Becoming a new parent is overwhelming. So overwhelming, in fact, that new parents may feel a bit bipolar at times. Occasionally, sordid and evil thoughts permeate your brain. Harming your child is not a realistic option, although at times it seems to be a very vivid and attractive possibility. Early on in parenthood, taking stock of your new lifestyle is strikingly similar to witnessing the carnage of a twenty car pile-up unexpectedly wreaking havoc on a quiet, residential avenue in a kid-friendly neighborhood or retirement community. While the frustration of parenting is intense at times, it’s relatively easy to stifle your urge to strangle your new baby. As your baby matures into a toddler, you’ll soon learn that the majority of your effort will be spent saving the child from injuring itself. You’ll no longer be forced to harbor the shameful thoughts of potential infanticide, as toddlers are remarkably well equipped to find danger on their own virtually everywhere.
A toddler is always in peril. Babies and toddlers live their lives in a constant state of physical danger which is only enhanced as they grow older and become physically capable of exploring new heights. Toddlers are fearless. The good news is that they are soft and flexible and can easily survive minor, self-inflicted blunt force trauma. The transition a young child makes from baby to toddler is paradoxical for a new parent. Only a handful of weeks ago you were legitimately considering tossing the baby off the balcony. Now no longer a baby, your toddler is most likely climbing the balcony railing alone whilst you do everything in your power to keep he or she safe. Amazing how quickly the tables turn.
A toddler will find danger where seemingly none exists. Modern parenting gurus have adopted the term “baby-proofing” to reference the extravagant lengths parents go to in order to protect their younglings from household perils. What a parent of a toddler will quickly learn is that there is no such thing as baby-proofing. The creativity and innovation of toddlers is truly impressive when it comes to successfully seeking danger. Because of this astute ability to constantly locate risk, toddlers would probably have similar insurance premiums as most geriatric smokers with heart disease. Toddlers are small, clever, and can fit into narrow spaces, which would surely make them an attractive asset to potential employers.
There is only one way to relieve yourself of the burden of being a new parent constantly on patrol. Acceptance. In order to find more extensive and appropriate moments of tranquility, you must accept that whatever lifestyle you maintained as a childless adult has gone up in flames. You are a lifeguard now. All the time. You created this dystopia.
Of course your new baby is annoying. Human babies by definition are helpless. Deal with it. Accept it. Only through the armistice of acceptance will you find serenity. Just don’t bask in the serenity of acceptance for too long…your toddler is about to pull a cast iron skillet off the stove top onto his head. RUN!