We have plans for our forthcoming daughter, plans that we will execute because we are committed to raising our daughter a certain way. And all the other parents laugh.
We will not co-sleep, and will focus on getting our daughter to sleep through the night at an early age. With silent smugness, we will be the rare and envied well-rested parents with an eight-month-old. And all the other parents laugh.
We will not buy pre-made baby food, ever. We can puree our own sweet potatoes for much cheaper in our own home. And all the other parents laugh.
We are committed to spending wisely on our child. Children are as expensive as you make them, and you have way more control over your childcare expenses than you think. And all the other parents laugh.
We will not, under any circumstances, stick our child in front of a screen before she is two years old. And all the other parents laugh.
We are committed to getting our daughter to eat healthful, delicious foods and will send her to bed hungry rather than satiate her demand for grilled cheese for the fifth night in a row. And all the other parents laugh.
We will make our marriage a priority, and will not allow our daughter to get in between us and dictate the rhythm of our lives and our relationship. And all the other parents laugh.
We will teach important lessons at an early age to our daughter. We will teach her about trade-offs and scarcity. We will not shield her from human sexuality. And all the other parents laugh.
We will use our marriage as a model for our daughter, teaching her what a good relationship looks like so she carries that forward as a priority for her when she develops relationships of her own. And all the other parents laugh.
We will teach our daughter to be skeptical of materialism and consumerism. That wanting a thing is far more pleasurable than actually having the thing. That you can get far more pleasure out of creativity and innovative play than you can out of yet another toy or device. And all the other parents laugh.
Our daughter will learn to entertain herself. She will learn that unstructured time and boredom are as valuable as extracurricular activities like soccer or dance class. And all the other parents laugh.
We will not be too busy for our friends who are interested in spending time with us as a family. And all the other parents laugh.
This will all come crashing down, this house of confidence Kathleen and I have built. We have the smug certainty of expectant parents, the first timers who have yet to realize that what they are bringing into the world is a not a programmable robot or a pet that can be trained, but a person who will have her own view of the world. Some of our plans will work, but probably not in the way we expect. Many of our plans won’t because there are that are out of our control that we don’t even know about yet.
And all the other parents nod in agreement.