At first, new parents seem to welcome eating breakfast at 2 p.m., doing laundry at 2 a.m., and wearing pajama pants to dress up for visitors. When that baby is about 3 weeks old, I start getting calls from moms and dads who are hoping to take a shower every day at the same time, would like to know when they can plan to go to Target or, most commonly, when baby will start sleeping at the same time each day. Hang on folks, the unpredictable ride is just beginning.
Patience is a necessary survival tool for parents. I have been gritting my teeth for 28 years now. I patiently waited for babies to stop throwing up on my church clothes. I calmly stood by during many a toddler tantrum. I accepted the phase where my preschooler only ate chicken nuggets. (This lasted YEARS. It took a lot out of me.) I didn't make assumptions when my 2nd grader chewed on the collar of all his shirts. Don't even get me started on the patience it took to survive the preteen and teen years.
Children grow and change quickly. Infants are especially unpredictable and confusing. Phases come and go. Just when you think you have things figured out, your child reminds you of their uniqueness. Parenting is the best and bumpiest roller coaster I've ever experienced.