1. Whining to supplement lack of language
You might not have words, but wow are you good at pointing to things you want and whining incessantly — or even better, picking a sound like MMMM! and repeating it endlessly whenever you are the least bit uncomfortable.
2. Throwing food
That was an amazing shot, son, landing that wet spaghetti behind the refrigerator! I was hoping we’d get roaches this summer. And who cares what I paid for this sweater? Yogurt enhances its color.
3. High-pitched screaming
Are you being stabbed? Has your skin literally caught fire? Has your entire family been murdered and the village you grew up in burned down? Oh, I see, you dropped your cracker and felt that a blood-curdling scream was the most appropriate response.
4. Sibling, er, prevention
It’s impossible to count how many quality erections are destroyed each year by toddlers waking up early or cutting naps short, but most experts place the number in the thousands-per-man-per-year range.
5. Bad timing
Wait, you’re still getting up ridiculously early, especially on weekends? That’s great because I was kinda, sorta interested in seeing who won the Australian Open. Live.
6. Draining finances
So that’s a “no” to both the new iPad and the latest Xbox game because we have to write a check to daycare? Okay, then. And I guess putting money into the 529 account is slightly more economically sound than that trip to Spain I’d envisioned.
7. Eliminating grown-up pop-culture cred
Who should have won an Oscar? Who knows? You don’t, and the last movie I saw in the theater was Wolverine. On the other hand, we’ve seen the whole second season of Yo Gabba Gabba.
8. Making the house look like insane people live in it
Toys, magazines, and clothes are strewn all over the floor; the drawers and cabinets are all locked; and people in bathrobes and pajamas are often found walking back and forth moaning for coffee. Oh, and that “cleanup, cleanup, everybody, everywhere” song? We don’t sound crazy singing that at all.
9. Ruining nice/important/sentimentally irreplaceable things
Yes, that picture frame had been in the family for years, but I understand that you needed to satisfy your teething urge with a piece of precious silver. No, really.
10. Exploring no-go zones
Oh, you thought it would be helpful to open up the diaper pail — what a wonderful smell you’ve released!
Looking forward to three days on the beach over the July 4th weekend? Guess who’s got diarrhea?!
12. Providing unintentional injuries
Hello to you, too! Next time, if you could do it without giving me a black eye, my coworkers won’t wonder if they should report Mommy to the authorities.
13. Providing intentional injuries
You know why I’m not going to bite you back? Because Mommy would kill me I’m the adult.
14. Climbing with little to no understanding of gravity
Because really, why would it hurt to fall off a coffee table? Or on one?
15. Ruining sports
Who wants to lounge all day eating Combos and watching football? Now, I might catch part of the third quarter as you climb on something, play with that really loud toy car my parents gave you, or need a diaper change.
16. Really loving repetition
The first few times you pretended to eat that fake piece of fruit I bought you? Adorable. The 30th time? Um, nope. Oh, goody, we’re going to sing “The Wheels On The Bus” now!
17. Traveling heavy
Going on a trip to see the in-laws? That’s at least four bags! Going to the playground for a half-hour? That’s two!
18. Being inflexible
“Sure, we’d love to make plans this Saturday. Here’s the thing: Jacob usually naps from 12-2, so we can have brunch early or meet for a late-afternoon coffee. But he didn’t sleep well last night, so he may go down for his nap early, so we’ll have to call you right before we leave to let you know when we’ll get there. And of course we need to back on the road by 6:00 to get home for dinner and bedtime. Does that work for you? We’re also available on Sunday at 6:00 a.m.”
19. Not being able to use the bathroom
I know you don’t get this, but every time I handle your poop, I feel a little dirtier. Every. Time.
20. Embarrassing parents
From pulling things off the grocery shelves to trying to strangle the boss’s 5-year-old daughter, you’ve really got this one down.
21. Secretly puking
That little stealth curdled-milk spot you left on my shoulder this morning? Made me real popular around the office.
22. Making time away a punishable offense
Yes, that’s right, last night included a sitter, dinner, wine, and maybe some more wine. I think I even made Mommy laugh. I’m sure I now deserve this 5:00 am screaming wake-up call.
Between the backwards head-thrust/back curl, the raised-arms shoulder-socket release, and the Martin-Luther-King-sit-in-on-the-sidewalk move, I am definitely learning how not to move you.
24. Being irreplaceable
So why am I still so excited to see you most days? A great mystery of mankind. Either that or you permanently damaged my short-term memory when you kicked me in the head.