I need to update my Instagram profile. You see, right now, my Instagram account is described as “mostly pictures of stuff I eat.” That’s just a lie. When I joined Instagram, I was a fun-loving twentysomething with no kids living in Manhattan with tons of free time to go out to meals and photograph my food. Now, not only do I barely have time to feed myself in the mornings, let alone throw together something worthy of the Valencia filter, but my Instagram feed is 99% photos of my children.
Looking at the previous life I had on social media got me thinking about what else has changed, specifically phrases that never entered my vernacular until I had kids. I could fill a book with these, but here is a small smattering of the patently ridiculous and completely real words that have come out of my mouth recently:
“We don’t pee on garbage cans.”
My 3 1/2-year-old is embracing his newly found potty training prowess by marking his territory on every surface in Northern California. I had to intercept calls from his preschool to tell me that he is peeing in a lot of places he’s not supposed to. I have two boys, and I never thought this would be my life. We are still working on it.
“If less than a third of this outfit is covered in spit up, let it ride.”
As a second time mom, I’ve started to come to the conclusion that the incessant wardrobe changes I dealt with when I had my first were just not practical for my second. I don’t have the time or energy to be rolling three outfits deep whenever I leave the house. My little man is what they call a “happy spitter,” which means that I get a small return of milk pretty much very time I feed him, but it doesn’t bother him at all. As a result, I have instituted this little rule of thumb. Incidentally, this applies to my own clothes as well.
“We hug gentle, and we stay away from the face.”
My older son absolutely loves his little brother. He calls him “my baby,” but this also comes with its own unique set of challenges. Mainly that I now have to prevent him from literally loving his brother to death. His go-to move is to smother the baby’s face with a hug or wave heavy toys precariously close to his bro’s chubby cheeks. I’m looking forward to the day when I can leave the two of them together for more than a split second without worrying. Of course, I’m sure that will turn into an all out brawl for toys, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.
“If you stay in your bed, I’ll let you eat chocolate for breakfast.”
Ah, negotiating with terrorists. My oldest child has newly discovered that going to sleep causes FOMO. So getting him to bed has become a 60-minute ordeal, if we are lucky. We now have to resort to bribery in order to get him to lay down long enough to realize how exhausted he is. The irony here is that I would literally pay somebody, like, a lot of money to let me go to sleep at 7 PM and stay in bed all night. Why doesn’t he understand what a luxury sleeping is?
Of course, everyone tells me that these early years go by super fast and to enjoy them, and I do for the most part, but shouting at the top of my lungs in a public park to urge my toddler to keep his hands out of his pants sure doesn’t feel like the idyllic childhood that people are referring to. Regardless, I’m sure I will miss uttering these phrases one day, and maybe when the kids are a bit older I’ll go back to Instagramming my food.