Writing the post yesterday made my brain keep moving in that direction, and there will probably be more “How I do what I do” posts in the future. But I also started thinking of all the little tricks or lessons that I’ve learned that are now second nature, but that I had to learn the hard way. The more I thought about it, the more I thought of, not just in parenting but regarding life in general. So read on, and maybe you can learn from my mistakes. I won’t include many details, so feel free to use your imagination.
* Always put Catherine’s hair in a ponytail before allowing her to eat yogurt.
* Always dilute juice with water for my children at least until they’re three or so.
* If you forget to dilute the juice, make sure you have plenty of diapers, wipes, and diaper cream on hand. You will be using them frequently for a day or so.
* If you feel led to move to Indiana to take over a church plant, please examine the situation carefully and get all the details first.
* Don’t leave glasses or dishes with food or drink still in them on the table once your toddler learns how to climb in chairs.
* Don’t leave pots of dirt in the playroom for any length of time. It only takes ten minutes for the dirt to travel far and wide, but three hours to clean it up.
* Never leave dirty diapers where the dog can get to them.
* Know that if you teach your children not to say certain words, they will comment loudly everytime they hear someone else saying them, which could be embarrassing.
* Your parenting expertise will diminish by about 68% as soon as you bring your first child home from the hospital.
* Never ever ever assume that just because it looks like your husband will have Saturday off, that you could actually make plans to do something fun, at least not if he works for Terminix.
* If your husband does work for Terminix and you do happen to try to plan something fun, never tell your children about it in advance. Wait and see if it actually happens.
* Adults who seem perfectly sane and “grown-up” can and will–on the day they become grandparents–morph into strange beings who suddenly begin buying lots of ice cream and sweets and noisy, light-up toys to pull out every time they see your kids coming. 🙂
* Always make sure the bathroom door is closed when you have a toddler, especially if there happens to be a “little” potty in there too.
* Think very carefully before signing up for daytime activities when you will be the only grownup in charge of three small children.
* Getting strep throat on a cruise ship costs a lot of money. (But yes, to be completely honest, the insurance actually reimbursed most of it.)
* Poptarts are very difficult to get out of baby hair.
* Police don’t help anymore when keys get locked in cars, and locksmiths are very expensive.
* A determined baby can and will figure out how to escape a buckled carseat while traveling 65 mph down an interstate.
* Bedtime, at our house, is very important. We don’t want to mess around with it too much.
* If you go a day without brushing curly hair, it is next to impossible to comb it the next day.
* When you have children, people assume that you will be jumping up and down begging to teach the toddler Sunday school class.
* No, seriously, never leave half-full yogurt containers on the table when Elisabeth knows how to climb in chairs!! (I just had to leave the computer to clean up this unlearned lesson yet again!)
* People are capable of incredibly idiotic comments about the number of offspring you may have.
* It’s better to pack too much rather than too little. Period.
* It’s not a good idea to take two Percocet when you’re home alone with a newborn and a 2 year old.
* People will indeed steal a car right out of a church parking lot.
* ER bills are outrageously expensive, even if the elbow is already back in socket by the time you get there.
* Finally, probably the biggest lesson I’ve learned the hard way: The doctor who told me I would probably never be able to conceive a child without going on Clomid was….WRONG!!!