Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Everything I needed to know about life, I learned from having a kid

Or: A celebration of life's lessons as taught by my offspring.
Or: Final exam study sheet from my Junior year of parenting.

Madeline is turning 3 this week. Yes, she was an infant two days ago, thankyouverymuch. No, I have no idea how this happened either. And she's taught me a lot, needless to say.
Being a good teacher means being a life-long learner, so while I look ahead to the infinite lessons I'm due in the future, I'll share the lessons Maddie has taught me so far:
  • Anything stick-shaped is a microphone. And add a mirror and you have a good show and a good time.
  • Sometimes we all get a little cranky when we're hungry, tired, or wet. A snack, a nap, and dry pants will work wonders for anybody.
  • If you're offered either untold riches or the promise a great night's sleep for the rest of your life, pick the sleep.
  • Getting there late is not the end of the world, because nobody of value would care that you're late. Especially because the baby threw up. Again.
  • Just because someone loved a food every time she had it doesn't mean she will willingly eat it today.
  • Everyone, even the baby, will eventually sleep.
  • You + pediatrician = team. Your child's doctor went to med school, and you should trust that he/she does know medicine best. And of course, you know your kid way better.
  • Books get better every time you read them, their quality increasing exponentially after the 100th time.
  • This too, shall pass; They will stop crying, they will stop the hunger strike, and they will end the potty boycott. They will also grow out of sweet little dresses, stop calling you "mamma", and stop wanting nothing more than to be held. So lap it up now.
  • The toy you truly love will not be the toy they truly love. Ditto TV shows, books, and clothing. Freakin' Dora the Explorer...
  • There will be people (those with medical degrees excluded) who tell you what you should or shouldn’t do with your kid. Products to try, discipline tricks that work, potty training methods that worked for their kid so will of course work for yours. Just smile and nod.
  • Always have a plan.
  • Always be ready for plans to be demolished and remodeled into new and better plans.
  • The state of nudity creates the absolute necessity for dance and/or crazy running.

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