Moments in parenting incompetence: an introduction

There are moments in life when you realize you really don’t have a clue what you’re doing. For me, it’s typically just as I’m feeling particularly accomplished or even complacent. “Oh yeah, I’ve got this!” (Pats self on back.) “Oh wait, no…”

These moments happen frequently enough in my household that they deserve an ongoing place on this blog. And so I present for your enjoyment the first two Moments in Parenting Incompetence on Motherhood and All the Rest.

Incompetence 1

1: It’s a special moment with the baby. He’s just nursed and we’re playing on the couch, just the two of us. We gaze lovingly into each other’s eyes as the fall sunshine warms our skin through the big front window. He’s smiling, I’m smiling. Our connection is perfect. I raise him up into the air and he gurgles happily. I raise him up again and he chuckles. And then he barfs into my mouth. I guess it wasn’t a great idea to be bouncing the baby right after a feed.

2: For once, I am cooking dinner in peace. The baby is finishing his last nap of the day and the toddler is playing quietly in the living room. That’s right, he’s playing quietly. You see, the night before I had been inspired by this list of activities to keep toddlers busy. So to buy myself some uninterrupted dinner-making time, I set up a pile of coloured pom poms with coordinating coloured construction paper and some cardboard tubes, and demonstrate how to drop the pom poms through the tubes onto the coloured paper. He begins to do so happily and I retreat to the kitchen with pride. What an enriching play experience! He is learning colours and improving his dexterity! He is quiet! I am not burning dinner! Except that 20 minutes later he calls me excitedly to come see what he is doing and I discover that the entire time he has been stuffing the pom poms down the vents.

Stay tuned… there will be more incompetence.


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