As I wander through the Land that Time Forgot---parenthood, I realize that I don’t know anything about it. Oh, I’m sure I’ve made mistakes. But frankly, I’ve always believed that any horrifying mistakes I’ve made could be corrected if I just got my little monsters into the right therapy. And prayed. . .a whole lot. Well, I’m hoping it helps at least.
Anyway, it did occur to me that through the last 5 years I have discovered a few parenting survival tips that might be handy for the next generation of parents. Assuming that after reading this they don’t change their minds, of course.
- Remember when your mom told you that when you became a parent, you would have a child just like you? Yeah, that wasn’t a compliment. In fact, it was a mommy curse, which is widely considered to be both terrifying and unbreakable. Look, let’s put it this way, have you been to a biology class? If you have, then you know that there are all kinds of stuff that we inherit-all those genes and whatnot. You know, the stuff that makes you who you are. Now think back to what an idiot you were as a kid. Or, if you are very brave, try to recall your teenage years. Now consider this. All that stuff is in your genes and whatnot and you are passing it along to another generation. A generation that you have to raise. Scary, isn’t it?
- Children are completely incapable of catching up on sleep. In fact, if a child misses his or her nap one afternoon, it practically guarantees that the child will not go to sleep that night. I don’t know why this happens. I only know that it does. And it’s painful for everyone.
- When your grandmother told you that toast always lands butter side down, she wasn’t lying. Anything your child drops onto the floor will always land upside down. Doesn’t matter what it is. If it’s stainable on only one side and your child drops it, the stainable stuff always-and I mean always-hits the floor.
- Spending 5 hours in the kitchen with your Julia Child’s DVDs and a life-size cardboard replica of Gordon Ramsey while making some French-sounding chicken dinner will guarantee that your child will not like it. I don’t care if it looks and tastes like chicken nuggets, the minute you spend more than twenty minutes creating a meal, your child immediately believes it is part of an evil plot to make them eat a balanced meal and will rebel.
- Getting a child into the car and strapped into a car seat, then starting a video, handing them juice, and leaving the driveway triggers an urgent need for the child to use the bathroom. It doesn’t matter how many times the child goes before getting into the car. The minute you are all in the car and onto the street, your child will have to go again. Without fail. So be prepared and bring an extra cup.
- A child never has muddy shoes. This is because when they come in the door, they walk all over your carpet and leave the mud behind. That is why when you find the muddy footprints and yell, “who has mud on their shoes,” they check their shoes and find them clean.
Oh, sure, I have many more little nuggets of advice. But I think those are enough for now. Parent accordingly.