A Public Service Announcement

I’ve been sitting on this post for a while. Debating on whether I should even put it out there. It’s got some unflattering pictures (not referring to the baby) but the more difficult part to reconcile is the truth it contains. I don’t know if you’re ready for it, but I feel a tremendous sense of obligation to pass this on.

Here’s a picture of me looking amazed at a baby:

Little O!

This is a CUTE baby. We didn’t even have to lie to her parents about that; it’s true. I think she’s awesome. She has tater-tot feet and she wears mittens.

I was surprised that when CC and I got married, people began asking me when we were going to have kids.

Me: We have five kids. I think we’re good.

Them: No, I mean your own kids.

Yeah. Because I’m so on top of everything, so incredibly organized and overloaded with resources such as money, time, and patience, that I think what’s truly missing in our lives, with our five kids and two dogs, is an infant.

Nevermind the best twelve bucks CC ever spent.

Nevermind the insult both to me and the kids.

I’m going to tell you something about babies. Something that no one is talking about. It’s the Big Secret About Babies that isn’t discussed in polite company. I already told Little O’s parents, so they knew from way back. My sister, who will be giving birth any second now, knows this truth because it’s already happened to her twice.

We’re talking way beyond narcolepsy, drooling and poop. Lots of people go into the baby thing not knowing this part and they’re shocked when it happens to them. There’s a conspiracy of silence around parenthood that prevents most people from talking about it. The advantage of being a stepmom and jumping in right in the middle is that you don’t have built-in fairy tale fantasies about your babies. You’re faced with stark reality from the very first day. I’m objective. That’s why ima tell you this now.

The best you can hope for, and this is only if you are very, very lucky, is this:

Folks, babies turn into teenagers.

I am not making this up.

You’re welcome.


26 thoughts on “A Public Service Announcement

  1. Lol so true. I have 3 step kids all teens. I tell people when they ask me THAT question that I have an “instant family”, just add water…and cereal, and milk, and bread and… 😛

  2. Noooooo! My friends who have teens all warn me it’s the most difficult stage to deal with, but I prefer to just live in denial. (even though my almost 9 year old is already full of “whatever, Mom”s and is brilliant at eye-rolling/smirking.

  3. My lovelies, who I renamed suspect #1 and Suspect #2 were captured by the drug scene. Hey this is Miami. It was very ugly. I hope it does not happen to you or your parent commenters.

  4. I had three teenagers. One of them learned (first hand) that the back doors of police cars can’t be opened from the inside – our experimental teen. One of them made me Mother’s Day breakfast right after I caught her sneaking home at 6 AM – our quick thinking teen. And one of them got very sick just as she was entering the latter teen years – our hurt and angry teen.
    My best advice for living with a teen – keep telling them that your one and only (shared) goal is to teach them how to live well on their own, as soon as possible. School, chores, responsibility, accountability – all designed to get them out the door and be a success in the real world!

  5. You should have posted this about 7 years ago BEFORE I had my first! Or, for some of us really luck folk, our precious baby girls turn in to 4 year old drama-attitudinal queens.

  6. Truer words have never been spoken. Thank you for being brave enough to post the truth!

    I am a high-school teacher. Best birth control, EVER!

  7. I always wondered what people were thinking when they asked me if we were going to have a child that was “ours”, as if our current children weren’t good enough so we should try to have a better one. Eegh.

  8. And I have a 16, 13, 10 and 8 arriving………… OK, girding the loins!

    I agree – very insulting to you and the children. Sometimes people do not think. Sometimes people fail to realise we can love chidlren just as much whether we gave birth to them or not.

  9. The other thing nobody tells you about before you have a kid is the part where you come home from the hospital, exhausted and in pain, your ladyparts held together with the 22 stitches the obstetrician put in while your epidural was wearing off, and all of a sudden you’re responsible for that most helpless of all God’s creatures: the human infant.

    This is why people are encouraging you to have your own kids. It’s not fair that you got to skip that step.

  10. This morning C, M, and little O were reading your blog (yes…little O can read at the ripe age of 5 weeks old…she’s so advanced). Little O full on cackled at your announcement. Apparently she can’t wait to torture us.

  11. Hilarious, again. I’d probably respond to the “your own” kids comment with something polite like, they ARE “our own” kids, jerkface. Now mind “your own” business.

    Also, I have three girls. Why did no one make this revelation to me before? Now I’m going to have three teenage girls on my hands and I’m caught totally unawares.

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