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Top 10 Tips for New Parents

This is certainly not my definitive list, because my girls are still only three and five-and-a-half. Still, it's occurred to me that there are some good rules that experience has taught me, but which none of the moms or grandmas or magazine articles in my life thought to share. So here are my greatest words of wisdom to new parents:

1. As soon as your baby can raise its head, you need to clear off a generous spot on top of the fridge for every pen and especially sharpie in the house. It doesn't matter if you think they're a tiny, innocent little thing. Babies lull you into complacency and then they strike permanently. On that note, keep some Magic Erasers up there too. Buy stock.

2. It's okay to occasionally let the tv “babysit”, especially if you and your spouse can't get a moment alone otherwise. Pick self-playing, two hour Dora and Diego specials. Your children will become budding naturalists and fluent in Spanish. If they have siblings, you and your spouse should occasionally watch with them so you know what they're plotting behind your back. Seriously.

3. When you stock extra toilet paper in the bathroom, you should always loosen the roll on each and every one. Otherwise, you will wake one morning to a fresh roll torn into fourths and a very clogged toilet.

4. Be sure to store anything with sugar on the very top shelves in the pantry. This includes favorite cereals, even if they're healthy. If you have room left on top of your fridge, that works too. The bottom shelves are for things like apples (bag opened), partial packs of crackers (you'll always have five or six almost-gone packs anyway), bananas, granola bars, and little reasonable-portioned sandwich baggies of dried fruit. Just one for each kid, no matter how long they once again lull you into complacency.

5. It's okay to drop them. You'll feel really bad about it, but, secretly, everyone does it. Not on purpose, of course, but it happens. It's really all right, unless a limb or something is twisted.

6. Be vigilant. Only allow them to hear words that you are totally okay with them screaming in a grocery store.

7. I know people will disagree with me on this one, but sometimes it's okay to swat them. Even if you start out saying you never, ever will. I have a most firey red-head, and sometimes that really is the only thing that let her know I'm serious. And sometimes, if you hold off in, say, a public place for fear that someone will call the police or something while your child is turning all Exorcist on you, the public will actually reassure you that no one will stop you from disciplining your child. Nip it in the bud before it ever gets to that point.

8. That said, be prepared to drop any and every thing if your children say they need a hug. (Unless it's during manipulative negotiations, so be understanding and compassionate about the differences.)

9. It is totally worth waking early to have family snuzzle time every morning.

10. Don't think “I could never homeschool”, because you do every time you spend a moment with your child.

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
dodging_fate
Jan. 14th, 2009 09:20 pm (UTC)
VERY good tips! The TP one made me LOL because it's sooooo true!!!!

dodging_fate
Jan. 14th, 2009 09:21 pm (UTC)
oh, and if you birth monkeys rather than children, there IS no safe place for sugar or sharpies, simply eliminate them from your life. My dad laughs at me because I'm in the habit of buying one to mark what I need then immediately handing it over to him to remove from my home, heh!
ahavah
Jan. 14th, 2009 09:24 pm (UTC)
The TP one is the one that got me thinking of this topic. I do it so often, and so much angst could have been avoided if only I'd been warned. lol Ivy does have a habit of climbing on top of the refrigerator, but she can only do that at Tina's house.
dodging_fate
Jan. 14th, 2009 09:27 pm (UTC)
Anna scales the pantry shelves... 10 feet up, in the back of a deep shelf, nothing is safe! Damn my dad for making the shelves so sturdy, lol!
ahavah
Jan. 14th, 2009 09:28 pm (UTC)
Shhh! Not so loud. *glances warily* They're outside. It's okay.
merenda
Jan. 15th, 2009 03:20 am (UTC)
> It's okay to drop them. You'll feel really bad about it,
> but, secretly, everyone does it.

You have NO IDEA how hard I laughed when I read this. :)
ahavah
Jan. 15th, 2009 03:33 am (UTC)
:D

It's all truth.
inanmak
Jan. 16th, 2009 12:34 am (UTC)
Amen, Sistah!

and...
"6. Be vigilant. Only allow them to hear words that you are totally okay with them screaming in a grocery store."

I wish more parents would think about that one. I live near an elementary school and I really get disillusioned about the future of the planet when I hear 7 year olds using language that would make sailors blush. What's worse is they use it correctly *sigh*

You're such a good Mum :)
ahavah
Jan. 16th, 2009 12:37 am (UTC)
Well I'm really glad you think so, but I can't say I always follow these rules. Ivy's a little potty-mouth. That's where I got that rule. She's thrown out some things I never even realized she heard. I've gotten it mostly under control though. Mostly. *knocks on wood*
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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