So I just watched this great video on TED.com about the 4 Parenting Taboos. (http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/rufus_griscom_alisa_volkman_let_s_talk_parenting_taboos.html) It was a presentation about how the media machine that feeds us all of those joyous images of happy, smiling kids and parents, frolicking on beaches together is greatly misleading to those of us that are not so much frolicking on beaches but more in the trenches, surrounded by mud, in the rain, with bombs exploding everywhere.
And it always smells like poop....
I've kind of made it a personal mission of mine to shout from the rooftops the disparity between the Cosby Show and the Skippy Peanut butter commercials and the real life of real parents. It is my hope that my shouting from rooftops (ok, exaggeration... I'm being DRAMATIC again...Sorry Mom...) will keep some new parents from flinging themselves from those rooftops once they discover the reality... (or worse, flinging their children from various elevated surfaces...)
They talked about the 4 taboo subjects of parenting which I will talk about in several posts:
Number one: You may not fall in love with your baby right away.
Well, I wish someone had told me this when I had my first child. I remember looking at her in the bassinet after birth and feeling only what I can describe as a sickening sense of doom... like "Dear God, look at what you've gone and done now...this is not like growing your own broccoli sprouts, you can't give up the project after three days..." I realized I can't take her back, I was now responsible for another human life..I am going to be the source of someone's MOMMY ISSUES! I was numb for many weeks after this, and I didn't leave the house much. This was a shameful secret to me, no one had mentioned that this may happen, that it was normal. I would paste on the bright smile and give Oscar worthy performances of how happy I was when people asked how it was going. I remember the very first time anyone had given me the slightest hint that it didn't have to be all rainbows and butterflies all of the time... A friend that I hadn't seen in a while dropped in and asked me how I was doing and I gave he requisite perky, "mother in heaven" reply. "Really?" she said, "that wasn't the way it was with me at all... I had trouble bonding."
WHAT? Trouble bonding...."Tell me what you mean..." I asked, unbelievingly... I felt like an alien imposter on earth, trying to blend in with the masses..only to discover that I was not alone, that there was someone else here from my home planet.. In my head I was all like... "There are others like our kind.....?" She described a scenario similar to that which I was currently experiencing. I can't even begin to tell you how that moment changed my life...(drama alert). But seriously...I was shocked. And to top it all off...she didn't even seem to harbor the deep sense of shame that ensures that real parenting facts will never trump the glossy images of contented, well coiffed, comfortably rested families. After that, I began to tentatively talk about how hard it was, and my feeling of being detached. Luckily, things improved...
I remember the exact moment when the wave of love hit me, and it was when she was about 2 months old, and I was looking at her in her crib and I realized that I was in love with her, not just that I loved her, but it was like falling in romantic love for the first time. I started to cry and snottily apologized to her tiny face for not feeling it all the way before. After that parenting was still hard, but I found myself looking forward to coming home to see her and missing her terribly when she was gone and a strange physical yearning I had to be close to her when she was visiting with her grandparents..
Ahem, attention grandparents... I am now over it, so if you want to take Miss Attitude now for extended stays... you'll brook no argument from me....... just saying.