It is early in the morning, early enough you are not ready to get out of bed just yet. You roll over and attempt to drift back to sleep when you hear the sound you are always listening for as a parent. The little one in the next room over is making noise. So you focus and try to determine if this is “rustling around but still asleep” noise or “looking for those big people why aren’t they here” noise. The babbling tells you it is the second option so you hop out of bed and head to scoop up the little one. As you pick them up you realize if you play your cards just right you can snuggle up back in your bed and they will probably fall back asleep. You move swiftly, as to not lose that window of opportunity, and crawl back into bed with the little one tucked in your arm making sure you wrap up in the blankets to aid in putting them back to sleep.
For a while this works, but a little one is a ball of kinetic energy, they want to move. Still you can get away with letting them play in your arms. They laugh, poke at your face, and do only what a small one will do when confined to a small space. You decide it is time to wake up when they look at you with those little eyes and you smile and you know everything will, suddenly pain lights up your head. Your head falls back to your pillow and you see stars brighter than you have ever seen before. Faintly through all the pain and swirling stars you hear, laughing. The little one just firmly planted their forehead right between your eyes and they are laughing. As you regain your focus you see the smiling face and those bright little eyes looking at you and you can’t be upset so laugh along with them.
It is funny how painful parenting can really be. There are so many hazards you try to protect your children from throughout their lives, but you fail to see the hazards that lie ahead for you. I remember growing up seeing those videos on television where the kid hits the ball right back at the parent, or kicks the ball and hits the unsuspecting adult. What you don’t see are the times when you forget your kids are getting bigger and you pick them up the wrong way. You also don’t see it coming when you pick up your child and they spontaneously burst into a tantrum with their foot connecting with a body part that wasn’t meant to be kicked. I will recommend you pay close attention when you bend down to pick up your child as to where their head is in relation to your chin. If their head is under your chin there is a risk they will push off at the last second and your lower jaw will firmly be planted into the upper jaw. I would advise you not to lie down on the floor, face down after a meal. I know my kids have a tendency of thinking when I am face down on the floor that is a good time to jump on my back and play horse. I have managed not to throw up yet, but you will wish you didn’t eat as much as you had.
We all have seen that picture where the little one, son or daughter, is up on the shoulders of their parent and both are laughing. It’s is something we all want, that moment of pure joy between parent and child. So we hoist the little one up on our shoulders. Sure they are nervous at first and they wrap their arms around your head, but after a while they loosen up. You walk around and begin to feel like you are capturing that moment. Of course no matter what happens you have captured a special moment, but you are so excited you fail to feel the legs tense and suddenly your hair is in their hands and being yanked with all their might. I can’t help but laugh just thinking of how many times this has happened to me. At least in the summer time my head doesn’t get as hot any more since I am light a few dozen tufts of hair.
Discomfort is a natural part of life. Sure you have those times where you hold your child for so long that you back aches, or you try to stuff your self in a small space just to play hideout. The smile on their face makes all that temporary discomfort worthwhile. You also experience pain because you are laughing so hard your face hurts and you can’t stand up straight, but you experience moments so surreal you never want to let them go. We have heard parents say this will hurt me more than you, now I know what they meant.