The other day I was giving my daughter some lunch and she decided to put a spoonful of applesauce in her hair. She then waved the spoon around so that the remnants of the applesauce landed on me and the blinds covering the window. Ah, the joys of eating with a toddler. As I wiped the fruit off my shirt, I sighed. And then I thought of her. This random woman that I met at a mutual friend’s child’s birthday party. (Wow, say that 3 times fast…)
This woman was five months pregnant at the time. I’m not sure how the conversation even began, but she was talking about how much she hates when parents can’t control their babies crying. Especially in restaurants. Apparently the night before, this mom-to-be and her husband had gone out to dinner. And a baby cried. And she lost her mind.
I tried to gently explain with all my new mom wisdom, that ummmmmm…. babies cry. It’s what they do. And then she proceeded to inform me that her baby will not cry. Her jaw was resolute and she didn’t bat an eyelash.
I then tried to let her know that babies don’t really listen to reason and that crying will ensue, whether you want it to or not. The jaw became even more truculent, and she looked me square in the face and said, “Nope, not my kid.”
I thought about this woman as I was wiping fruit splatters off the vertical binds. Her child must be at least a year old by now. I wonder how that “no crying in baseball” policy worked out for her. Did she soon realize the error in her thinking or did she try to reason with her baby… arguing her case to an infant who wears mittens on their hands in order to not scratch themselves?
I wondered if she learned the secret of parenthood. That life plays a joke on your best-laid plans where children are concerned. An all-the-time perfectly clean home, always well-behaved children, and dinner served promptly every night at six p.m., are fantasies that will not ever come to fruition. As is the case with a “no-crying” baby.
I hope that woman figured things out. I hope she realized that being a parent can try your patience. But it can pull at your heartstrings just the same. And when your child is throwing a tantrum because, I don’t know, its Wednesday… know that parenthood is truly an endurance sport. There will be days of hugs and love and days of crying and whining. Remember the hugs when the applesauce starts congealing, and you’ll be fine.