(Disclaimer - Baby in photo may appear closer to tv than actual distance.)
I have a confession. Before I was a mom, I used to judge other moms. At the grocery store when a 2 year old screamed "GIVE ME MY CANDY!" I quietly thought to myself, "I'll give you some candy kid!!!"
Before I was a mom, when I saw a toddler with a pacifier, I thought, "another parent who can't say 'no'." Now, my toddler actually carries two pacifiers around the house, alternating them, stacking them on toys, and caring for the little faux nipples like they are mini friends, capable of conversation and feelings. When I try to hide the pacifiers in my purse or table, she will search, climb and destroy to get what she wants. Pacifiers are her baby heroin, and I dread the day we have the intervention, and admit Froggy to the Malibu nuk rehab clinic.
Before I had a child, when parents brought their restless kids to a restaurant, I would give them that look only people without kids give parents, it's the "uh, next time, order in," look.
Before I had a baby, I thought co-sleeping was just an excuse to avoid sex with your spouse. Now, I know it is. (just kidding.)
Before my child was born, when my friends felt guilty about going to a movie, or to dinner, I thought they were letting their children run their lives. Today I felt guilty about leaving Froggy with her dad while getting the car washed. Realistically, I know she's having a great time with her dad, but my psycho-mama brain says, "What if there's an earthquake and you can't get to her, or Daddy forgets to give her the iron and zinc at exactly 2:30pm, or Daddy falls asleep and Froggy figures out the safety latches on the cleaning supplies cupboard, and how to simultaneously push down on the bleach bottle top, while turning, and I come home to clean floors, but total anarchy!"
I never thought I would actually enjoy talking about strollers, sippy cups and bedtimes. Now, it's more fun than politics, and no one gets hurt.
Before Froggy was born and my mommy friends couldn't do something because it interfered with nap time, I thought they were a little cuckoo, and catering to their kids "schedules". Now, I understand that nap time is LAW. I would walk through fire, drink molten lava, donate a kidney to assure Froggy gets her nap at exactly the time she needs it. As a mom, I've learned that the window for nap time is so small, limited, fleeting and if you miss it, even a copacetic baby transforms into a monster-Chucky-doll-baby capable of high-pitched tantrums, bizarro body flailings, hunger strikes, and a household under baby sleep deprivation siege!
Phrases like, "use your indoor voice," or "use your words" or "play nice" used to drive me nuts. Okay they still do. If I ever say that, you have permission to call me a yuppie, slap my face and say, "Snap out of it!"
And before I had Froggy, I thought moms were pretty sappy, crying at any commercial with a baby, sobbing during the retelling of their baby's birth, finding every smile, laugh, sniffle, pout, toot, and gesture from their child as the most beautiful, fulfilling, and miraculous moment ever experienced on earth. I thought they were nuts. And I will never judge another mommy again. Because I am now the queen, the president, the reigning nutso mama, capable of anything I once promised I would never do.