Can I be honest for a minute? The thought that I could become a mother any day now, is kind of terrifying. There are all kinds of things that keep crossing my mind, like, how bad is this really gonna hurt? and, a little human being is going to come out of where? But aside from the typical labor/delivery fears are the everyday types of fears. So, in the same vein as one of my favorite pieces titled “Things That Make Me Feel Sexy But Shouldn’t,” I’ve decided to write about things that make me scared to be a mom but shouldn’t, partly in hopes that I will talk myself out of being such a pansy about the little things, but also to admit to myself that yes, I’m scared to be a mom, and yes, that’s okay and normal. Please, don’t judge my irrationality. I’m only human.
1. Teaching Lorelei how to brush her teeth: I had a flashback this morning of what kid toothpaste tastes like, and I almost threw up in the sink. How do I successfully convince my daughter that putting a gel-type substance on a brush and making it froth up in her mouth with water and spit is actually good for her? What if she fights back? What if I accidentally hurt her gums when I’m trying to show her how to brush up and down and side to side, etc.? It truly seems impossible to me, and I feel like I’m going to need to do tons of research before I am capable of teaching someone such an important part of everyday life. Have any of you done this before? I could use a little reassurance here that it’s not as hard as my brain thought it was this morning.
2. Teaching Lorelei how to talk: I still can’t comprehend how babies learn how to communicate. The English language is challenging for so many adults (editing hundreds of college students’ disastrous newspaper articles has made me lose hope in the intelligence levels of my peers), so how in the world can it be manageable for the small people under the age of three to learn tenses and other important grammatical things? I know that a lot of it comes from listening to others and mimicking them, but now I’m going to be super paranoid about using incorrect grammar around my daughter. Why does the world work this way? Why can’t babies be born with the ability to read and talk? Why does this terrify me, someone who loves words, so much? I feel like I should be excited about the chance to be responsible for someone else’s introduction to the English language, but instead I feel pressured to be a perfect example all of the time, and that’s a lot of pressure for someone my size! (And by “my size” I definitely mean my former size. I’m kind of large and in charge at the moment.) I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.
3. Too much TV: I am a serious TV addict. I turn it on as soon as I get home and watch it until I just can’t stay awake anymore, and thus I am appropriately terrified that I will pass this somewhat bad habit onto my child and she too will be dependent on TV forever. I’ve already decided that in order to avoid this I simply need to not have the TV on when she’s awake or hanging out with me, just so she doesn’t get too used to it being on all the time, but…I’m scared of what that will be like for me. Does that make me selfish? Should I be embarrassed of my love for TV? Is it Nickelodeon’s fault? Maybe Disney Channel’s? Dare I say my own parents’? All I know is that cutting down on TV might end up being the hardest thing I have to do as a parent. Wouldn’t I be so lucky? *Writer’s note: After writing this, I woke up the next morning to no cable. Our cable went out, and since we were accidentally getting it for free somehow there’s no way to fix it, and nobody wants to pay for it! I’m totally screwed. Or am I? Maybe this was the only way to get me to prevent myself from passing my TV addiction on to my daughter. Electricity works in mysterious ways, or, I totally jinxed myself.