As parents, we spend most of the time while we’re pregnant, waiting to adopt, or waiting for our surrogate to pop, preparing ourselves for everything we can possibly prepare ourselves for. We read books, blogs, ask doctors and family members, all to get the best start for our little ones. Even after all of that preparation, once your new little one gets placed in your arms you feel like a fish out water. The first year is a year of firsts and often feels like a roller coaster of emotions that go from “How did I get myself into this?” to “Yeah man, I got this!” Unfortunately parents, these firsts are just the tip of the things you could never possibly prepare yourself for iceberg. Here are 10 moments that I wasn’t prepared for:
1. The first time my 4 (almost 5) year old called me “mom”. Not mommy, not mama, but mom. It’s way too adult and was a way too real reminder that my baby isn’t a baby anymore.
2. Her first kiss. Yes, I know four is WAY too young to have had a first kiss, and yet there it was. It meant nothing to her, it meant nothing to the little punk who kissed her on the playground but it happened. One day that first kiss will be but a distant memory and my little girl will be a young woman having her first real kiss, her first real date, her first real dance, her first time. I am not ready for any of this, but the avalanche has already been started.
3. The first time she put her dishes in the sink without being asked. I know that this is exactly what we all work towards, our children becoming independent, but can’t she stay dependent on me for just a little bit longer? I’m okay with cleaning up her dishes forever if I can just freeze her in this moment.
4. Her first drop off birthday party. Man, that was a tough one. I had two hours to myself and had zero clue what I should do with them.
5. The first time she had an opinion on her clothes. My little girl is definitely developing her own style and opinions, and I’m so proud of her for that, but I’ll miss dressing her up in matchy matchy clothes that reflect my style, not hers.
6. Her first day of real school. She cried, I cried, but at the end of the day she was happy and excited and talking about all of these kids I knew nothing about. The fears about school all came flooding to me. What if she gets bullied? What if she doesn’t have enough to eat? What if she doesn’t feel comfortable speaking up for herself? I trust that my husband and I have done a good job raising her, but I wasn’t ready to send her out into the real world yet. She had been in daycare for a couple of years previously, but school feels so real and so final.
7. The first time she went to her grandparents and didn’t cry. She was okay without me. That one broke my heart, but made me so proud at the same time. I want her to want to be with her grandparents and have a good time, but there will always be a part of me who hopes that she misses me too much to enjoy herself.
8. The first time she yelled at me for waking her up. I saw a glimpse of her teenaged years in that moment, and let me tell you, they will not be fun.
9. The first time she copped a ‘tude and rolled her eyes at me. She’s always been such a polite, respectful little girl, but then out of nowhere I was met with snark, eye rolls and straight up rudeness. Thankfully she’s still at the age where these moments are few and far between, and honestly a little adorable, but it will only be a matter of time until this will be our daily reality. I am not ready for it.
10. The first time she stole my makeup. While this mostly came out of a moment of poor parental supervision, the first time I walked into the bathroom and saw her with my makeup, using it, and trying to make herself “pretty” (i.e. look like a Monster High Doll), I almost lost it. I am NOT ready to have to share my expensive, meticulously collected makeup with my daughters. I thought I had a good 10 years until this was going to happen.
Today she’s four, but in two days she’s turning five and from then on it will only be these little moments that I am completely unprepared for. Thankfully, there are still many moments where I look at her and see my baby…but the reality is she’s growing up and I will never be prepared for that.
Related post: No, I Can’t Enjoy Every Moment