I've been in the trenches with little kids for a while now. Car seats and Pull-Ups and picture books and plastic mattress pads and grilled cheese sandwiches have been my life for the past eight years. Slowly, one by one, those things are all making their way out of the house in return for some new things that accompany growing kids, instead of little ones. Some of those things are very good, like the ability to fend for themselves in the morning, and some are very bad, like the fact that I am quickly becoming the most embarrassing parent in the world.
Recently, I've been asked by my daughter to wait inside for bus drop off instead of escorting her to the door, to change my outfit on three separate occasions and not play music while there are other kids in the house. If my own history is any indication, we have at least a decade of this crap ahead of us. Instead of moping over this development, though, I've decided to embrace it. If they're going to think I'm the most embarrassing parent in the world, I will be the most embarrassing parent in the world, dammit.
Here's what I've come up with so far...
20. Blast Broadway show tunes and belt out every last word, with the windows wide open.
19. Send elaborate love letters in lunch boxes.
18. Chaperone a field trip wearing a "Team Lily" t-shirt.
17. Cheer loudly and animatedly at sporting events à la Aly Raisman's parents.
16. Carry adorable, naked baby pictures everywhere and whip them out to complete strangers.
15. Talk in goofy, made-up foreign accents to their friends.
14. Answer the door wearing a bright green face mask and plastic shower cap.
13. Dance like a crazy person when '80s music comes on in the grocery store.
12. Dance at all, ever.
11. Use silly pet names in public. Loudly.
10. Force them to wear matching outfits for holiday photos.
9. Label their clothing with smiley face hearts around their names.
8. Shower them in constant kisses, wherever we may be.
7. Pick their noses.
6. Welcome the bus with a fully choreographed cheer.
5. Yell "I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!" at the top of my lungs as the bus drives off.
4. Use saliva to wipe off their dirty faces.
3. Wear a bathrobe and slippers to school pick up.
2. Maintain my blog.
1. Breathe. (I'm thinking that's probably enough.)