Every parent and baby advertisement you have ever come across, experiences you have read and people you have spoken to must have listed, in great detail, the "awwwww so cute" moments of parenthood.
Welcome to the not-so-cute reality. Here's a rundown to what you must expect, sooner or later. And once you have gone through these and maybe some more or some less gross encounters, you will have landed yourself in the august company of a gazillion parents over centuries who have lived through these very same experiences and survived to tell the tales.
The first baby puke on you
Every parenting website, her paediatrician, your doctor… Basically anyone who has even elementary knowledge of baby-raising will tell you to ensure that she burps after every meal. What they probably will miss telling you is that while trying to secure yourself one of these precious baby burps, you may end up with a baby-mouthful of puke running down your shoulder.
In such cases, push that chin up and know that you have crossed your first parent milestone. As a parent, it might also greatly help to practice a 'you-know-children' (YKC) expression in front of your mirror, to be deployed immediately when disasters such as baby puke occur in public.
The first time she'll poop on you
Fragrant wet wipes, scented hand washes and trusty hand sanitisers will be your BFFs, for the next two years at the very least, with the danger of the baby poop looming large over your head all the time. Again, if in public, pull out the YKC in defence instantly.
The first time she tastes a shoe-the kind that has clearly seen better times
Someone wise once said that whatever doesn't kill you only makes you stronger. That someone has to have been a parent who was struck by this profound thought while beholding the sight of their little one gnawing at their street shoes with delight. Your beloved shoe-the one that has protected your feet from the rains, sewer water and puddles of mud-may well find its way into her mouth sooner or later.
If your little one is able to go through her infancy without subjecting you to this experience, you deserve nothing less than the Oscars of parenthood. You may now patent your formula for baby-raising instantly. If not, rest assured that it has only improved her immunity.
Her first public fart
Kids have the uncanny ability to let the loudest ones rip only when it can be heard with Dolby Digital clarity. I once heard a little lady fart so loudly in the middle of an emotional scene during a play that even the actor onstage looked startled and scared. The explosion was accompanied by a delighted gurgle of laughter, leaving no one in any doubt of who the culprit was!
Realising she has pooped just as you settle to lunch
If you are one of those parents who doesn't believe in putting her in diapers all day long, then brace yourself to be in this situation more than once. For starters, the smell engulfing your nostrils will not let you eat in peace, and against all logic you will feel guilty about letting her sit in her own poop while you grab a luxurious five-minute lunch.
When the dog's biscuit will be more tempting than her own
It may be the dog's biscuit, the cat's fish, what the crow left out on the window-sill or the food in the plate of the stranger on the next table-she will find it infinitely more tempting than what's in her own plate. The good thing is, usually strangers are pretty sweet about stranger kids eyeing their food like they're being starved at home.
Their first attempt to check the temperature of the water in the pot
And that is the worst to look out for. Left unattended with a bathroom door ajar is the perfect recipe to her exploring unexplored territories, namely the water in the commode. This may also happen when you have turned your back to pick up the soap while giving her a shower or washing her hands after a meal. Just count your blessings if you manage to intervene before she puts those fingers in the mouth to check if the water tastes any different!