I feel I must present the flip-side to the list I made last month of the most frustrating aspects of parenting because, in truth, the good stuff far outweighs the bad…it is just sometimes easier and funnier to write about the bad.
But, really, there are reasons that people choose to have children despite the biting and the pooping and all the rest. Here are the top ten in my book:
10. The first time the kid smiles at you. A real smile, one that you know isn’t just because of gas or a muscle twitch. The first smile is magic.
9. The baby belly laugh. There is a reason that “baby laughing” will bring you a slew of results if you use it as a search term on Youtube. Babies laughing are the best: joyful, drooling, belly shaking.
8. The baby sleeping on your chest/your partner’s chest. Sigh. Nothing is more cozy than a sleeping baby cuddled under your chin. You can smell their distinct baby smell and hear the soft little sighs. It is heaven. A close second is watching my husband with our sleeping child on his chest. Heart explodingly tender (see above photo).
7. Your kid starting to love things you love. Mr.Monkey and I are both word people. We love to write and we love to read. We’ve always read to the kid a lot but now he is starting to want to “read” on his own, which is fun to see. The other day he snuck up to our room so he could get under the covers and read on the big bed, which is one of my favorite things in the world to do.
6. Watching your kid learn is amazing. Kids are natural born scientist and it is really cool watching them experiment and try and try and try again until they figure out how to do something.
5. The first time they say “mama” or “papa”.
4. The joyful reunion factor. Nobody has ever been more excited to see me than my kid is every time I come home. I suspect it is the human equivalent of having a puppy.
3. The playing on their own stage. I enjoy (mostly) playing with my kid but I am kind of loving the kid’s newest phase in which he likes to play with his Thomas trains by himself. A mom can only stand so much Thomas before she is hoping for a massive train derailment, you know?
2. Kids are freaking funny. My son is suddenly very aware of his farts and has to point them out every time they happen (“My bottom makes a noise! Big noise! Like a trumpet!”) and because I am still basically a 12-year-old I find this totally amusing.
1. The love. I know this is like the sappiest post ever but, seriously, I love this kid in a fierce and profound and ever-expanding way. It is like nothing else I know (and I am crazy in love with my husband, this is just different).