Reason Eleventy Billion Why Being a Parent is Worth the Poop

Before you start reading this, put on a song you love. If you want some suggestions, there are a few selections from my soundtrack I listened to when I wrote this here, here, and here.

I am not a dancer. Me not being a dancer goes hand-in-hand with me being self conscious. I feel like an idiot when I move my body to the music, and I have since my first seventh grade dance. Please please please don’t look at me. I’m that hippo in the corner doing yoga while wearing an Alexander McQueen-inspired getup.

I have felt like an idiot at countless weddings and parties when I started to sway. I’m not going to try to convince you that I look totally stupid because in all likelihood I don’t. It’s all in my head, I know that. But growing up means getting over yourself and just being a human who does things for the sake of doing them and not constantly checking yourself in the mirror.

So today when Wee Cee was in her high chair finishing lunch and The Reeling by Passion Pit came on and I naturally started doing Zumba moves to it because that’s what you do when that song comes on and I don’t trust anyone who suppresses the urge and says that it’s lame to move, well, she lost it and busted a move just as easily as I did. She threw her little fist in the air raise-the-roof style and swayed in her little baby way. We danced and swayed and laughed and moved together.

And then the song ended and I realized I had just danced without even knowing it. The above recounting of my moves are only corroborated by B who is home because the semester is over. How long have I been dancing without even knowing it? Probably since the moment this girl was born and I started getting over myself and started being a more human human. Being a parent means letting go of your lame self you developed the instant you hit puberty and forgot about being a baby. It means having fun because not only does it feel good but it makes your baby smile and it teaches her to embrace this glorious time in her life.

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69 comments

  1. If it makes your kid laugh then it’s all worth it.

    1. So true. They are tough customers so when they laugh it is to be relished and encouraged.

  2. Me too. All of it. Even singing and dancing, which I know I suck at.

    1. I love when school’s out because I get to hear and see more of you around here :D

      1. Grades were due at 10:00 this morning. I belong to the internet now.

  3. that is the best thing about motherhood– your kids accept you for the goofy self that you are and really what is better than dancing with your baby & hearing their delightful giggles?

    1. Nothing in the world. Seeing her groove and hearing her laugh is pretty much the best thing I’ve ever experienced.

  4. Aw! If you can’t be silly with her, who CAN you be silly with…

    1. My husband, but I’ve gotta be honest and say that although he’s pretty fun, he’s not nearly as adorable as her :)

  5. Yay dancing! Sometimes we’re so full of joy that it has to come out somehow, sometimes while we’re not even noticing.

    1. It’s really the best feeling to act like a buffoon!

  6. I approve of your song choices. I went to a Zumba class last week and there were about ten new ladies who didn’t know what they were doing. I had some previous zumba knowledge and I felt like a friggin dancing queen. It was the best. Congrats on having a new dancing partner who appreciates your moves!

    1. harperfaulkner · · Reply

      Yeah, and I bet you wore horizontal stripes, too! HF

      1. I hope I made it obvious that I will never wear horizontal stripes ever again. Don’t be jealous of my zumba moves!

    2. Oh man, it is THE BEST when new people who don’t know what they’re doing come to Zumba. I feel like Lady Gaga and Michael Jackson mashed into a new androgynous being.

  7. I love, love, love, love, loved dancing with my kids in my arms! When the boy was little, we lived in a house that directly faced another so that we could look into each others’ living rooms. I would dance with the boy to James Taylor’s “Getting To Know You.” Well, the neighbor caught me one day and said she loved seeing us dance. I immediately got curtains. I still dance with my daughter; we tango in the kitchen.

    1. Kitchens are made for dancing. Cooking, p’shaw.

  8. harperfaulkner · · Reply

    I didn’t recognize any of these songs and I still don’t know who my secret santa was. just saying. HF

    1. Hehehe I listen to a lot of hipster crap ;) And Friday will be the day all will be told. Until then, look to the north.

      1. harperfaulkner · · Reply

        It can’t be you! You wouldn’t knew WKRP in Cincinnati. Unless you watched Nick at Night. HMMMM. Dang, this SS stuff is tough! HF

  9. What a gem of an analogy!

    1. Thanks, Sandee. Dancing is analogous for so many things.

  10. Aww I love it! This is one of my favorite things about babies and also, I love that song!

    1. I know! It’s the best, right?! I have been listening to a lot of Passion Pit and M83 lately. I’m so cool.

      1. Awesome, that means I’m cool too!

  11. I assure you, I DO look totally stupid when I dance. No maybe about it. But I still do it. Well, in the privacy of my own home, anyway. :)

    1. But it’s so fun! It’s great to throw aside all of one’s inhibitions and just cut a rug. It’s good for the soul.

      1. And it’s a nice way to burn off those M&Ms I enjoy…

  12. Dance parties with daughters are so awesome. I imagine that when they embarrass daughters they are even better :)

    1. I am salivating over the days when I can mortify C with my dorkiness.

      1. Ha! Give it 5 years or so. My parents are extra-embarrassing and have already been banned from taking P right to the school door; she likes to walk the last 20 feet by herself, otherwise OMG…Dancing would be a whole ‘nuther story.

        1. Hahaha I will relish the days when I mortify C with my nerdiness. I’ve got it in spades, as evidenced by this entire blog.

  13. I don’t want to have kids, but I do enjoy acting super crazy with my nephew. It’s fun to see little kids’ faces light up when you’re acting like a total dork.

