If a true friend is someone with whom you can spend time without saying a word, then a true parenting partner is someone with whom you can comfortably exchange the most bizarre words. Raising kids is intense and complicated, so knowing my husband and I can truly say anything to each other makes me feel secure when I feel like I’m failing. When we say totally weird stuff, it’s completely normal because, well, kids are in the mix and he's on this journey with me, so he gets it.
We're constantly having to think out of the box to solve some issue, and polite society doesn’t always provide the right vocabulary. For example, our 6-year-old son abbreviates everything these days, so when he asks his father if they can go find some “pee-pee’s,” he’s asking to play Pokémon Go. And when I ask my husband if the kids are having “nugs” for lunch, he knows I’m talking about chicken nuggets.
Beyond the parental shorthand, though, there are some things my husband and I have said to one another that would have never occurred to us to say before we were parents. Do any of these sentences sound familiar? If so, consider your partner the MVP of parenting teammates.
Children are adorable, which is why their parents put up with all the gross things that accompany their existence. No question, some of it literally stinks, but then there are those times during a diaper change, or when you’re playing on the floor in their room, where something just smells off, and you need another pair of nostrils to help you uncover the issue. (In our case it’s usually food that has rolled out of view and is rotting under a piece of furniture somewhere.)
"Don’t Hug Me Please"
Being touched out is a thing. I love them, but after a day spent prying a clingy toddler off me every time I attempted to nurse the baby, I kind of want to issue a restraining order to everyone in my house.
"Do You Want To Split This Half-Eaten Cold Dinner Our Toddler Abandoned?"
Duh. Of course I do. It might be the only chance I get to eat all day, and a parent will take what she can get. Even if it barely resembles anything edible.
"It’s Still Good"
This might be applied to food dropped on the floor, meat that’s been in the freezer since before the baby was born, or a coupon to a chain restaurant that has definitely expired because it’s been over a year since we last thought we might get it together to go out for dinner.
"Catch The Vomit"
Before it hits the sheets, and makes more laundry for all of us. This is said, not so much in an encouraging way, but as more of a threat.
"Your Name Is… ?"
OK, I might have never straight up asked my husband what his name was, but I might as well have because I have forgotten it plenty of times since having kids. I used to get so mad when my mother would cycle through all the names in her family before landing on mine to call me when I was a kid. Now I understand the mommy brain phenomenon.
"Did You Clean The Binkie?"
Basically using “binkie” in any statement is reserved for parental use, because why would you talk that way if there wasn’t a baby in the house? (Actually, I don’t want to know.)
"Where Is Mr. Snugglebumpants?"
Or Fluffy Lionheart, or Blue Blankie, or Max. It’s the name of the one and only security item your kid needs at bedtime to fall asleep, and it is nowhere to be found.
This was my reminder to my spouse in those early days of parenthood when we assumed every noise that registered louder than absolute silence would wake our sleeping daughter. Thankfully, he didn’t always listen, and by the time we had our second kid, we understood how valuable it was to condition babies to be able to sleep through any sound. Because you should always, always flush a toilet if you need to.
"Wow, She Slept In Until Six"
Yes, sleeping in until 6 a.m. is now considered a luxury. Even with our kids being school-aged and so wiped out from full days of learning, and commuting, and after-school activities and homework, they are still up so early… but only on the weekends. Of course.