Shocking, I know. However, the reality is that whether you have one child or ten children, we never really become the expert parents that we so desire to be. As a matter of fact, as soon as you start to actually say to yourself, “Oh, I know JUST what to do here. No problem, seen it a hundred times,” life throws another curve ball and your stuck chanting the mantra of newbie parents everywhere, “WhatdoIdowhatdoIdoCrapCrapWhatdoIdo?!?!!”
I was chanting just that mantra this morning when I went into Kate’s room to discover the most rancid, aweful smell emanating from her pants. She’s been really picky about eating for the past few days…so much so, that she’s only wanted green beans and strawberries. She’s also had a very, very mild off-and-on fever, but I thought it was just a teething thing because, you know, I AM the expert…right?
Wrong! As soon as I picked her up and took her to the changing table, I knew I was in over my head. Imagine the nastiest diaper possible…now multiply by 100 and THAT’S what was waiting for me at 8:00 AM from the sweetest, cherubic face imaginable. I’ve never seen anything like it and that includes having had a boy first. I was shocked, appalled and completely freaked out.
Needless to say I pulled myself together and managed to clean it up, but the whole thing got me thinking that maybe, just maybe I’m not the totally-awesome-has-it-together expert mother that I had tricked myself into believing. As a matter of fact, what do I ACTUALLY know about parenting? So I had to wrack my brain and think of a few things that I know, without a doubt, about parenting. Otherwise, I might as well hand in my Mother Card and call it a day. Please do enjoy:
1)Getting peed on is WAY preferrable to the alternative.
3)It is acceptable to allow another kid shove or yell at your child, but kicking and punching is when you intervene.
4)Sometimes ear infections present as crankiness and low grade fevers instead of the traditional symptoms.
5)Television is not a bad way to distract for 30 minutes…or so.
6)Swaddle, swaddle, swaddle
7)Every fall, bump, scrape and booboo can magically be fixed with a kiss.
8)Never feel stupid for taking your kid to see the doctor and don’t let anyone else make you feel stupid or hysterical…listen to your instincts.
9)Tell your kid about the playdate ON THE DAY OF, not before…just in case you can’t deliver.
10)No two kids are alike, even if they are siblings.
11)Discipline is just another arm of love.
12)Cleaning up poop in the bathtub is not as hard, or disgusting, as you would think.
13)No matter how much you clean your child, he/she will ALWAYS manage to find the dirt and sit and/or roll in it.
14)Infants can’t focus on more than two things at a time, so bouncing, swaying and singing all at the same time will quiet ANY colicky baby.
15)Sometimes you just gotta go with your gut instead of what the books, mom’s and friends are telling you.