It happens so regularly it's almost routine: I wake up in good spirits (and with a craving for coffee so all-consuming it's almost grounds for rehab), look in the mirror, and say, "I'm not going to yell today." I emerge from the bedroom feeling as serene as Stewart Smalley (he really had a good thing going, and if more people went around thinking, "goshdarnit, people like me!" the world would be a nicer place).
And then? My husband wants to know why I didn't clean the coffeemaker properly, my son spills his juice in such a fantastic fashion that the walls are now tie-dyed maroon, and my phone alarm rings telling me I forgot about a doctor appointment. I yell: "What is WRONG with everybody?!" and head right back to the bedroom, praying for a Do-Over.
Want to know what other parenting boo-boos I would Do-Over if I had a magic wand? (Or a magic head-nod like I Dream of Jeannie? Sidenote: it's a shame my son doesn't appreciate the irony when he asks me for his own laptop and I cross my arms, nod my head, and say "poof!")
I would feed my child whatever my husband and I were having for dinner, and not prepare "kid friendly" food instead. Why? My son currently eats 5 foods: mac and cheese (Kraft only), turkey bacon, waffles, pizza (if the sauce isn't "too spicy") and chicken nuggets. We went to visit a friend over the Christmas holiday, and the restaurant choice was based solely around my son's preference for the chicken strips. Embarrassing, high-maintenance, and brought about only by my (poor) parenting skills.
I would read one of those "Dr. So-and-So's Sleep Method for Infants" books, and follow it. Let your baby cry for 3 hours? Check. Maintain a bedtime routine? Absolutely. Perform a sleepdance while yodeling? I'm all about it. Because obviously my method of snuggling, rocking, crying (both of us), and finally delivering us both a dose of Benadryl did not do the trick.*
I would not do everything for my child simply because we are in a hurry. This includes: shoe-tying, coat putting-on, washing him in the tub, and feeding him. (That one was more to save me the mess, and I realized the other day the damage I did when my son said, "I hate using a spoon. Why can't you still feed me?" I have horrific visions of him at a business dinner 20 years from now, asking the waitress to cut his steak.)
I'm well aware that having at least one more child will give me the chance to undo all the first-time-mom damage I have done, and grant me the Do-Over I dream about. But that subject is a blog for another day. In the meantime, I will just cross my arms, say a prayer, and channel my inner Jeannie.
*Stop freaking out. After 6 months of no sleep, this was doctor-endorsed.