I was determined to never be one of those parents. You know the type: the one who's child screams in the middle of an aisle at a store, or the one who's child keeps wiggling out of their seat in the restaurant, or the one who's child walks around with food on their little face, mud on their shirt, or a diaper hanging down to their tiny knees, all the while snot is running out of their nose.
I would often look at those parents in great scrutiny and judgement. I was young, thus I knew everything. I knew how to raise the perfect children I did not yet have. I was a better mom than those naive parents who actually had kids, and I would never let my offspring get away with public crying or snotty noses.
So, when my first little angel was born, I thought it would be smooth sailing, and I was ready to put my mad skills to the test. But when Abie started to grow up and get older, she began to think her own thoughts and gain her own mind. I started to feel challenged. A little while later, Millie came along. Our second little angel never had to develop a mind of her own, for she was born with one. It was then that something happened to me: I started losing my own mind...
Millie would scream in the middle of an aisle at a store. One of the girls would wiggle out of her seat in a restaurant, while the other one cheered her on with loud exclamations of delight. There was often food stuck to the itty- bitty corners of at least one mouth, and don't get me started with the trailing diapers and the runny snot... I started to think: Lord help me- I am one of those parents!"
I see now that I had greatly miscalculated how much sympathy, empathy, compassion, and patience it takes to raise a child. These last 4 1/2 years (since becoming a real parent) have given me a change of heart. The truth is, I have forgotten that I once knew everything, and now I am just learning as I go. I am in a never ending cycle of learning! I am just another one of those naive parents who actually have children! I don't know much at all.
I am lucky if my girls get their naps every day, their baths every two, and their room cleaned every three! Now I look at parents with a screaming, wiggling, snotty-nosed child, and feel pity for them, while at the same time I feel lucky that it is not my child doing the screaming. This time.
There are times that all I can do is bury my head in shame, and there are times when I hold my head up high with pride. I am a parent. Yes, I am one of those parents.