    1. It’s such an easy laugh too! You don’t have to work as hard as you do when you’re trying to write something funny.

  14. One of the great things about being a parent, at least when the kids are little, is that they think you have awesome dance moves no matter how you really dance. I do an awful robot dance but my boys LOVE it (especially the moonwalking robot move that I bust out while cooking dinner and any Michael Jackson song is played, oh yeah baby!) It is fun to let loose and dance and it is a nice bonus when your audience dances along with you. :-)

    1. So true! Sometimes I do the Gangnam Style dance for C and she DIES laughing. It is so gratifying!

  15. “Being a parent means letting go of your lame self you developed the instant you hit puberty and forgot about being a baby. It means having fun because not only does it feel good but it makes your baby smile and it teaches her to embrace this glorious time in her life.”

    Amen. Sonia is quite the dancer as well. Our children should have a dance party. They need a blog conference for the babies of bloggers. Or, you know, just childcare at BlogHer. lol

    1. I KNOW. It seems like they would for sure have that at BlogHer. We need to check on that because that’s the only thing holding me back from going next year. It’s in CHICAGO!

  16. It’s true<Em. Your kids have fun when you have fun! That is a groovin' song!

    1. I love that song! I am fighting tooth and nail for c to be a pseudo-hipster like me.

  17. Might I suggest losing your pants and skidding across the hardwood floor in your socks and skivvies, risky-business-style, like we do in our house. There’s no faster way to get rid of your “lame self”. (I’ll save you the linkbait to my blog on the subject)

    -DD

    1. This may or may not have already been done in our household. I take any opportunity to run around in my Underoos.

  18. One of the best endorsements for parenthood ever!
    (And you should keep dancing.)

    1. I will! You better believe it! And I hope you appreciated how I took a note from you and started my post off with a soundtrack. It really adds to the blog-reading experience.

  19. Awww, this is so sweet. I can’t dance either (unless it’s the robot, I do a fabulous robot). My awful dancing makes people laugh :)

    1. As long as SOMEONE is smiling and laughing, then it’s all worth it ;D

  20. There is nothing better than letting it go and dancing like a fool. Thankfully, my daughter is a good dancer, so I dance with her all the time. I also love to sing stupid little songs, I make up my own lyrics and really embarrass the kids.

    1. We do the same! I can’t wait until C finds out that the lyrics to some of the songs we sing came directly from my and my husband’s bizarre imaginations.

  21. Yes, these moments in life are so special…why spoil them by being self conscious. I love dancing with my boys. It is worth all the poop! Jen

    1. It really is worth all the nastiness, and that’s saying a lot. That stuff is toxic.

  22. Love this post. Love it. That’s one of the perks of parenthood I wasn’t expecting, to realize that making a fool of myself isn’t as earth-shattering as I’d always feared growing up. In most regards I am a total dufus, and oddly enough, I think that’s exactly what my son loves most about me :)

    1. Awww! That’s so sweet! I’m beginning to think that even though some kids groan when their parents act a fool, they really find a lot of comfort in it because it means their parents are humans.

  23. Making your baby smile is the most wonderful bit o’magic you can create. I remember the first time my little guy watched me color him a chicken (I’d have to draw it a million times a day for him a one point – the only thing I can draw) and the then looked at the picture on the page and the fish tattooed on my thigh, I saw the lightbulb go on over his head and he smiled and laughed so hard…then pointed to the chicken and to my leg. It is amazing when we ‘discover’ how clever babies really are!

    Awesome that you let go and went with the music. I am not a huge dancer (I was a belly dancer, but that’s DIFFERENT) and I hate having to move my hands. I liked the 80s when ‘shovel’ dancing was all the rage and you didn’t do much with your arms. I stick with that…

    1. I need to YouTube shovel dancing. Something about that name really intrigues me ;D

      1. Hee hee… that’s what my husband calls it :) Look up dancing to The Cure or Bauhaus or The Smiths…

        1. Is it kind of like shoe gazing?

          1. possibly….it requires very little movement of the arms….

  24. Emily,
    Loved this! Made me smile.
    Cathy

    1. Thanks, Cathy! We could all use a smile these days.

  25. I danced the baby around the living room to Hangin’ Tough and he laughed so hard I thought he was going to pass out. It was AWESOME.

    1. I knew I liked you. I need to introduce C to the New Kids. If she’s anything like me she will swoon over Joey McIntyre.

  26. I’m not a parent, but this is my guilty pleasure in baby-sitting my little sisters. We have a synchronised dance routine to just about all their shows now. ;) Great post!

    1. That is so fun!!! My brother and I used to do the same thing when we were kids. We’d put on shows for my parents where we would dance around. Such fun!

  27. “How long have I been dancing without even knowing it? Probably since the moment this girl was born and I started getting over myself and started being a more human human. Being a parent means letting go of your lame self you developed the instant you hit puberty and forgot about being a baby.” Oh, you. Happy tears are my favorite tears, my absolute favorite. Thank you.

    1. They are pretty dang delicious.

  28. Awesome!!! What a cute sight it must have been to see the two of you dancing together :)

    I love dancing through and through, with every fiber of my being. I don’t give a shit who the hell is looking as long as I’m having a good time. Doesn’t matter if I’m the sole person on the dance floor – I’ve been known to spark dance parties :P That being said, I LOVE ZUMBA!!! Definitely my favorite workout class :)

    I hope your cutie pie continues to inspire you to be more of a human human :P

    1. Zumba is the best! Once I finally memorized some of the moves, I felt like I could be a backup dancer for Lady Gaga.

      1. Heck yes! So much fun :)

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