Parenthood, like medicine is a PRACTICE. That’s why some of the parenting advice I see anymore makes me giggle. “Why I Never Yell at My Children”, “My Children Eat Only Veggies”, “I Never Tell My Children They are ‘Pretty'”. Parents who have it all figured out. They’ve made one change and their children are now better than everyone else’s. First, their kids are like, 5 and 7, hardly enough empirical evidence that their methods will produce non-psychotic adults. Second, parenting is practice and every child is different and will respond differently. They seem to find perfection, while most of my parenting tricks come from tactical errors.
- Your 18 month old looks like she wants to use a spoon, so you give it to her. Tactical error-she will never allow you to feed her again, which means you must schedule 10 minutes to the end of each dinner for a hose down and clothing change.
- You leave your 2-year-old alone with a marker-Tactical Error-Unless of course you want to pass off your walls as Picaso originals.
- You think it would be fun one night to read books as a family in your bed. Tactical error-good luck evicting them every night after. Our solution was to buy them beds more comfortable than ours. Tactical error- Mama wants a new bed.
- You bring a snack for your kids to eat in the car one day after school. Tactical error-You are evil if there is not a snack EVERY time they are in the car, this results in the car looking like a rolling dumpster. See my Ode to the Mommymobile:http://luckylifeintentional.blogspot.com/2010/11/poem-for-fellow-messy-mommies.html
- You discuss parodies with you son, so you introduce him to Weird Al. Tactical Error-no song is safe.
- You mention the words “Disney World” in passing. Tactical Error-Better sell a car because you must go, you must go now.
- You spend months teaching your little baby to walk. Tactical Error-they are much harder to manage on the move.
- You anxiously await the day your child calls you “mom”. Tactical Error-by the age of 2 the word is used on repeat…loudly…until you stare at the clock wondering if it’s 5 0’clock somewhere.
- You allow a friend to give you a kid-sized drum set because it is so cute. Tactical Error-there is a reason that “friend” gave it away.
- You send your parents to Grandma’s so you and the hubs can have a weekend getaway. Tactical Error- You return only to have to detox your kids from sugar and fun overload. You will now NEVER be as cool as Grandma.
These are just a few of the things I’ve learned while practicing. I’m sure you have a list of your own if you are a parent. I don’t mind the errors as they teach me something about these little, independent creatures. There is no such thing as perfect parenting, so stop paying attention to all the advice from “perfect moms”. No one has it together. Just keep practicing. It won’t make perfect, but it will make it worth-while.
Now, I’d better run as I believe I’ve committed another error: blogging while my daughter plays quietly in another room. Silence is rarely golden at two, it’s often purple or blue and all over your walls.