If anyone has ever told you that you can never prepare yourself enough to be a parent, it’s true.
I like to tell people, especially first time expectant parents, that Parenthood is more of an on-the-job training kind of thing. You can read loads of books and articles but at the end of the day, you can never guess the personality of your child. Your child is your on-the-job trainer and he or she will train you to do what it takes to be a parent.
Here are some things that children have trained parents to be and to do:
1. One Hand Diner
From the day you become a parent, you learn to eat with one hand. Cut the meat, put the knife down. Pick up the fork and eat the meat. Put the fork down, pick up the spoon and drink soup. All with one hand. What is the other hand doing? Carrying the baby (and eventually toddler) who refuses to be anywhere else but on you.
Not in the medical line? Not to worry. Once you become a parent, these medicine will not be foreign to you anymore. Zyrtec, paracetamol, ibuprofen, bio-gaia, immunped, and fluimucil are some names that you will be trained to know.
3. Be A Poop Expert
Let’s just say that once you become a parent, you will eventually learn to differentiate what healthy bowel movement and upset tummy poopoo look like.
4. Stop Ourselves From Using Curse Words
If you’re a person who has the habit of using certain less pleasant words, having a child trains you to find replacements for those words. This is especially true when you are driving and your child is in the backseat.
5. Be Excellent Toy Packers
With the 1001 big and small parts and toys come with, you learn to pack them into toy boxes like a jigsaw puzzle expert. This is especially true when you live in an apartment and you need to pack the toys so that you have space to walk.
6. Be An Amazing Treasure Hunter
That favourite toy that your child must have at bed time goes missing for the umpteenth in a day. You are looking for it again. How did it go missing? Your child was holding it but got distracted by something for a moment and drops that special toy. Suddenly, he remembers the toys but not the location he dropped it. It’s your job to find it, for the umpteenth.
Found it, for the umpteenth time today. You have achieved the status of expert treasure hunter.
7. Have Fast Reflexes
Your child has just learnt to crawl or walk and is wobbling all over the house. He almost knocks into the coffee table and you dive across the room to save him from a bad cut.
You are watching TV while seated on the couch and your baby is sitting next to you. Your eyes are glued on the TV screen but from the corner of your eye, you can see your baby leaning over and is about to fall off the couch. You lunge forward and save your baby from a bad fall and and a big cry.
Bet you never realized you could be this agile before you became a parent.
8. Be Ridiculously Strong
Sure, that 10kg packet of rice is super heavy and you struggle to carry it from the car to your house. Yet, carrying your 12kg kid for 30 minutes (or longer) straight is not an issue.
9. Know Many Nursery Rhymes
Before you became a parent, you probably already forgot how “itsy bitsy spider” goes. Now that you are a parent, you also know “the wheels on the bus”, “ring around the rosey”, “twinkle twinkle little star”, “old macdonald had a farm”, “once I caught a fish alive”, “Mary had a little lamb”, “humpty dumpty”, “row row row your boat”, “if you’re happy and you know it”, “rain rain go away” and many many more.
10. High Tolerance Of The Same Book/Show
By high tolerance, I mean the repetition of the same book or show. Every night, the children want the same book, even though you have read it for five consecutive days. Every night, the “Frozen” DVD is playing, same as the past five nights.
Until you try to introduce something new. If your child likes that something new, you will have that on repeat for a while too.
11. Superb At Counting
Parents are great at counting, especially from one to three or one to five. We count multiple times a day too.
“If you don’t stop playing now, you don’t get dessert. I’m going to start counting now. One… Two… Three… Four… Five!”
12. Be A Walking Encyclopedia
When your child achieves the big milestone of being able to ask questions, parents must have the answer to every single question children have. How, why, who, what when. We never realize how knowledgeable we are or how much we know until our children ask all those questions.
In some instances, we never realize well we can cook up stories until our children ask questions. (Hahaha…)
13. Function On Very Little Sleep
Your baby has been up since two in the morning and refused to sleep. She is finally asleep at 7am and you have a meeting at 9am. You survive the meeting and carries on the whole day until bedtime and the cycle repeats.
Bet you didn’t know you can function on that little amount of sleep.
14. To Fall Asleep Very Fast
The reason? Read point 13.
15. Sleep On Limited Bed Space
Your child has fallen asleep on your bed and instead of sleeping at just one side of the bed, he’s sleeping in the middle. You have no choice but to sleep at the little space at the side. And you sleep like that every night. Bet you didn’t know how little space you need for sleep, and how much space that small kid of yours need.
16. Change From A Deep Sleeper To A Light Sleeper
Before having a child, you can sleep so deep that your alarm clock can’t wake you. Ever since you became a parent, the slightest stir from your baby wakes you up. Thanks to the training your child has provided.
17. To Forgive No Matter How Angry We Are
Your child has spilled her drink again. She is throwing tantrums, again. She is refusing to share her toys. Our children can do so many things to make us so mad, but we forgive them and love them no matter what. This is probably the best thing our children train us to do.
What else has your children trained you to do?