Long before I became a parent, I remember standing on line at a grocery store watching in horror as some harried mom tore open a package of processed cheese crackers and thrust them at her screeching toddler in an attempt to get him to quiet down. She looked stressed and miserable. He looked smug and victorious, a fresh ring of orange cheese dust around his mouth. I remember thinking, Wow, that will never be me when I have kids. I will never raise a brat. I will never pacify my child with food and I will never, ever, ever do it with food that is processed.
Hear that sound? It's the sound of the universe laughing.
Yeah, I had every intention of raising an all-natural, 100 percent organic kid who didn't have meltdowns at grocery stores but then I forgot the part about children having wills of their own.
The first time my kid had a screaming fit at a grocery store, I tore into a package of radioactive orange Cheesums so fast I didn't even realize I was abandoning all my progressive ideals and convictions (that came to me later as I wiped the pulverized cheese dust from her face). Parenting has been a series of similar comeuppances ever since -- the universe's way of bitch-slapping me for my ignorance and arrogance over thinking I would be any different, more disciplined or enlightened than any other parent out there.
Here are five parenting fantasies I harbored before I actually became a parent. Consider it required reading for any similarly delusional childless person.