The first year after A was born was one full of laughter, joy, sadness, madness, frustration, late nights and early mornings. A lot of learning took place, many jokes made us laugh and a lot of tears were wiped off. People came, people left, some understood, some didn’t.
1. I learned that my daughter is perfect.
2. I also learned that Alex was secretly hoping A would be a boy: “She is still a girl!” – that’s what he said the minute she was born.
3. I learned that babies cry when hungry (first night, 1:30AM). D’ohhh!
4. I also learned that big A was beautifully clueless, when he picked her up and asked the nurse: “Does she come with an instructions manual?” He then turned to me and said: “there is no return policy.”
5. I learned that the lack of sleep was cured every day by A. She was also responsible for it, oh, the irony.
6. We learned that there is no such a thing as whyismybabycrying.com
LATER EDIT: there is actually a satirical website: www.reasonsmysoniscrying.com – close enough.
7. I learned that big A can calm down little A. Very confident he picks her up, ironically looks at her, and gives her the bottle: “hai, na!” (can’t find a proper translation, sorry)
8. We learned that ignoring the baby, sometimes, is ok and it doesn’t necessarily makes us bad parents, some would say. We would, for sure. We were getting ready to go out, little A was crying, none of us had any kind of reaction, when Alex said: “are we just pretending we don’t have a baby now, or what?”
9. I learned that my husband clearly loves his daughter like no one else does. He was very excited and in love with his little one, I thought he’d say something cute. And he did. Ok, some would argue this: “Arrrgghhh, you’re so cute, I want to cuddle you so badly and throw you out the window”.
P.S.: No one got hurt after that statement was out. A is very well taken care of and no one can argue that.
P.P.S.: Big A is approaching different bonding methods now.
10. Alex learned that the tinier the ass, the bigger the trouble is. “Your butt cheeks are as big as two tangerines. How can you give me so much trouble with two tangerines?
11. We learned that perseverance leads to success. She finally said after multiple failed attempts: “îngî”.
12. I learned that Alex was actually a part-time dad:
I was cleaning one of the bathrooms, when Alex came and said: Your daughter is crying.
Me: Ok, so?
Alex: Well, she’s yours when she cries, not mine.
13. We learned that joking around saves lives. Little A was SCREAMING her lungs out when Alex calmly approached her: “Holy… did you forget your patience in your mom’s tummy?”
14. Alex learned to better communicate with his daughter. While A was a little fussy, he approached her and sais: “Andreea, your mom sent me over to ask you why you’re so moody.” He then proceeded to give her the pacifier and said: “There you go. I will use duct tape if I have to.” One second later: “No, Picia, I would never do that to you.” He then turned to me and said: “Don’t even think to put that in your stupid notes.”
Note: A didn’t take the paci. So we soon dropped that option.
15. We learned that having a cute baby helps. A was told: “you’re lucky you’re beautiful. If you were ugly and loud, we would’ve given you away to the neighbors. To the alcoholic one.” Note: No one was/is giving anyone away, mkey? All babies are beautiful. All people are, for that matter, but that’s beside the point.
16. The same day, we learned babies poop and pee wherever and whenever they want, such as the towel, right after bath. Yesterday I also learned that she’ll do it on the floor too if she has to.
17. I learned that “this can’t happen to me”, most of the time, is not true. While I was talking to her, after a tasty breastmilk meal, little A puked in my mouth. I found it very funny and given the scenario, I learned that my breastmilk was very tasty, sweet and fat.
18. Every morning, I used to sing to her: “Buna dimineata, te iubesc, Picia mea, de tine ma indragostesc” – “Good morning, I love you, my baby I’m falling in love with you”. Well, because baby was again crying out loud, Alex’s version was a little different: “Buna dimineata, te iubesc, taci din gura ca daca nu, te pleznesc” – “Good morning, I love you, shut up baby, otherwise I’ll slap you”.
Note: no one ever got slapped, no need to take it literally.
19. We also learned she looked a little like Woody, the pecker, so we started calling her that way. None of her grandparents were very happy with our nickname so we soon had to switch back to “Picia.”
Alex’s note: “not that soon, it took a while.”
20. We learned baby language and applied it in our day-to-day conversations with little A: “aaaah, oooohh, eeehhh.” And still apply it to this day. We even used “baby language” under the language category, when we filled out the 2016 census.
21. We learned that babies can laugh too.
22. We learned that, sometimes, they want to grow too fast.
23. We learned that A is able to do things on her own, such as having her bottle on her own. She was just too lazy to do it.
24. We learned that crawling is an exciting thing you’re looking forward to see your baby do, yet a sign that they want to grow and regardless of what you wish for, they will anyway.
25. Alex learned that, sometimes, I used to switch the monitor on mute, due to little’s A habit of talking around 4-5am. Alex: “bebe?” Me: “yes, yes, she is talking.” While he looks a little confused – why can’t we hear her properly – I proceed with the clarification: “What? Did you think she was asleep? The monitor was on mute.”
Note: “Oh my God, I am such a horrible mom.” to which Alex’s response was: “It’s ok, she’s still alive, and so we must be doing something right.”
26. I learned that babies are actually smart human beings, as little A was starting to understand what “kiss me!” means.
27. Little A taught us to not underestimate her. She fake sneezed as a response to Alex’s fake sneezing.
28. I learned that poty training is not easy and requires a lot of patience. I started when she was about 5 month. We also learned (the hard way) that day care will later ruin my 7 months of hard work and A’s great results. And we learned that we spent more money on diapers and wipes ever since we started daycare than when I was at home with her for close to one year.
