Before my kids were even born I decided not to get a baby book. Pre-kids I could barely remember to buy cat food so I figured there was no point in purchasing something I would only feel guilty over not filling out. Besides, no one cares how many inches your baby was at birth or the exact minute of the day that he exited your uterus. Baby books are boring. If I were designing my own, here are the milestones I’d write down, because these are the moments no parent will forget.
1. The first time you take your child to the ER.
Ask me what I wore to bring my babies home from the hospital and my mind is a blank. But the first time you rush your child to the emergency room, that tends to stick with you in vivid detail.
2. Your first call to poison control.
The wonderful people working the poison control hotline are calm, quick and helpful. The first time I called them I was a weepy mess. Now they know me so well we practically exchange recipes.
3. Baby’s first projectile vomit.
Maybe your obnoxious brother-in-law didn’t listen when you told him not to hold the baby over his head or maybe your child just didn’t take well to peas, either way you’ll never forget this moment that reminds you of that scene in The Exorcist.
4. The first time your kid eats poop.
You run, you scream, you don’t get there in time to stop it. It happens to the best of us, but it’s still disgusting.
5. When your child first bites a stranger.
It is beyond mortifying when your kid hurts another. Not only do you feel awful for the child who got injured, you also feel like all the adults within earshot see you as an crappy parent. Thanks to my little nipper, I need to fashion us disguises before we can show our faces at story time again.
6. Baby’s first diaper blow out in a public place.
Ours happened in the security line at the airport when we were running late for a flight. Never have I ever been so happy that I took my mom’s advice to put an extra outfit in the diaper bag. My sincerest apologies to the women who walked into the restroom that morning, I know that is not how you wanted to start your day.
7. The first time you think your child is lost.
Unless you exclusively use a baby carrier or safety leash until your child turns eighteen, at some point your child will wander out of sight and you will freak out. Even if he is only missing for seconds it will feel too long and once you find him you will be consumed with equal parts love, anger and relief.
8. The first time your baby sleeps through the night.
After you run to her room in a panic to make sure she is still alive, you will marvel at how refreshed you feel and immediately start to pray that this wasn’t a one time deal.