tell it like it is.

I had a coffee date with a good friend from Bend today. It was not only refreshing to see her face, but also to know that I am, in fact, still able to carry on a little adult conversation. I know this because of 3 things: (a) she doesn't have kids and yet left without that glassy-eyed look of boredom, (b) we covered a myriad of topics having nothing to do with Fancy Nancy or spit-up, and (c) I finished my coffee. While it was still hot. [Okay, warm. But it was 45* outside.]

As we were waiting for my coffee, my daughter spilled her milk. (In her defense, if they're going to call drinks kid-friendly, the manufacturers should all get together and decide once and for all whether these 'kid-friendly' drink cups are going to need to be squeezed or sucked through a straw. Because if you're 2, you'll always choose the other one and it's just plain mean to keep switching it up.)

In any case, it prompted me to look at my friend and share a thought I have at least once every day: "When I look for a way to sum up being a mom, I think to myself, 'of all the things I read and was told about being a parent, no one brought up the fact that parenthood means you have to teach someone how to pee in a toilet'."

There must be an unspoken rule between moms that since you had to suffer through it, learning by trial and error, you're damn well going to make certain the next chick suffers the same fate. It's just plain mean.

I hereby break the evil cycle-of-silence.

1. While your nursery may be full of cute little baby clothes, your baby doesn't start out cute. It poops really weird colors right out of the bat. You'll think the child swallowed a pound of tar because, at first, that's exactly what the poop looks like. And it smells like burning tires. Also, the baby comes out looking like a lizard.

2. Like this little person? Good. They're going to be your roommate. For 18 years (probably more). And if they wake you in the middle of the night screaming like Steven Tyler, you can't call the cops, move out or take them to see Judge Judy.

3. Regardless of the monetary savings and bonding that takes place while breastfeeding, at some point you will pray that your child will suddenly develop an allergic reaction so that you can have the satisfaction of shoving your husband out of bed at 2am because it's his turn to bottle-feed.

4. No amount of organizing or obsessing will negate the inevidable plethora of 4-foot baby toys you'll trip over in the middle of the night while trying to sneak up on the little sleeping angel.

5. You will, in secret, tirelessly search wikipedia for some foreign illness to contract that makes it impossible for you to be the one who gets up in the middle of the night to put the binkie back in and re-swaddle the little monster.

6. You will pretend to forget having read the choking hazard warnings on the binkie packaging while examining it's ventillation holes to see whether you can string through a strip of duct tape and fasten it to the back of your baby's head.

7. Those quiet pops and snaps your ankles make that you will never have noticed before become land mines that wake a baby out of the most deep sleep, whereby the idea of holding your pee for the rest of the night suddenly seems the better option.

8. Get HBO. Because infomercials are even more pathetic in the middle of the night. HBO plays 80s movies like Back to the Future and The Breakfast Club. Completely worthy.

9. Strange older women will not only give you unwelcome and unwarranted opinion disguised as advice, they'll also touch your child without asking. Carry mace.

10. Nap when the baby naps. This is crap. Bake a pie, take a shower or order something over HSN. It's your chance to feel normal for a minute. You can sleep later. Like when you're 70.