Okay, eleven things.
11) I always wondered why the hell people bother bathing their kids every night. Before Thora started eating, we bathed her weekly at most. Yeah, I get it now. This is Thora covered in hummus. Gross, but such fun. And I've posted photo essays about how much this kid loves bathtime, so it's a worthy endeavor even if she's not wearing her dinner.
10) When you have a baby, everything takes longer and you need to have a ton of patience. Getting places on time is a lot more challenging, especially when you are punctuality challenged to begin with like I am and everything takes a thousand tries to get right. Leave early! Really early!
9) I always said that it didn't matter what a baby wore, that the baby doesn't care so why should I care? Buuuut... BabyGap has great sales and lots of adorable clothes. Yes, hand me downs are still awesome and I love them but spicing up her wardrobe with a black top, skinny jeans, skull patterned shirts, or stripey rompers is really fun and I totally think it's worth the money.
8) Teeth come when they're ready to come and not when the books say they will. (But "she's teething" is a truly wonderful all-purpose excuse to explain away nearly every unpleasant behavior or characteristic of babyhood.) Same goes for hair, and crawling. Every baby really *is* different.
7) Clip the baby's nails when she is asleep. I cannot say this enough times. Johnny and I learned the hard way so that you - if you have not been there and done that too - do not.
6) I rescind all my pacifier hate. While I am grateful that I can see her beautiful face unobstructed by a big ugly plastic thing, there are times that I really wish Thora would take one, or at least suck her thumb. She does neither and still flat out refuses to soothe or sleep at night without our pinkies.
5) The Bugaboo Frog is big and heavy and cumbersome just like you all said it would be (and totally overpriced) but I wouldn't trade it for anything even though almost everyone I know tried to talk me out of it. I love love love it 90% of the time. The other 10% I suck it up and deal because the 90% is just so awesome.
4) It's okay to lie to my pediatrician. She's awesome and I like her but I know more about our family's sleep needs and vegan baby nutrition than she does.
3) Cloth diapering is easy and of course better for the environment, but I won't go to hell if I use disposables at night or when we are traveling.
2) If I juggle the baby right, I can nurse anywhere, anytime, without that stupid tent thing draped over us, and people won't even notice. But if even they do, I really do not care. I am also grateful that my husband is not weird about me nursing in public either. A kid's gotta eat! I never thought I would feel so strongly about wanting to feed my baby any damn place I like but I do and no one has ever said anything rude to me, at least not since the time T was about two weeks old and I hadn't gotten the stealth-nurse down and two teenage boys asked if they could be next. Ew!
1) There really are as many styles of parenting as there are parents, and different really does not mean bad. I have learned from every single one of my mom friends so matter how similar or different I think we are, which has only made me a better and more confident mom. I may lean towards a particular kind of parenting but I am less influenced by what I read than I thought I would be, and I already look back on how opinionated I was when she was just born and I laugh at myself for being so arrogant and certain of myself. Thora is an exceptionally easy baby but even so she has helped me face challenges I never thought I would face and I now know that I know absolutely nothing! We are learning as we go through this journey.
Oh, and a bonus. I totally want to slug everyone who tells me "Enjoy it! It goes so fast!" until I catch myself when Thora's asleep at night, sitting at the computer like I am now, hitting "replay" on these silly videos I keep posting again and again and again. I love every day, every phase, every age. Even the last stages of pregnancy, even the long nights we've been having getting her to sleep in her crib. It really will be over fast. And when these moments are over and gone, they are gone. That's when I think that millions of other mothers and fathers have experienced the ridiculous burning passionate love I am experiencing for this tiny person with their own tiny people and they really do know what they're talking about. So I say to you, new parent or parent to be, enjoy every moment. It goes so fast!