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Dear New Parents: It Gets Better, I Promise

Showering

 

“I shower. ALONE. While my girls are in the house. {Insert dramatic pause here.} And my husband is AT WORK. And they’re FINE.”

At this declaration, my friends’ eyes got wide as they watched their 18-month-old daughter smear a mushy banana all over her face. Their little girl was beyond adorable, but like most toddlers, she poops in her pants (OK, actually in a diaper, but you get the point) and sleeps in a cage crib and wanders aimlessly around the house flinging toys and pulling plugs and breaking things her parents didn’t even realize they owned.

Those days are long passed in my house. (OK, mostly passed. Mostly.) My daughters are 4 years old and 5 and ¾ (God help me if I forget the ¾) and they sleep in big-girl beds and they can pee in the potty (I’m not saying they always do. I’m saying they are capable of it). When they’re being annoying it’s mostly because they are choosing to be annoying, which is more than we can say for most toddlers.

As long as I’m on the subject, let me tell you about all of the things my girls can do now:

1. My older daughter can do her entire morning routine by herself: get dressed, brush her hair and teeth, and take her inhaler.

2. My younger daughter can, and does, occasionally get her underwear on correctly.

3. They are both capable of opening the refrigerator door while staring mindlessly at the contents inside.

4. My big girl can wipe her own tushie. My little girl likes to think she can.

5. They can put on their own socks, shoes, and jackets. (Any parent who has ever tried to get a kid out the door will appreciate how unbelievably awesome this is.)

6. They sleep. (Except when they don’t, which really sucks.) But mostly, they sleep.

7. I can tell my girls to go upstairs to get something–a toy, some socks, clean underwear (which they occasionally still need), whatever–AND THEY DO IT. BY THEMSELVES. (Mostly.)

8. They can play at the park while I sit on a bench and politely ignore them while I talk to my friends.

9. They read me books. (Don’t get me wrong, they can’t actually read. But they sit and turn pages and tell me nonsensical stories about what’s happening and it just makes me so damn happy.)

10. They set the table on Friday night for Shabbat.

11. My big girl can push the cart at the grocery store and not crash into anyone. (Except me. Twice.)

12. My little girl can do
plies and pirouettes
in the middle of the dairy aisle.

13. They help me carry the groceries in.

14. I can use logic with them. And every once in awhile it actually works.

15. Did I mention they
sleep
?

I share all of this with you now not to brag (OK, maybe to brag just a little, but hey, I’m a mother. It’s in the job description), but to say that It. Gets. Better. Within a few short years, parenting will no long require you to be in constant physical motion. It will no longer require you to keep your head on a swivel, and your radar dialed up to 10 every waking minute. You will no longer have to stand up off the couch that you finally just sat down on every single time your child needs something.

In just a few short years, you won’t be running this entire show on your own. Eventually, they will actually be able to do things for and with you. Your children will no longer be such little parasites (and I mean that in the most scientific way possible)–eventually you will have a sympathetic relationship with them. You will become a team and it will be awesome.

Hang in there, you weary mamas and papas. It gets better. I promise. And one day you, too, will be able to shower. Alone. When the kids are in the house.


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