I think maybe the hardest part about parenting
-- other than finding a way to keep the pants on the Babies!--
is not knowing what's "normal" or not normal. It starts with the pregnancy itself: how much weight should be gained, what should be eaten, how much should the baby kick, how much should the baby NOT kick, and so on. It drove me crazy.
Then, once the Babies! are there, it's even worse: should they be sitting up? Holding their heads up? Crawling? Standing? Walking? Running? Talking? Eating this? Not eating that?
And other parents around me are no help. I think they're just showing off. I'll say something at the park like "No, they don't talk much yet, they've got maybe 20 words, counting 'banano' as a word," and other parents say something like "Oh, well, my kid's already writing his dissertation for Harvard. He's 1. Your kid sucks."
Back when the Babies! were in daycare, there was another set of twins, and I asked one of their parents whether their babies slept through the night, 'cause ours weren't.
"Oh, sure, they sleep for 12 hours straight," the mom said. But she looked really tired, the kind of tired you get from having kids that don't sleep through the night and then having to lie about it to me.
I've learned to deal with it by going to "Parents Connect," a website where you can pick up all kinds of parenting tips and advice, and get actual posts from other actual parents, parents who don't have the same incentive to lie because they're not standing there in the room with you.
Like today, I was reading an article on "50 Ways To Take The Junk Out Of Junk Food," about a book of that name that gives tips on how to get kids to eat healthier. Since Mr F and Mr Bunches exist primarily on chocolate chip cookies, it's nice to find out that other parents have that problem, and that there's a book about it out there.
And to you other parents that I meet: I'm kidding about all of this. Mr F and Mr Bunches not only speak in complete sentences, they do so in English, Latin and Greek. All at the same time. While piloting a space shuttle. Manually.