Sitting here looking out at my living room, I’ve decided that there are certain aspects of life that causes any outsider to know that you are a parent. Parents know exactly what I mean. Life used to be different before kids come along; usually things were put where they belong.
Then as the days, months, and years pass, as a parent you realize that there are some battles not worth fighting. Some of the things that I’ve noticed make my hair stand on end, but I’m slowly learning to get over it. Some things only make my heart expand with more love.
- Your living room looks like there was a small toy war going on most of the day and now they’re just bodies ready to be picked up and thrown back in to the bin. The worst being the mega blocks. Hard suckers that get you long after the battle is over.
- The high chair turning in a pot for soup. Not the soup that you’ve cooked and given to your child, but the soup that he has decided to make all on his own. Which consists of water, various vegetables, breaded fish, and macaroni and cheese. Just to name a few.
- Said “soup” landing on the floor in a perfect puddle. Not the first puddle of the day that you’ve had to wipe up and shake your head at the treatment of your poor floor that can’t even stand up for itself.
- The smile that you see afterwards, with hair full of food and clothes half destroyed (and you think about the next pile of laundry).
- A carpet covered in various forms of chips, cookies, crackers, apples, bananas, and whatever else your child decided was the snack of the day. Then wondering if the carpet you have can be steam cleaned because all you can picture are the small bacteria making a living in it.
- Watching your toddler hide behind anything he can find to get away from the vacuum cleaner that had to make an appearance to help clean up the aforementioned crumbs of food. Trying to comfort him the best you can after you notice he’s absolutely shaking with fear.
- A very messy and wet bathroom after bath time, with toys littering the floor. Along with the bubbles that are still sticking to his chin from dunking his face in. The smile that curves his lips as he notices you smiling at him.
- Fighting with a little human over diapers and clothing because who needs clothes? Chasing that little butt around as soap suds are soaking the vacuumed carpet. The laugh you get when he knows that he barely made it past you at a run.
In the end, you know you’re a parent when someone looks at you with unconditional love. No matter what type of parent you think you are, good or bad, to them you are their world. You are their everything.
It is the smiles, laughter, the running around naked because he doesn’t want a diaper, the cries over sleep, all the good and bad that make you know you’re a parent.