The Gift Of Experience


There must be something in the water this year because it seems as though it is the season of baby showers. So many of my friends are choosing to start their families and I couldn’t be happier for them. I look back on my own beginnings with my oldest with nostalgia and longing, but right behind those rosy feelings is a wall of fear…cold and in your face fear. The kind of fear that deer must feel on highways at night. Because I remember what it was like to not have a clue what I was doing.

That day I left the hospital with my son, I thought to myself why in the world would they let me leave with him under the expectation that I could keep him alive?! Those nurses did so well! How the hell was I going to do this?! Help!

So, my dear friend, at your shower where you’re glowing and completely and blissfully ignorant of what’s to come, I want to bestow upon you a different kind of gift.

The Gift of Experience.

I got this gift at the Life store, in the Crap Happens section. It was on sale, shockingly. There were different kinds, but I got you the Deluxe package. I hope you like it. It includes the Colicky Baby kit, the Bottle Refusal add on, the Sleep Training CD of crying sounds, and the Battle of the Binky set of pacifiers you won’t be able to find. I’ve also chosen the model with the Potential Food allergy scratch and sniff cards because I loved that one and thought you might too.

This box also includes the Developmental Milestone DVD which is great at showing you exactly where your child is slacking. I loved that. I watched it at 2 a.m. every night instead of sleeping. And, because I’m SUCH a good friend, I also put in the Potty Training package which will cover your floor in piles of brown goo and yellow water so that you can feel almost immersed in the experience.

I know, I know, I’m the best. And I await your thank you card.

I chose this wonderful gift because nothing can compare to it. Really, there is literally nothing out there quite like knowing what the hell is going to happen and that you can probably survive it. It’s magical. I wish I had that when I was pregnant with my first. If I did, I would have known that babies eventually do sleep and that I could survive until then. I would have seen that they will grow on their own curve and that comparisons aren’t helpful. I would have understood what was worth worrying over and what wasn’t, and I would probably have toned down my sanctimomminess.

This gift would have let me see that I’ve got this whole mom thing down in my own way, and that I was going to be ok.

Gosh, dear friend, I’m so glad I got you this present.

However, when you have your baby sprinkle for subsequent children, you can technically get this gift for free when you leave the hospital. Seriously, they just hand them out like candy at Halloween. Someone should really tell them to spread the love to those first-timers too. They need it.

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Megan Phillips is a licensed clinical psychologist who owns a private practice that specializes in helping women and moms in Orange County ( She is from the Pacific Northwest, but she and her husband decided to escape the rain and move to warm, sunny Southern California in 2012. Since then, she became a mom to a smart and funny little boy and an adorable baby girl. Megan enjoys cooking and taking in the local sights, and she is always up for a fun mommy’s night out.