I was talking with my Miss Maddie the other day and I’m not sure how we got on this topic, but it was about the things parents end up doing that (A) we think we will NEVER do – or – (B) think we will NEVER experience – or – (C) think we will ALWAYS do.
(not in any particular order)
1. My diaper bag will ALWAYS contain every essential known to babydom: formula, bottle, water for formula, diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream, extra pacifier, toys, extra outfit, blanket, etc. – Yep, I know, crazy! Right? But, as you may recall, my Type A personality likes order and also likes to minimize surprises. Well, I’m sure all of us, at one point or another, has encountered a deficiency in the diaper bag. With 3 kids, it did happen more frequently than I wanted, but what are you going to do?
2. I will NEVER go to work with spit up on my clothes. – I’m sure many of us have left the house all spiffed up unaware of the goo we were wearing. I distinctly remember going to work (different incidents) with spit up on the back of my blouse and graham cracker fingerprints on the back of my blouse. Why is it always on the back? Of course, it took another mom in the office to let me in on my outfit embellishments!
3. I will NEVER wipe snot with my bare hands. – In one of my many office settings of my illustrious careers (before Mike and I were married), a new mom was telling the tale of when she had to wipe snot with her bare hands because there was nothing else available. Well, when I heard that, I was like, “Why wouldn’t you just have tissues in your purse, diaper bag and car at all times? Duh!” Well, Every time I have wiped snot from one of kids’ runny noses with my bare hands, the smug thoughts I had about my co-worker float to the surface. Like an idiot I didn’t always follow my own advice! I do have to ask , why, as moms, do we feel the need to share that kind of story with anyone, let alone casual, kidless co-workers (are we trying to scare them away from parenthood?)?
4. I will NEVER give my kids sweets as a toddler. – Well, Rachel was our first and very much deprived of traditional sweets until she was about 4 probably. She was my first baby and I followed every guideline to the nth degree. Now, Maddie, the next in line, was different. I think that happens with subsequent kids, don’t you think? We were in Michigan for vacation in July, so that would make Maddie 5 months old. She had her first frozen popsicle on that vacation (the kind that are liquid first and freeze – our family calls them Ben Baxter pops (long story)). It was like a drug for her – when one came into her line of vision, she would reach out for it and her whole body would wriggle until you gave her some. I guess we blew that one!
5. I will NEVER get peed on or pooped on by my baby. – Yeah, right. What was I thinking? That is one of three things babies primarily do – cry, eat, & generate dirty diapers. One of the girls (she shall go un-named) was 3 mos old and had an explosion in her diaper so big that we had to cut her clothes off! They were unsalvageable!! It took two of us to manage this explosion – while one of us was extracting her from her clothing (Mike), the other one had to get the bath going (me)! That was something I definitely couldn’t have anticipated. Oh, and I eventually had a boy, so, yeah, duh!
6. I will NEVER let my kid walk around with a pacifier in her mouth at all times – Oh brother! We blew that one right away with our first child. We had it clipped to her so she wouldn’t lose it – what the hell were we thinking?! Getting that thing away from her when she was four was harder than getting an addict to give up cocaine. We had to wean her off of it slowly. She could have it for naps and bedtime only, then bedtime only and then nothing at all. To replace the pacifier, we bought her a Mickey Mouse Playskool glow worm – that went over like a lead balloon! When we noticed her sleeping, she just substituted the “pacie” with her thumb!!! Now, what? It took her dentist to convince her that she was going to ruin her teeth if she kept sucking her thumb – she literally gave it up that night after her appointment. We were very careful with our other two after that!
7. I will NEVER say to my kids, “Because I Told You So!” – When I was kid and my parents said that to me, I promised myself that I would never say that to my kids! Well, what can I say? I say IT all of the time! And, I usually add, “I don’t have to get your buy-in because this is not a democracy! It is a dictatorship!”. That’s a new thing that I added to it – I think it adds a certain flair, don’t you?
8. I will NEVER yell at my kids like my parents did. I will ALWAYS talk to them in an even tone of voice. – Um, if you’ve read my post “The Mom, the 4th Grader and the ISP” then you know that I have already broken this promise. I love my kids, but they can bring out “Crazy Mommy” faster than any other human beings on earth!
9. I will NEVER let my kids get hooked on Barney (he was the hot ticket when Rachel was born). Well, one of Mike’s “friends” gave us a Barney video for Rachel and then she fell in love. However, we stubbornly refused to buy her a Barney stuffed animal until she started sleeping with an empty Barney shampoo bottle – his name was Shampoo Barney (it was so pitiful). Okay, again, not sure how we could have prevented our daughter from falling in love with the nicest dinosaur EVER! So when the Teletubbies were hot when Maddie was a toddler, we just gave in. How can you fight the advertising machine?! (I know, don’t let my kids watch TV. Yeah, right!).
10. I will NEVER ……….Well, it would be great if I could think of a 10th one so we would have a Top 10 of sorts, but I can’t. I think that there were only 9. Of course, these were only really applicable when we were new parents and the kids were young. I have to say that Mike and I haven’t really developed any “I will NEVERs” or “I will ALWAYs” for the teen years because we were too busy and too pooped to think straight when they were toddlers to give two hoots about the tween & teen years (they were SO far off)! I also think it was because the “rules” that we had laid out for ourselves as new parents were blown out of the water as soon as we had kids! We have definitely learned that we need to be agile, fluid and adaptable when raising children because things rarely go as planned. Now, we are flying by the seat of our pants and making it up as we go along . . . . Here we go!