For eight years I've tried my best to make sense of being a parent.
Deciphering secret codes, following unwritten rules. Searching for instruction manuals that just don't exist no matter how hard we look and Google or how much our friends and neighbors and random ladies at the aisle in Target try to tell us.
It's completely nonsensical.
The sheer number of times you have cleaned up the same LEGOs that are dumped from the same bin by a child who doesn't even play with them.
And then you step on them. Again.
The crazy things you find yourself saying, like "Get your butt off your sister's elbow!" or "The dog bowl is not a hat!"
The "Yes I wanted water no I didn't want that water GET ME WATER RIGHT NOW!" dance you do at dinner time.
And the fact that these babies that you carried, birthed and raised will somehow not need you to find their purple monkey at bedtime.
She's asked for "banilla" a thousand times before, but today it hit me in my gut.
Because soon it will be vanilla. And then she'll know how to spell it.
And we won't even remember that she used to say it incorrectly.
Parenting still confuses me, baffling me daily by everything from weird diaper rashes to explaining death.
I still really don't know what I'm doing. And part of me thinks that it makes me a better parent because I have no expectations. No reality checks or points of reference.
GPS turned off.
The older I get, the more I hope that the magic never makes sense to me.
That in some way, my children will see couches as potential cushion houses and Twizzlers as straws. And broccoli will be miraculously edible when eaten off the pink plate.
Because when it finally makes sense, I fear that it will be over.
And I'm not sure I'll ever be ready for it to end.