The Parent Syndrome

Let's play "Mud, Chocolate, or Poop?"

Everyone says life is no longer the same once you have children, and it's not what you expected. So true. Despite the millions of self-help books, guides and advice literature out there, nothing really prepares you for being a parent until you've experienced it. No, raising a dog does not count as having a child, no matter how much you think it is. Yes, I've lived with dogs, lots of them ... and cats, and turtles, and hamsters, and chicks, and whatever else my siblings and I have raised growing up. Once you've become a parent, you start speaking the language and doing things that only a parent would understand; it's an exclusive club, made up of about 30% of US households.

You know you're a parent when you:
1) think that your kids are the cutest and you have tons of adorable pictures to prove it
2) stretch your arm across another passenger during a sudden brake
3) find snot on your shoulders and knees
4) get your cell phone back, it's always sticky, and also find random apps or pictures on your phone, strange postings to Facebook or calls to people you haven't spoken to in ages
5) find miscellaneous toys in your pockets or purses - Barbie shoes, Lego pieces
6) start buying a bigger purse just to carry something for the child, but admit it, you end up with more of your stuff in the purse
7) hum kids' songs in your head or outloud even when the kids aren't around
8) use "pee-pee" and "poo-poo" for yourself also
9) never thought that touching poop would become a normal activity
10) find stickers in random places, like the car window or the bathroom sink; In-N-Out stickers next to Tinkerbell stickers are so not cute
11) can't seemed to have enough toilet paper or Kleenex
12) wake up at 4 am to entertain a child, then fall back asleep before the child does
13) find mysterious smeared something on the floor and afraid to touch it
14) hear your car alarm go off randomly because somehow they always find your keys
15) find doodles all over your work papers and random key strokes on your computer
16) are actually afraid of silence when a child is home -- that usually means he's pre-occupied with trouble somewhere
17) can't seemed to keep the toilet clean enough because that water will be drunken, too
18) never thought you would be touching so much saliva and snot, nor sweeping a child's mouth on a regular basis, while knowing that he's going to bite down on that finger at any second
19) have finally convinced yourself that chicken nuggets and spaghetti are great meals to have every week
20) eat random food scraps, and you justify it by telling yourself that you don't want to waste food
21) have or find objects in your car that you would normally never leave in your car, like a box of cereal
22) start convincing youreslf that children's signs like "baby on board" aren't really that ugly
23) find that you're always looking for a missing shoe or sock
24) start over analyzing features very closely, like do we all have random bumps on our heads or is that really a bump on her head?
25) would never take sleep for granted again, and losing sleep after partying not the same as losing sleep from staying up with a sick kid
26) start using words you never knew existed, like "bom-bom" or "ut-jaio"
27) do silly things only a child (or child-like adult in some cases) can appreciate like making fart sounds with your underarm
28) learn that color coordination of clothes just means mixing and matching bright outfits, with her favorite shoes of the day
29) always find some toy, remote or DVD under the sofa cushion
30) never thought you would watch this much animation, and you probably enjoy Sponge Bob more than they do

More importantly, you know you're a parent when the sound of your child's voice is the sweetest sound you've ever heard -- that infectious giggle and those funny pronunciations will always bring a smile to your face. Give them a hug and a kiss for making your day brighter today.

Sections:  living   
Topics:  kids   parenting   raising kids   
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