1. Bath Time is Awesome.
From the early days of washing them in the sink (or bucket or whatever other vessel is at hand) to experiencing their joyous splashing in the tub, nothing is more fun than bath time, and nothing in the world smells more heavenly than a freshly clean baby. Even the parts after bath are awesome—wrapping them up in a cuddly towel like a big burrito, smelling their hair as you comb through it, and getting those adorably cute pajamas on for bedtime are all sensory gold. In fact, the only time bath time is not awesome is when it’s been 2 hours and the kid still doesn’t want to get out of the tub.
2. The only thing routine about bedtime routine is that it’s never routine.
Bedtime is an emotional roller coaster. The first 15-20 minutes, when you’re tucking in, cuddling, reading stories, singing silly songs, are everything that is good about being a parent. But beware—these calm moments will lull you into a false sense of security, multiplying your pain a thousand fold for the next one to three hours while your demon spawn is suddenly “NOT TIRED!” and demanding treats, water, 75 more stories—basically anything to keep them from getting the sleep you know they so desperately need.
3. Privacy is a thing of the past.
Curiosity and a complete lack of any sort of sense of boundaries means that you are going to be seeing a LOT more of your toddler (and vice versa) than you probably ever anticipated.
4. The house will get trashed and your favorite things will be destroyed.
And this is ok. Material possessions become less important when compared to the sheer joy of watching your child develop, and a great anecdote is always more valuable than a new coat of paint.
5. Tea parties can actually be fun.
As can Legos, fire trucks, dollhouses, digging for worms, and eating imaginary food for the millionth time. Once you’ve come to terms with the fact that your opponent is ALWAYS going to cheat at Chutes n Ladders or that the tea party you’re currently attending is going to keep you from checking your email for the next 3 hours, it’s fun to just let go and enjoy these moments that will all too soon be nothing more than fond memories.
Dave Engledow is the author of Confessions of the World’s Best Father, a hilarious pictorial parody of a clueless father and his adorable daughter.
Happy Fathers Day!