There are many moments in the time spent raising children that hold a special place in your memory. These monumental circumstances stand out as special, and the imprint of each accomplishment is stamped on the pages of your heart.
Baby books are wonderful and pictures are great too, but some instances just stick out even if you never document their occurrence.
I was recently going over some school work with my four year old when I was confronted by a moment of clarity and understanding. It became crystal clear to me in that situation just how dramatically my life had changed. This epiphany came in the form of poo.
“What sound does the letter T make?” I asked my preschooler.
But before she could answer a tiny, musical voice from my right exclaimed, “Poop Mom!”
And there at my feet stood my darling toddler daughter.
“What baby?” I asked.
“Poopoo.” She replied. And then as if in clarification she held out her right hand to me.
Adorable, chubby fingers reached for me. On the end of these fat little digits rested a pale green substance that resembled the clay I used to have in my kindergarten class.
Naturally I smelled it; after all it’s possible it could have been clay.
“Poop!” She proclaimed proudly. “Me poop!” And my olfactory senses proved it to be true.
I realized then that so many changes occur to your life when you become a parent. You learn how to function on little to no sleep. You experience a deep, unconditional love that you never even realized you were capable of having for another human being. And then you realize doodoo is not a big deal.
You learn how to not sweat the little stuff, how to keep your cool, and situations take on a different light than that they held before.
A clean freak becomes somewhat comfortable with dust, dirty dishes, and chaos galore. A pristine appearance and stylish garb seem unimportant when compared to the joy of slobbery kisses and chocolate-covered hugs. Fevers stop being as frightening and wiping runny noses becomes a common past-time.
Being habitually late just starts being the norm, and cereal for dinner is A-ok. You try to catch vomit in your hand, and you barely bat an eye over pee on the rug. And doodoo is no big deal.
“Come on baby. Let’s go wash your hands.” I said calmly, scooping up my toddler before she could finger paint with her green goo.
I secured a fat wrist in my grasp, and just in the nick of time. “No baby. Don’t put your hand in your mouth.” And straight to the sink we went.
I still use antibacterial soap. Thank goodness. I still worry, and I still pray, pray, pray. But I also let some things go. I’ve come to realize that some things just aren’t that big of a deal anymore. Like doodoo, they just happen.