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You Know You’re a Parent When …

August 4, 2011

You’re more excited than your kid when new episodes of Dora and Diego air.

You’re thrilled beyond belief to go two days without bodily fluids from children and animals on the carpet.

You start thinking Annie’s organic pasta is a healthy meal alternative.

You hear Eric Bana’s dreamy Aussie accent from the other room of the house and recognize it not from the brilliant films he’s made, but from his voice as Anchor the Shark in Finding Nemo.

Going out and buying new clothes means buying a new bra out of necessity.

Both you and your spouse fall asleep during The Office … at 9 p.m.

A “vacation” is a 30-minute trip to Target … BY YOURSELF!

When the only channel number you’ve memorized on your new television system is Nick Jr.

Shelling out $200 to get your carpets cleaned is the best money you’ve spent in months (years, really).

You hear yourself saying, “We’ve seen this one!” when PBS Kids re-airs the Curious George episode you watched twice last week.

You’re on Cloud 9 when you meet a celebrity — the founder of Costco. Seriously folks, I almost asked him to sign my membership card. … Okay, maybe you don’t have to be a parent for this one. Just a Costco junkie like me.

How about you? When did you know you were a parent? Tell me your stories!


Sorry I’ve been MIA this week. I’ve had personal writing deadlines, busy with “day job,” a husband on jury duty, summer sinus issues, and spent Thursday at the Women Create Media Conference (so awesome!).

These two feel like second childen … and I don’t think that’s a good thing.

45 Comments leave one →
  1. August 4, 2011 10:49 pm

    OMG, did you see that there is a Dora movie on Sunday night>????? I am too excited, already set the dvr.
    Dora is a “big girl” and going to a Shakira concert!!!!! Oscar keeps saying, “Is it Sunday?”

    • August 4, 2011 10:55 pm

      Are you kidding, Dawn? The DVR is already set! Oscar and Sophie can compare notes on Monday.

  2. August 5, 2011 12:54 am

    Oh goodness these are too funny and sooo true. Thanks for the smile this morning. 🙂
    You sound like you’ve been super busy here lately, I hope today is more relaxing for you and you’re feeling better.

    • August 7, 2011 9:26 pm

      Thanks for the nice words. I think this week will be a better one!

  3. August 5, 2011 1:21 am

    There was a period of at least ten years Leah when I didn’t read a Newspaper, listen to a radio program or write a cheque. My boys were prone to ear infections and on many, many occasions I left the house only once a week to go to Church – but if they were ill, not even then. My ex husband was extremely supportive and often got up in the night with the children, but we were so sleep deprived I often wonder how we survived!

    • August 7, 2011 9:25 pm

      I’m glad to hear it’s not just me! It’s amazing how when they get sick or you’re sick, life just shuts down. Oh well. That’s parenting, right?

  4. August 5, 2011 3:33 am

    Check out Bill Harley- great storyteller and folk singer- so many of his lines have become part of our family lexicon.
    It just gets better– waiting up for them to come home at all hours, running out of gas all over the state, girlfriend issues, boyfriend issues… enjoy!

    • August 7, 2011 9:24 pm

      Oh I’m sure this list with grow. Can’t wait! And thanks for the Bill Harley tip. I’ll check it out.

  5. August 5, 2011 3:42 am

    Yes, the ole trip to Target, where everything is neatly placed and other escapees are there.

    • August 7, 2011 9:24 pm

      It’s a haven for mothers, without the expense of a spa!

  6. August 5, 2011 4:47 am

    I can’t relate too much, seeing as I’m not a parent and all. But I can relate to Eric Bana! Yum! 🙂

    • August 7, 2011 9:23 pm

      I’ll put this post into the future Caryn’s kids posts so you can refer back. By the way, my husband read my Eric Bana comment and said he was shocked. Oops.

  7. August 5, 2011 4:55 am

    I hear ya with the re-runs! Every time Sesame Street comes on it is an episode we’ve already watched. Even when I think it’s one we haven’t seen yet, it always ends up being one that’s already been on. I swear they only run like 7 different episodes. I find myself yelling “We’ve seen this one!” pretty much on a daily basis! And I would just love an hour or two to go clothes shopping by myself. When we buy clothes around here though it is at an outlet mall that is an hour away so it’s something we do twice a year with the kids and everything so I always feel rushed when my husband and kids are waiting for me to shop and I end up with stuff that I don’t really like. I am a pretty fast shopper and never really liked it much before, but boy would I love a date with myself for a couple hours to really shop!

    • August 7, 2011 9:22 pm

      I completely agree on the shopping by yourself! It’s way too hard to shop with kids in tow. That’s like another vacation to me. And I agree about Sesame. I really can’t understand how they air the same seven epsidoes when there are over two decades of those shows.

  8. August 5, 2011 8:02 am

    Hilarious, Leah! Can so relate to the carpet cleaning.
    I would add: You know you’re a (slightly older) parent when your grown children BOTH move back in with you during the same year!

    • August 7, 2011 9:21 pm

      Yes, that would certainly qualify for being a parent, wouldn’t it? That’s great.

  9. August 5, 2011 10:18 am

    I completely relate to getting excited about new Dora and Diego episodes, and just last week I saw a Blue’s Clues program that I hadn’t managed to catch before. Miracles.

    Grocery shopping BY MYSELF, that’s my escape. Great article. All of these things ring true.

    Don’t forget: You know you are a parent if you no longer take vacations, you just take long trips.

