A Whole New World

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/freedigitalphotos.net

I’ve heard people compare a newborn’s experience in this world to that of a person who travels and assimilates into a foreign country. For babies, there is a new language to learn and new customs to follow, but eventually they become familiar with it all. Well, I think the same can be said for new parents, that having a baby immediately transports you to what seems like a new planet and you find yourself learning and doing things you never imagined knowing or doing!

It occurred to me the other day that I now possess knowledge of a whole new set of vocabulary, words that unfortunately don’t make me sound more intellectual. Let me give you some examples: boppy, ergo, bumbo and bjorn. Google those words and you’ll see various baby products, all of which are supposed to make a parent’s life easier.  My brain also has a new compartment for all the sleep theories I’ve read up on – those by Dr. Sears, Dr. Ferber and Dr. Karp, to name a few. And I’m sure every new parent can recite the 5 S’s for calming a crying baby: shushing, swinging, swaddling, sucking and sighing – hm, actually that last one may be what parents end up doing when the first four don’t work! It’s no wonder my memory isn’t what it used to be because my brain is now full of baby lingo, baby concepts and anything else having to do with babies.
It’s interesting how being a parent changes your views on what’s important. One thing I never got excited about before I had kids was poo. Yes, you read that right. But poo was one of the things that hubby and I were so happy and relieved to see that first week after E was born because it meant his jaundice was getting better! And that was the same kind of excitement that I felt when both E and C poo’d in the potty for the first time! I even took pictures of those momentous occasions (gross, I know) so I could have proof that all the countless times of rushing back and forth to the bathroom had paid off! If you had told me before that bowel movements would mean so much to me, I would have asked you, “What planet are you from?!”  I can safely say that I have been assimilated into parenting’s strange ways. 🙂
So, it’s been 5 and a half years since I arrived in this brave new world. Sometimes it feels like I’ve been a part of an alien invasion and my mind and body have been taken captive by these small beings who showed up one day. It’s crazy how everything changes once you become a parent. But what was once strange and foreign seems normal and familiar now. And what was once a whole new world (of parenthood) is now a place I can call “home”.
It seems only fitting to include the song, “A Whole New World” (sung here by Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle) from the movie Aladdin for this post. 🙂
What have you discovered since entering this whole new world of parenting?