Nothing beats that blissful feeling when you open your eyes for the first time that morning and see actual daylight. It changes your whole perception of life, filling you with an exuberance that could conquer the world. You may even go so far as to make actual breakfast, instead of settling for yesterday's pizza leavings. Whatever age your baby stops waking at night, there is nothing more joyful than the inner triumph of having acheived a 'normal' person's sleep. Celebrate the moment. I don't care what anybody says; if it isn't daylight, it isn't morning. Fact.
2. Pairing the Final Sock.
No child wants to wear socks. From birth they are pre-programmed to flick them off in the most inconvenient places. If you have a toddler, you will have one sock in every room in your house, at any given time. You may even have two, but not matching, obviously. One day, though, you will hold in your hand, what can only be described as the Holy Grail of Parenthood. You will possess the final sock. This will probably only happen once during your entire parenting journey, so be ready to savour the moment. When you pair the final sock with its twin, your heart will sing. It's a beautiful moment.
3. Catching Vomit.
Ok, not an obvious one this, but anyone who has made countless attempts to clean and dress a reluctant, wriggling infant in a carefully chosen, coordinating outfit, will know where I am coming from. You are going to a wedding, maybe, or perhaps one of those toddler groups where you can feel the silent judgements even before you've entered the room, you finally get Junior dressed, when... BABOOM!! A technicolour yawn arrives with the velocity of a Beckham free kick and... you instinctively intercept the damage, therefore saving the day. You are a hero.
That all too familiar sound of a child screaming blue murder is heard, ringing out from amongst the supermarket aisles and hackles start to rise amongst the less tolerant shoppers. Old ladies are tutting, dads are cringing and mums are trying to send sympathetic vibes, as best they can. There aren't many parents who can truthfully say they haven't suffered at the hands of their little one's mighty lungs, when something much-desired has not made it into the trolley during the weekly shop. However, every now and again, it won't be your little one who is trying to let the next town know that you have failed as a parent. And, as much as we extend psychic sympathy to the latest victim in this situation, it's perfectly acceptable to thank your lucky stars that it's not your turn.
5. Making the Grade at School.
6. Finding Out the Laundry Basket has a Bottom.
This is another defining moment on your parenting journey. It requires a lot of naturally occuring events to be on your side, so it may not happen very often. However, now and again, all those planets will be in alignment and a miracle might just occur. When there are a few sunny days in a row, it happens to be a weekend, you are not required to devote the day to driving, or visiting, or attending an event and no one is ill, you may just catch a glimpse of utopia; the bottom of the laundry basket. Legend has it, that if you reach the bottom of the basket, for that load only, all the bras will retain their wires, sleeves will unroll themselves, and socks will find their way out of trouser legs, as if a magical force were at work, but that could just be a rumour. This utopian state has remained undocumented throughout history, so rare is its occurence. If you ever make it, take a moment and enjoy it, you've earned it.
7. Becoming at One with your Parenting Style
There will come a point at some time during your life as a parent, where, all of a sudden, you will realise you are actually doing ok. You might not be perfect, there may be unexplained stains and the odd profanity where there shouldn't be. You might not always make it on time and sometimes Junior has ice cream for breakfast, but, it will suddenly come to your notice that other parents get it wrong sometimes too. They struggle and try and muck it up sometimes. You will notice that the happiest parents are those that wear their stains with pride and the unhappy ones are those that are constantly striving for unattainable perfection. That's right; 'perfection' and 'children' do not belong in the same sentence. Unless your definition of perfection is chocolate covered, loud, messy faces and haphazard, 'wing and prayer' living, in which case, high five, you've made it. Your perfect life may not be other people's, but once you learn to embrace it, all your days will be bright.