Monday, February 25, 2008

Parenthood Lesson #1

You THINK you know but you have NO idea.

A year ago this time we had no idea that our world was about to be turned upside down. We were too busy at Nordstroms buying overpriced Ralph Lauren sweatsuits for newborns to have any inkling of what we were in for. We were registering for baby gadgets like they were going out of style - wipe warmers with nightlights and rubber duckies with temperature guages. Coordinating 'sugar plum' bedding ensembles and room decor. The comforter, bumper, sheets, rugs, nightlight, picture frame, hamper and dust ruffle MUST all match. They just must. We needed crib ipod speakers, pink of course. We (and by 'we' I mean 'me') were ordering special letters off the internet that spelled her name in pretty swervy letters. We bought paint to paint them purple. Yes, last year this time, we were scouring home depot for the perfect hue for a baby girl's room. Pink...or purple...but not TOO obviously girly pink or purple. Subtle, but enough to know its still pink or purple. AND match the 'sugar plum' decor. We were subscribing to magazines by the dozen: Pregnancy, Fit Pregnancy, Parents, Parenting, Parenthood, American Baby, Babyzone, Kiwi and Cookie. We cut out articles, pictures of nurseries, baby furniture and toys. We put them in clear plastic report covers and put them in binders. We had the binders separated by dividers broken down by subject - development, feeding, furniture, toys, registry etc. We were buying baby books and even reading some them! Reading them with the voracity of a deranged librarian on speed! Don't know what to expect when you're expecting? There's a book for that. Don't know what to expect the first year? Got a book for that. Don't know what to expect the toddler years? One for that too. Got books for daddies having daughters and mommies who work, new parents books, parenting style books, books for African-American parents. We were nervous, but we were EXCITED! We were going to be parents! Not just parents but the BEST parents E-V-E-R.

A year later...

I have no idea where those binders are. I have used the crib speakers twice, the second time was today. The magazines are STILL COMING and adding to the piles and piles of mail stacked on the dining room table. And as for what to expect when you're expecting? Well...let's just say its a hoax because no one, NO ONE can anticipate that. And so began my intro into parenthood and my first lesson learned (of many to come):
Rule #1 - Tabula Rasa: Blank Slate. Come to parenthood with no expectations, no assumptions, no rules; whatever you think you know, throw it out the window and start with a blank slate.

Welcome to the world little Miss Amina Sahar.

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