29. We learned that babies need time to catch on things, such as that one time when we first put her in the jolly jumper and she was not doing anything. But Alex had his own way of brighten up the mood: “Watching her in the jolly jumper is like watching the grass grow; it’s like watching the paint dry.
30. I learned that mustard is a must have. I once asked big A what would he bring on an uninhabited island. He said: “you and a jar of mustard.” At least he put me first.. but he forgot about little A…
31. I learned that Alex’s love was getting stronger and stronger: “I love you so much that I want to kiss you so hard to $%#& up all your teeth and then pay a lot of money to have them fixed.” Some might consider this physical abuse.
32. I also learned that my husband still loved my body. We were watching the video of the “Tu gatita” song when I say: “damn, she looks good!”
Alex: you can tell she goes to the gym.
I nodded my head yes, while eating cake at 11 pm and made it obvious: “And here I am eating cake…”
Alex: well, if you were as big as the closet, I would have said something, but you are not.
Me: no, I am not. I am as big as half of one.
Alex: no, you’re not – Awwww moment – You’re as big as a night stand.
33. Little A was being flirty with 6mo Gabriel, you know – looks, gestures, giggles, she even got shy. I got shy watching the two. Anyway, long story short, we learned big A was jealous of a 6mo baby boy.
34. I learned that when quiet, there is room for trouble. That or baby A was not having enough food or maybe she just wants to be a vegetarian… one morning I found her eating a lily in her crib and she would not spit it out. How she reached for the lily is a different story.
35. We learned that she loves the night and the city lights and standing by the window in general.
36. We learned (again, the hard way) that you don’t wait until your baby literally stands and leans over their crib to put the mattress on the lowest level.
37. First day in daycare was the day I learned that, although heartbroken, I was watching someone else taking care of my baby (other than us and (great) grandparents) and I did not feel bad. Mixed feelings, I know.
38. I learned that the idea of having 3 husbands is actually quite a bad one. I think it would be worse than having three kids.
Alex: it would be so nice to have 3 wives: one would clean, one cook… – he never managed to finish his sentence, when I punched him.
Me: Oh, it would be so nice to have 3 husbands.
Alex: why? So they can all slack off and do nothing?
Good point, I must admit.
39. We learned that babies can eat. A lot. A has days when she eats more than we do. I am scared to leave the house without food. What we have yet to learn is HOW in the world she can eat so much.
40. I learned that just like babies’, our bodies need adjustment as well when major changes happen in our lives. So feeling tired, exhausted, frustrated, sad, down and mad was perfectly normal.
41. We learned that we all have to adjust to each other’s lives, but most importantly that our babies need to adjust to ours. They cannot control our lives and neither can we control theirs. They will let you know what their needs are.
42. And we learned that they grow. Fast. They grow fast.
43. If you thought your days were too short, wait until you have a baby and go to work after one year mat leave. We all learn that the hard way.
44. We learned to work as a team. She taught us.
45. We learned to not underestimate kids because they teach you some of the most valuable and important lessons: if you ever fall, remember how many times has your baby fallen and gotten up before mastering their walking skills? How many times have you watched your baby laugh at the stupidest gestures? Try that. It helps.
46. We learned that when they’re sick you can’t heal your baby, but you can definitely catch the cold.
47. We learned that 80% of the people around you will have better parenting skills, will know more about babies in general and therefore will know you baby better than you do.
48. So we learned that co-parenting shouldn’t be a thing, unless it’s done between you and your partner. We knew it, but became stronger when A came into our lives. To each their own, you’re parenting your kid, and nobody else. Watch, listen, take what you need and find useful and leave the rest behind.
49. We also learned that although you may be able to eat off your floor, there will still be that one person, unhappy with your cleaning skills. Considering you’re an OCD freak, you wonder where you went wrong. Then, there is the other kind of people who are shocked by how clean your house is when they first walk in after you had a baby: “This is not what I expected. I expected to see diapers everywhere, food on the floor, the baby crying and you to be a mess,” Oh well..
50. We learned that we had a baby, so we can buy a stroller to carry our groceries upstairs.
51. I learned that my nightmares won’t come to an end once I give birth. It’s my second nature. Don’t worry if you’re like me. It’s what keeps us busy at night; just in case your baby doesn’t.
52. I learned that although I only gave birth to one baby, I already have two.
53. Alex learned that I really truly need him.
Alex: I need you to hug me and love me.
Me: I need sushi.
Alex: you don’t need me?
Me: I do. I need you to take me to sushi.
54. I learned Alex was more involved than I ever thought.
Me: I don’t want to get her a toy, but something special, something she can have forever. It’s her first birthday.
Alex: well, let’s get her a tattoo.
55. We learned that we can keep the chocolate away from our daughter, but can’t keep her away from it. Sooner than expected, wanted, planned. Same goes for raw fish.
56. We learned that our baby might have more friends than we do.
Me: But she only likes one kid.
Alex: Yup, exactly my point.
57. We learned to be parents.
Note: ongoing studies.
58. We learned that being a parent is an on call, full time, 24/7 job, you name it: be it a 5am inconsolable cry, a fight at the park or a broken heart.
59. I learned that I expected too much of her. She is a baby and she is doing great. So what if she doesn’t walk? She’ll learn. We shall all let the kids be kids and stop competing each other, which is something parents (even unconsciously) do. I know I learned to stop.
60. We learned that ice cream is great for a teething baby.
61. And figured out that when in trouble, she feeds us. That’s her way of getting away with it, because of how adorable (she knows) she is.
62. We learned we want to be parents again.