I have started about ten blogs over the past few months. I would start writing, and after a bit, it just didn’t feel right. I would quit, come back after a day or two, and start a new one. Now, I have ten drafts, no new posts since December, and stories to tell that are way past due. The outpouring of support and comradery has held me back in a way. I don’t want to disappoint my readers by having a boring post. I have been struggling to know what to talk about next.
As I look back through my drafts, I realize what I want to write about is relinquishing guilt. Like any new parent, there is a steep learning curve when you bring home a baby. It feels like I have a rap sheet a mile long. I’m not sure I want any of these things in writing, but to no one’s surprise, I am far from perfect.
Holidays are my biggest failure. I didn’t do any valentines, you all know my Halloween story. For the second Christmas in a row, we put off seeing Santa, getting a Christmas tree, or seeing any lights. In my defense, we were perpetually sick until Christmas which made it infinitely harder to leave the house. Even though we waited until the Christmas eve, our kids Santa picture turned out epic and worth the wait. I have said, “Next year will be better,” twice now. Third time is a charm?
I have terrible depth perception and lack spatial awareness. My kids poor head is regularly knocked and bumped into door frames, walls, and car doors. When lifting him in and out of the car seat, I have smacked his head on the car door frame more times than I care to admit. One day when he is older, he is going to very self-conscious about his lumpy head and will have no one to blame but me.
I lied to my kid and told him were going to the zoo and went to Petco instead. I don’t have an excuse. I didn’t want to drive all the way to the zoo and deal with traffic or parking.
The signs of intoxication in a toddler are the same as that of an adult, except much harder to spot because, in general, toddlers act drunk all the time. They blab incoherently, have terrible mood swings and stumble and fall over their own feet. Why might I share this fun fact with you? I gave my toddler a drink (technically two, maybe three, drinks) from my husband’s vodka and club soda.
Not that I thought anyone would think I did it on purpose, but I want to stress, this was a complete accident. Let me set the stage for the drunken debauchery.
It was a football Sunday nearing bedtime for our little guy. My husband usually enjoys a few beers while watching the games. This particular Sunday, I guess he had decided to make a mixed drink instead. Neither of us was paying much attention to our son as we were dealing with a bit of a family health situation that was keeping us preoccupied and on and off the phones. At one point, our son was flailing, grunting, and pointing towards my husband’s cup asking for a drink. My husband was distracted getting an update from family, and I was trying to pay attention to my husband. Trying to quiet down the kid, I reached over, grabbed my husband’s cup and held for our son to get a drink. Our son took the first drink and stopped for a second. His eyes lit up and came back hot for a second drink. At this point, my husband sees me holding the cup and yelled, NOOOOOO. In the exact second, my heart sank as I got a whiff of vodka.
My husband and I immediately called poison control for the first time as new parents. The kind operator went through a barrage of questions that make you feel an inch tall. “Yes, I gave him vodka. No, it was only two, maybe three, toddler-sized sips of a mixed drink.” We determined that our son was not in any immediate danger and that we didn’t need to go to an ER. The operator assured us we weren’t terrible parents, they weren’t reporting us to Child Services, and we just needed to watch for signs of intoxication to keep him safe if he does become smashed. After monitoring him for an hour, I am still not sure if he was wasted or just excited to have our undivided attention while staying up late. We gave him WhiteCastle and let him try to sleep it off. Just kidding, no WhiteCastle, but he did sleep fantastic that night.
This isn’t a complete compilation. I have shit-tons more I could and will eventually share. Getting them out helps me stop thinking about them incessantly. Being a parent is hard. There is no book that pops out with the baby to tell you exactly what your new little bundle will need and how to navigate your new life. We just figure it out as we go and do the best we can.
I encourage you to share your confessions below. Misery love company.