Life happens: Top 10 signs you're turning into a parent
It starts out innocently enough - usually with a conversation or two over cocktails about maybe, you know, having a baby in the somewhat near future.
This goes on for awhile until one night, on a whim, you decide to forego birth control, even though you aren't actively trying to get pregnant or anything. But if you did, it'd be, like, cool.
And then nothing happens, and now you are actively trying, having conversations over cocktails about how you have to have sex Tuesday because that's when the fertility stick you peed on said you should and maybe Thursday, too, which you can hopefully squeeze in between work and that dinner party thing with Bob and Suzanne.
And just when you think it'll never happen, BOOM, you're puking your guts out while simultaneously getting fatter and sweating all the time, and - "Oh my god, could you breathe any louder, babe? Are you trying to annoy me? And just who ate all the brownies?"
And the months go crawling by at a glacial pace until, finally, it is a week before your due date, and the end is in sight.
And while all this craziness is going down, without you even really noticing, your outlook on the world changes. Because you, my friend, are gradually turning into parent.
Here are the Top 10 signs you're turning into a parent:
You suddenly have opinions about violence on TV. And health insurance. And online maps that show where sex offenders live. Even though before now, you spent approximately 15 minutes of your entire life thinking about these things.
Babies stop resembling pinkish blobs and suddenly have faces. Until now, unless a baby was directly related to you or came out of an intimate part of a close friend, they all looked the same. But now babies - all babies - have distinct faces. Distinct, adorable faces. That you want to kiss. Yessum, you do. You want to kiss dem wittle faces. And those toesies. Look at dem toesies. You're going to eat dem toesies up.
Jenny McCarthy stops resembling some dumb blonde who once dated Jim Carrey and now resembles some dumb blonde who is hell-bent on killing your future offspring via whooping cough and smallpox because she's an ignorant and irresponsible idiot who spreads lies about vaccines. And you want to hurt her - badly.
You are inexplicably drawn to scary news stories. You not only don't change the channel but also actually turn the television up when the evening news reports on the latest scientific study that says tap water causes a third eye to grow in your armpit.
Everything now makes you tear up. The above-mentioned news reports. Amber Alerts. Cheesy movies. Holiday cards. Old photos. The last piece of bread in the bag that no one wants because it's the heel. Your dog. An Adele song. Taking down Christmas decorations. That stupid Super Bowl Budweiser commercial with the puppy and horse who are best friends. Seriously. Everything.
You stop hating Miley Cyrus and kind of want to give her hug. Bless her little pea-pickin', hard-core twerkin' heart. She just needs some motherly love.
Ninety percent of your day is now spent worrying. From wondering if you'll be able to breast-feed to stressing out about how you'll ever afford college to "it doesn't matter because thanks to Jenny McCarthy, he'll die in infancy anyway."
You make a mental checklist of all the things your kids can't find out about you until they are 30. Such as, oh I don't know, you once dated a dude who went to jail. Or that you were once a cheerleader. And yes, there are pictures.
You make a mental checklist of all the things your kids can't find out about their other parent until they are 50. I've been advised by his lawyer to not elaborate on this particular point.
You unfortunately come to the conclusion that you now have to start taking care of yourself - no more three pots of coffee a day followed by a bottle of wine per night followed by a cheeseburger for breakfast the next morning. Yes, apparently most people eat three square meals of solid food a day and don't consider wearing yoga pants all day as exercise. You will need to become most people - at least until the kid turns 18, and you can safely say "screw it" again to your own personal health and hygiene routine.
Aprill Brandon is a columnist for the Advocate. Her column runs every two weeks in the Your Life section. Comment on this story at VictoriaAdvocate.com.