The other day I was thinking about how far I’ve come since becoming a dad. I mean, I had changed a diaper exactly one time before Oliver was born. (One time too many, if you ask me.) Now I can change the diaper of a writhing 16-month-old in seconds.
But feelings of accomplishment aside, I also thought that as parents, we should really have something to show for all our newfound skills (besides, you know, living, well-adjusted children). So I present to you, in no particular order, the Parenting Merit Badges:
Got Pooped On merit badge
(Most parents get this in the first week.)
Dai, Daddy! More!
One of the benefits of being in a dual-language household is that there are twice as many words we can claim Oliver might have said, even if he was just flailing his tongue around randomly. Case in point, last night at dinner, Oliver said, “Dai!” which in Italian means “come on!” (and incidentally sounds identical to “die,” which I’m sure won’t lead to concerned parent-teacher conferences in the future). I’m pretty confident it was accidental, but like all good parents, we love to pounce on anything our child says and infuse it with meaning. It seemed to fit the context: I was halving some raspberries for him, which I don’t know why I bother to do since he shoves 17 of them in his mouth at once, and Oliver impatiently shouted “Dai!” as in, “Come on Daddy, pick up the pace!”
I don’t remember when I stopped believing in Santa Claus. What I do remember is that I continued pretending to believe for awhile afterward—this without any younger siblings to protect. Maybe I was motivated by greed, thinking that “Santa” was a better gift giver than my parents, I’m not sure.
Elisa, on the other hand, does remember when she stopped believing (because it was, she’ll admit, at an embarrassingly old age). Some kids at school found out that she still believed in Santa and teased her, resulting in an hour long cry.