On Five Years of Parenting

Vivian at 5

You will never forget the moment you first see your daughter.

You will grow along with her.

You will find you are capable of things you’ve never thought were possible.

You will discover just how well your body can function without sleep.

Which is to say, better than you expect.

You will cherish an hour’s extra lie-in.

You will find grandparents to be worth their weight in gold.

You’ll wonder how the hell they managed to cope.

You will be challenged to the core of your being. Your daughter will challenge you on the strangest things, fighting for every last inch of territory. Holding firm feels like fighting a ground war in Vietnam. Pick your battles.

When the subject of dirty diapers come up, people will look at you strangely and compare dirty diapers to toxic, radioactive waste. And you will laugh and laugh and laugh…

You will be constantly amazed at the amazing things she can do. Occasionally horrified.

She will surprise you.

She will learn to spell much quicker than you expect, and will figure out those words you’ve been spelling out in order to keep secrets from her.

She will surprise, frustrate, disappoint and, occasionally, delight you with her food choices.

You will be enormously frustrated when you tell her she doesn’t need to be scared of something, and she doesn’t believe you.

You’ll find that educational television comes in a wide range of programming, ranging from the remarkably astute, to the sly and subtle, to the hilariously funny. Unfortunately, she’ll fixate on Dora.

And seeing her bound up to the school bus and wave goodbye will break your heart.

Get used to it. There’s plenty more where that came from.

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