You Know You’re a First-Time Parent When…

Seventeen months ago, I wrote a post entitled,You Know You’re Taking Advantage of Your Pregnancy When . . .”

This week is my daughter’s first birthday (we’ve made it!), so it seems fitting to write a continuation called:

“You Know You’re a First-Time Parent When . . .”

  1. Your arch nemesis is, where you select ailments like stuffy nose, low-grade fever, rash, hit enter and end up believing that your child has a flesh-eating disease attributed to water contamination in the Amazonian Delta.
  2. You become double-jointed out of sheer necessity. For instance, right now my husband is driving. I am in the passenger seat, pecking this with my right hand while my left fingers are hooked beneath the collar of our patient dog, Kashi, in the backseat. I am trying to keep her out of harm’s way of our daughter, who has a penchant for stretching canine ears.
  3. Your diaper bag looks like a dumped medicine cabinet. But, for whatever reason, the travel-sized, battery-operated humidifier/germ zapper/heater has only been used once.
  4. When flying, the baby’s designer suitcase is tagged for excess weight while you cram two weeks’ worth of clothing into a Strawberry Shortcake carry-on.
  5. You have five different kinds of diaper cream in the first drawer of the diaper changing table. (Butt Paste? Hey, at least I know where it goes.)
  6. You pay twenty dollars for organic sweet potatoes you envision whipping into baby food. All five pounds rot in the basement.
  7. You clip your child’s nails with the terrified concentration of a surgeon performing a debut lobotomy.
  8. You leave “updated” instructions for your mother’s first babysitting experience, seeming to forget she and Dr. Spock are the ones who kept you alive.
  9. You can hurdle furniture at your sleeping child’s smallest whimper, yet (to keep her sleeping) restrain a sneeze so that it explodes inside your chest.
  10. Your child’s bowel movements are typical dinner table conversation: “How was she today? More prunes? Less bananas?” (Less is correct grammar when they’re pureed, y’all.)
  11. You approach doctor’s visits like a Gestapo interrogation, asking, “Why’re you doing this?” “Do you really need to do that?” until the nurse stops measuring your child’s whopping head and says, “She your first?” (This, gulp, actually just happened to me.)
  12. You save everything from hospital bracelets to birthday party hats, telling yourself you are really going to scrapbook one day. But one day too soon, you’ll just pass the box of hodge-podge mementoes to your daughter and hope they’ll mean as much to her as they have to you.

Do you have any other numbers to add to this list?

Happy 1st Birthday, Baby Girl! Momma sure does love you!

My first “from scratch” double-layer cake! It’s a little lopsided.



  1. Happy 1st Birthday! Congratulations, you made it a year!

  2. Congrats on 1 year… I really have scrapbooked them! ;) I had Andrew’s first year done in time for his 1 year party; minus the party pages of course.

  3. Kelly Hand says:

    You know you’re a first-time parent when you deprive yourself of sleep in order to read books about your child’s sleep habits.

  4. I love that one, Kelly! Thank you for sharing! : )

  5. What a lovely milestone! (Love your website!)

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