The other day, my dear friend Amy and her family were over for dinner. They’ve got three kids who fit right in between the ages of ours and our oldest girls are besties. We love getting together because we can just manhandle the craziness and the more the merrier and everybody loves chaos and sometimes we drink. Also, my sister-in-law happened to be over that night as well.
So, house full of people is what I’m saying.
Y’all, it was so fun. Because I’m a secret communist or because I’m dedicated to dorm life or something, we’ve got all the kids’ beds in one room leaving the extra bedroom as a dressing/play room and it. is. awesome. All the kids played semi-nicely upstairs. The grown-ups had real conversations and we ate pizza and it was great.
Until we heard a little voice yell, “Jovi just threw up!”
And, sure enough, she did. Poor kid stood right at the top of the stairs and just yakked straight down ’em. To say it was epic would not do it justice. It was a masterpiece.
And as Amy and I were cleaning vomit off of every stair in my house, she looked at me and said, “You know, you think you’re going to have this little baby and it’ll be so snuggly and sweet… But nobody tells you that your baby is going to turn five and throw up down the stairs at your friend’s house.”
And we both laughed like maniacs because it’s totally true. And also, when you’re cleaning puke, you might as well laugh ’cause what choice do you have?
The good news is, my stairs got cleaned for the first time since I’ve lived in this house. So, that’s a thing.
And I’ve been thinking a lot about the things they don’t tell you…
Like, nobody tells you about how little boys grab their junk from day one. That happens, guys, it’s weird.
And nobody tells you that someday you’ll be struggling to teach your daughter how to squat and pee because the dang bathroom at the park is locked. And wow, is it hard to teach someone how to squat to pee. It does not come naturally, unlike junk grabbing, apparently.
When they hand you your darling baby boy and tell you to take him home from the hospital, nobody tells you that someday (presumably after you’ve boasted to the internet that he’s knocking potty training out of the park) he’ll alert you to the fact that he’s pooped his pants…right as you’re changing the baby’s diaper. You won’t think this is that big of a deal until you see said poop running down his leg and onto your couch (damn you to hell, Burger King nuggets). They don’t tell you that this will happen when you have a friend over.
But here’s the thing. When they hand you that baby and they tell you he’s yours, they also don’t tell you that you’re in the club now. You’re part of the larger fraternity of parenthood and we are tight-knit bunch. They don’t tell you that, if you play your cards right, you’ll be able to seek out some like-minded compatriots who will be there for all the other stuff they don’t tell you about.
So, sure. They don’t tell you that your kid is going to puke in public or poop on the couch when you have company…but they also don’t tell you that you’ll have somebody to commiserate. If you’re lucky, you’ll have someone right there with you, elbow deep in vomit. You’ll have a buddy who brings you coffee and then cleans poop off of your couch unasked while you scrub your kid upstairs. You’ll have someone you can text at 3 am to ask how to get horrifying stains out of microfiber or to message about how comfort nursing is making your skin crawl. They don’t tell you you’ll have brothers in arms, but you will. You totally will.
Which is good, because they also don’t tell you that while you let the Mad Pooper soak in the tub so you can run to check on the couch, he’ll poop in there, too. When you discover that monstrosity, the little guy will say, “Look, Mama! I made you coffee!”