Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Hints the parenting books won't tell you

Any new or expectant parent has probably read a plethora of books. Sometimes you feel so saturated with information that making a decision can be paralyzing, especially when you're sleep deprived and covered in spit up. Believe it or not, there will still be things that many books seem to miss. I don't want to give unsolicited advice that raises one parenting style over another, but here are a few things I've learned over the years ( and can be used whatever your parenting style)

The Best Parking Spot is not the one closest to the store, but the one closest to the cart corral. If you don't trust me on this now, you will after the first time you try to wrangle your shopping bags, a toddler, and a baby bucket while not sending the cart careening into someone's Mustang.

Small item lodged in nose  Hold down the unplugged nostril- tightly! Form a seal over the child's mouth with your own, and blow hard. It will pop right out. (Via my friend Tami)

Potty train in summer Naked children potty train faster.

Turn your clock to the wall I'm not going to go looking for studies on this, but I'm convinced that you feel better rested in the morning f you don;t know how little you've slept.

You don't have to keep everything anymore, thanks to digital cameras  Preschool at projects overrunning your house, but afraid your kid will be upset if she finds out you tossed her masterpiece? Gently explain that while you don't have room to keep it all, you value her work and are therefore going to take a picture of it.

The First Birthday Cake I believe there's a law that you can't be a parent in N America without owning a copy of What To Expect The First Year. It's been a long time since that book applied to me, but I seem to remember it- and every other "first year" book I read-telling parents to make their child's first birthday came from whole grains, sweetened with fruit juice, low fat, and of course NO SUGAR. I have three kids and yeah, I did that once. Now, I am about to offend both the truly crunchy moms and the convenience food moms, but I truly believe one of the TRUE things about parenting is that you should make your kid a real birthday cake, every single year. Make it with sugar, butter, flour ( whatever kind you use), eggs and if you want to raise your kids right, chocolate. Don't give in to the urge to go to the grocery store bakery. Really. Even if you don't worry about preservatives, dyes, and HFCS the other days of the year, birthdays, all birthdays, are special and our loved ones deserve both the effort and the deliciousness that a home baked cake provides. And for the love of whatever gods you believe in*, don't make one of those healthy monstrosities.
(*If you're atheist/agnostic, please imagine Julia Child playing the role of God)


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