Parenthood is no Norman Rockwell painting, but if you've mastered being a parent, it probably looks something like this.
1. You can eat with one hand while holding a baby on your hip and soothing the sobbing toddler attached to your leg.
2. Date night now features a Shirley Temple with someone less than four feet tall and a stop at Buy Buy Baby, Costco, or both.
3. You no longer expect the gentle caress in the middle of the night to come from your partner; you anticipate it from the tiny tyke who wants you to know he got up to pee in the potty. And you're glad that he did (both pee in the potty and share his pride in the pre-dawn hours!).
4. You develop X-ray vision that enables you to take temperatures and administer medicine in the dark -- in addition to locating lost blankies, loveys, and pacifiers with only the moonlight as your guide.
5. You pull out the sweater you wore last winter and, realizing that it has dried boogers or breast milk (or both!) on it, you put it on, smiling with nostalgia at what a difference a year makes.
6. You can get out of the house with tots in tow in less than hour, knowing that you have all you need to survive not only the trip to the grocery store, but also any potential mishaps along the way -- a wet diaper, a runny nose, or a dire attack of hunger and thirst (that you know is likely to hit before you back out of the driveway.)
7. Your coffee table books now include Goodnight Moon, Pat the Bunny, and a few original compositions from your preschooler.
8. Your coffee is now the elixir of the gods, possessing magical powers to propel you through the day after a night of using that amazing X-ray vision.
9. Nothing grosses you out. Nothing. Not fecal matter on the walls, barf in your bed, or snot on your socks. You wipe it off, clean it up, and whisk it away without batting an eye. Most likely while talking to, calming, or comforting your little one -- or your spouse, who for some reason is still grossed out.
10. You think nothing of doing laundry daily.
11. You ooh and aah over a bunch of scribble, then frame it or possibly put it on that coffee table.
12. You're faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap pretty much anything in a single bound when you see your kid fall down the stairs, off his bike, or over his own feet. Time and again your superhero powers dry tears, heal booboos, and somehow assure a small human that all is okay with the world.
13. You welcome wet kisses. Not from your significant other, not from your dog, but from a tiny, bald baby whose wet-kiss delivery may also include not just some sloppy saliva, but snot as well. Mwah!
14. Your purse (if you can even call it that!) now includes wet wipes, sippy cups, crayons, lollipops and a change of underwear (ideally, not for you).
15. You can open and close a stroller with one hand while using the other to ensure its inhabitant doesn't get away.
16. In the back corner of your underwear drawer, there is a collection of tiny teeth and notes to the Tooth Fairy.
17. You've had the urge to punch any toddler -- or a kid of any size, for that matter -- who makes your tiny tot feel anything less than his marvelous self.
18. You've said crazy things like "if you drive that tractor through your mac and cheese again, I'll..."
19. You paint your daughter's nails more often than your own.
20. A perfect Friday night includes an animated movie, pizza, a couch, and several small people in footie pajamas.
21. After you've cried from exhaustion and sworn "never again!" your baby-turns into a toddler and you find yourself thinking, "Maybe I could do this again."
What's Your Parenting Style?
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