    • August 7, 2011 9:20 pm

      Ha ha — long trips! That’s good. Thanks for visiting.

  10. August 5, 2011 12:47 pm

    I remember when, after several years, I actually got to an arena concert after such a long absence. I looked around and said, “Oh, right. This is what my life used to be like.”

    • August 7, 2011 9:20 pm

      So true! I can say the same about going to the movies too. Since my daughter came along, I think we’ve only seen four movies in the theater. And one was Tangled.

  11. August 5, 2011 1:48 pm

    Love this! Thanks for the chuckle! You know you’re a parent when you plate a meal for a guest and cut their meat! Happily found you on SITS!

    • August 7, 2011 9:19 pm

      Thanks for visiting! I enjoy your blog too. Yes, I’ve found myself cutting others food too. Ugh!

  12. August 5, 2011 2:30 pm

    It’s been a long time (my youngest is nearly 33), but I remember those days. You know you’re a parent when you pour your morning coffee in your son’s Tommy Tippee. You know you’re a parent when you put your nursing nightgown on backwards and someone lets you know at 3 A.M. Boy, does he let you know! LOL!

    • August 7, 2011 9:19 pm

      That is so funny! This made me laugh out loud! Especially the Tommy Tippee comment. I guess you’d also be a parent when you know what a Tommy Tippee cup is.

  13. August 5, 2011 5:33 pm

    Leah–I concur!!! And how impressive that you met the founder of Costco! For me, I’m all about sleeping, so when my kids slept through the night, I felt like a champ. But I think I trult felt parenthood when I attended a wedding years ago, and instead of identifying with the bride, I pictured being the mother of the bride instead.

    • August 7, 2011 9:18 pm

      So I must be in really bad shape because I feel like I already relate more to the mothers than daughters when I watch mom-daughter or wedding stuff. And yes, don’t get me started on sleeping.

  14. August 5, 2011 6:28 pm

    What a GREAT list! I would have been excited to meet the founder of Costco, too! Unfortunately, Costco is too far from our house to make membership worth it…

    My kids are all grown and giving me grand babies, so I’m back in the toy department! You know you’re a Nana when you are on trend with the latest toys and know exactly where to go to get them!

    • August 7, 2011 9:17 pm

      I’m so sorry Costco is not within your reach. I would be devastated if that were the case for me. You should do a “you know when you’re a nana” list!

  15. August 5, 2011 7:41 pm

    How so, so tru! I know I’m a parent when for the past 20 some years all k what is a good night sleep. And how cool that you met the Costco founder. Did you talk to him?

    • August 7, 2011 9:16 pm

      I introduced myself to him, but I did not go all “ga ga” and ask for an autograph. But he was wearing his Costco name badge too and was such a nice man. He and I have the same college alma mater.

  16. August 5, 2011 8:21 pm

    Totally with you on the carpet and bra issues.

    I fall into a serious depression when the carpet’s dirty. I can’t seem to get myself out of the funk, even if it means I’m spot treating the damned thing for hours. I’ve been shopping around for a steam cleaner, but am scared to buy something that’s not going to do the job…

    • August 7, 2011 9:15 pm

      My husband jokes that if people really knew what was under our carpet, no one would come over. I hate dirty carpet!

  17. August 6, 2011 6:53 pm

    Love all of these! We rejoiced when we got cable again, just so we could DVR more “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” & “Curious George” than the couple of DVDs we had.

    You also know you’re a parent when you call 9am after your toddler had a fitful night that got you up several times in the middle of the night “sleeping in.”

    • August 7, 2011 9:14 pm

      Speaking of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, I’ll have to add that I know I’m a parent when the Hot Dog song sticks in my head too long. And oh yes, sleeping in! So glad you got your cable back. That must’ve been torture. Thanks for commenting.

  18. August 7, 2011 12:17 pm

    This is so funny! I love the list. I remember those days!

  19. August 7, 2011 12:42 pm

    I could really relate to these! Great list!

    When you have the entire Dr. Suess ABC book memorized.
    When sleeping in means getting up at 7:30 a.m.
    When you start cutting your own food into teeny tiny pieces.
    When lunch means finishing your toddlers leftovers.

    • August 7, 2011 9:13 pm

      Yours made me laugh! I can so relate on eating my daughter’s leftovers. I do that way too often.

  20. August 7, 2011 8:43 pm

    Target is always a vacation – god, I love that store. I knew I was a parent when I realized that going to the bathroom alone was a thing of the past. And talking on the phone to an adult without a kids magically appearing saying “mom, mom, mommy…mo-om, mom” was an impossibility.

    Great post!

    • August 7, 2011 9:12 pm

      Oh yes, the bathroom! And why is it that kids can be quiet until that moment you’re trying to converse on the phone? Thanks for commenting!

  21. August 8, 2011 3:38 am

    I loved the one about getting excited to go to target!

    • August 8, 2011 10:21 pm

      Target’s the best. Heck, I’d settle for a Rite Aid some days.

  22. August 14, 2011 10:40 am

    How have I not been to your blog before!?! I remember walking into Target late one night alone and seeing that they had added a Starbucks and thinking, “That’s it. This is now the perfect place for alone time.” Sad, but so, so true 🙂

    • August 14, 2011 8:36 pm

      I’m glad you stopped by. Your blog is terrific too! And yes, the trips to target alone are the highlights, right? I remember one December driving to the post office at night with just my dogs feeling like I was free. Ah, the things we do!

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