Photo: Jamie Johnson via Hashtag Momfail

Over the course of the last few weeks, my four-year-old has developed a horrible new habit. He gets out of bed multiple times a night, begins screaming, “MAMA” at the top of his lungs, and moves into the bedroom, still screaming, until I sit up and have a conversation with him about why he is screaming for me.

I cannot tell a lie, it completely and totally sucks. There is nothing like being jarred from sleep by a four-year-old with a blood-curdling scream. The first time it happened, I was terrified. I thought he had fallen out of his bed and broken his leg or that something equally as terrifying had happened.

But no. That is and never has been the case.

All I have to do is ask him what’s wrong and he will calm down after about 30 seconds and say something along the lines of, “My big toe itches. Will you scratch it?” through snot and tears. So I scratch his toe or rub his back, or get him “this much” to drink.

As a person that truly loves sleep and needs at least eight hours a night to function, I have developed a habit where I lie in bed all night anticipating that blood-curdling scream. So needless to say, I have not been getting the best sleep lately.

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This morning, I got a blood-curdling scream and thought about how much I miss the little things, like being able to sleep and having alone time.

Disclaimer: Yes, I love my children more than life itself. I would step in front of a train for them. But becoming a parent has taught me that some things are non-negotiable. So don’t comment that I’m a bad mom, Lisa, the internet troll.

Here are 11 things you must love —or learn to love—if you want to become a parent.

1. Being woken up in the middle of the night by a blood curdling scream or by its equally terrifying counterpart, the tiny person staring at you while you sleep.

2. Poop. Cleaning poop. Picking up poop. Finding poop in odd places. Teaching your kid to poop in the potty. Watching them poop in the backyard like the dog. That last one might just be me.

3. Never being alone. The minute you have kids, you will never have alone time again. They will always find you. You could hide in the crawl space under your house and a tiny little hand would find its way under a crack to ask what you’re doing.

4. Fart jokes. Maybe this is just because I’m a boy mom, but my kid is in the “fart, poop, laugh” phase and it’s killing me. Every sentence ends with the word poop, fart, toilet or underpants.

5. Bad knock-knock jokes. Henry just learned what knock-knock jokes are and I have said, “Poop who” at least 500 times in the last 5 days.

6. Crumbs. I don’t care what my kids are eating, they will somehow make a massive amount of crumbs from it. They could eat ice cream in a bowl and somehow develop crumbs. My advice is to get a dog to lick up the crumbs.

7. Someone completely defying societal norms. Having a kid is like one big sociology project. They will stand in the elevator facing the wrong way. They will tickle the back of a random person’s neck while at church. They will scream, “Is that a BUTT?” at someone in Target. And yes, Lisa, I have told my child we don’t say butt, but he has not complied.

8. Tantrums. Wrong color bowl for eggs? Lay on the ground screaming. Wrong superhero cartoon? More screaming. Ask if they had a good day at preschool? Screaming and crying. Taking them to a place they asked to go? Screaming and crying.

9. Doing things that gross you out. I rode a freaking camel at the zoo the other day. Enough said.

10. Teeny tiny toys. Damn the inventor of Tsum Tsums and Shopkins. I know they are tiny so you can sell more and pay less to make them, but I have spent so many hours on my hands and knees searching the backyard for a 3 cm sword that goes to a teeny tiny pirate.

11. Ryan’s Toy Review. So annoying. Props to Ryan for creating a virtual empire, but does he go to school? How does he find time to make all these videos?

So if you are about to have kids, or are thinking about trying, just remember that they are adorable little minions that smell like fresh baby powder for a few days, months or a year if you are lucky. But you will then learn that you won’t sleep until they are 18, your coffee will always be cold and they will repeat the bad words you say.

So don’t yell, “Use your blinker, you as*hole!” in a fit of rage on an Interstate somewhere.

Until next time,

Jamie

This post originally appeared on Hashtag MomFail.