with my children is, ummmmm, my own fault;
- Discovering that ranting is more likely to hurt kids than it is to change their behavior (sigh);
- Remembering that the amount of laughter in the house is a good gauge of how well we're doing;
- Learning all of the above, a second and third and fiftieth time.
Anyone have more to add?