Friday, July 6, 2007

Rules are made to be Broken

**Updated below to add one more that I totally had a story for yet forgot to add! Thanks to the lovely Minivan speedracer for the reminder :)

Before I had kids, I was so smart. I knew exactly how to raise them according to every text book out there. As a matter of fact, I not only majored in education, I took enough psychology courses that I could tell you how detrimental your poor parenting skills were to your kids future. I made up all of these spectacular rules that I was sure to follow as soon as I reproduced. If I saw parents in restaurants or stores or even friends with kids, I'd mock their lack of parenting skills and assure anyone who'd listen that my rules would be followed to the letter the moment I became "Mom". THEN. Then, I had kids. Here's my list of rules and the realities that would bring tears to the eyes of 20 year old me.

Rule: No child of mine will ever have a pacifier. Parents who shove that thing in their kid's mouth are just being lazy and not paying enough attention to what their kid really needs.
Reality: After each kid used me for a pacifier, I was begging and promising ponies if they'd just take the dang binky. Even for a second.

Rule: No TV. Again, be a parent and use every single second of your day entertaining and feeding the young mind that you chose to bring into existence.
Reality: D-D-D-Dora, Dora the Explorer allows me to get a shower more often than days that start with T. Bring it on chica, and thanks for teaching my kids to say, "Ayudame!!" when they need me to do things for them. Or just to watch me giggle.

Rule: Um, like, my kids will never taste sugar. No cookies, candy, cake and other junk food will ever pass their little lips because it's just not good for them and will only rot their teeth and make them hyper.
Reality: Anyone want to come to my house for juice boxes and fruit snacks? And look! I have cookies!! What kind shall I get for you? Sister likes Oreos, Brother prefers chocolate chip. BUT WAIT! That's not all! Step into my pantry of despair and pick any sugar laden item of your choice (many in your choice of annoying character!)

Rule: My kid will never ever throw a tantrum in public. He or she will be well versed in how to behave themselves and not annoy people who are just trying to enjoy a good restaurant/bookstore/shopping mall.
Reality: "Hey Sister, while you're rolling around on the floor like your clothes are on fire because I said you can't have another stuffed animal to add to the already existing zoo in your room, I'm just gonna head on over to Gap, join me when you're done, k?"

Rule: Eating food off the floor? Gross. Not my sweeties. That ten second rule thing is ridiculous and makes me want to gag.
Reality: Brother dropped his hot dog on the floor at our local favorite restaurant and without hesitation, I picked it up, wiped it off with a napkin and handed it back to him. Looking up, I caught the horrified glance of a woman whose designer duds with no visible dirty handprints were a sure sign that she doesn't yet have kids. You just wait honey, you'll get it one day.

Oh yes, oh yes. The things I have learned. Or forgotten. Which is it? I think I'll be adding to this list as time goes on because almost every day I think of something that I now allow my kids to do that I once swore would never happen. This parenting thing, it ain't for textbooks.

Feel free to add your own in the comments section!


  1. "After each kid used me for a pacifier, I was begging and promising ponies if they'd just take the dang binky. Even for a second."

    My daughter refused to take a pacifier, and now I am so glad. I see all the kinds in our community who use them and most started talking much later than our daughter. In addition, many of them seem to be quite clingy- not to mention how they cry when they lose the thing.

    J. