01/31/2013 05:08 pm ET Updated Apr 02, 2013

Selective Memory Is Key to Parenting


The first time that I truly realized how different my life had become after having a baby was when my daughter was just two weeks old. It was Halloween, one of my favorite holidays, and I couldn't wait to share it with our new addition. The fun of dressing up, eating candy and seeing greedy kids shove their dirty hands in a big plastic pumpkin full of treats just gets me happy.

We had a cute pumpkin costume for my daughter and decided to carve pumpkins on our stoop while handing out candy to trick-or-treaters. We imagined she would happily hang out in her carrier, smiling at everyone. That was our plan, at least. After setting everything up on our porch and carving the first cuts into the pumpkins, the crying began.

We put the pacifier in her mouth and got back to carving. Ten minutes later, we were confused as to why she wasn't enjoying this as much as us. We decided she must be wanting a toy, so we attached one to her seat and she smiled. However, five minutes later, the quiet time was over again. Then, after singing,"You Are My Sunshine" and only getting 30 seconds of a pumpkin carving time, we had to accept the fact that our crying baby was not interested in hanging out happily in her carrier. Nor was she interested in sitting in my lap, being held by Daddy, rocking in her swing or just about any other activity we had to offer. She was officially in her "witching hour" -- the horrible time of day where a baby decides to punish their parents for taking them out of their warm home they found in your womb and watch you fail at every attempt of comforting. She's tired but not ready for bed, hungry but doesn't want to eat, and basically ruining your favorite holiday.

So we packed up the pumpkins, shut the light off on the porch at 6 p.m., put her down to sleep and made ourselves a cocktail. Our glasses weren't even half-finished before we both passed out on the couch, with a bowl full of candy by our door.

However, when I look back at that holiday, I don't remember much about her fussiness because I can't seem to get the adorable memory of her in her pumpkin costume out of my head. Isn't that why people keep having children? It's because selective memory is the key to a happy parent.