We all know that being a parent is no joke. It is guaranteed that no one is a perfect human-being. When your baby is born, he is essentially a teddy bear. As he develops, he becomes a human. That means he has opinions, the wherewithal to voice those opinions, and the mobility to fight for them. The most important thing to realize is that you, as a human, are no different. We remember the mistakes we made growing up and the hell we put our own parents through. I expect nothing less from my own child.
Still, parents of older children have an incredibly bad habit of telling you just how much your now-perfect teddy bear baby will drive you crazy when he reaches the age of ____ (fill in the blank). This is incredibly rude, pessimistic, and down-right maddening. I really, really don’t want to hear this information. When the time comes, I will deal with the challenges.
All of the Doomsday conversations are the same. They begin like this:
*Rude person sees a picture of your adorable baby*
Rude person: “Wow, look at those cheeks! He’s sooo cute!!”
You: “I know, he is perfectly adorable.”
Rude Person: “Well, don’t get used to it. You just wait till he’s 12. He won’t listen! He might be a good kid, but he will make bad decisions around other bad kids!”
And then the conversation spirals out of control as the parent of the older hellion relives every bad thing their child recently went through.
You will find yourself thinking: “Okay, just stop talking. Please, stop talking!” Because, guess what? I know you’re not talking about my baby. You are talking about your baby, and the human he grew up to be. The problems my child will face may or may not be the same, but either way, it doesn’t matter to me right now. Right now, my baby smiles and coos and laughs and cries and eats and eats and eats some more. Right now, the biggest challenge I face is waking up every two hours to feed and comfort the teething baby. Right now, I am in the sweet spot of baby love, and I am choosing to enjoy every minute of it. I am not under any delusion that my baby won’t one day be challenging. I am not only expecting, but planning, that the day will come when he gets into trouble. So no, I absolutely do not need you to tell me that he won’t be a perfect baby forever. To speak about the shit-shows I have looming in my future is simply unnecessary.
I encourage you to be strong in the face of the negativity, no matter the situation. I believe the greatest part of being a parent is to be present and witness the magic of your child as he is today. I aim to be positive and joyful about my child and appreciate him for the gift he is. Today, my baby is seven-months old. He is happy as a clam, hanging out in his sleep sack in the crib while I get ready for work. And that’s it! I’m sure that at the end of the day, even the Rude Person sees the perfection and magic residing in their own child.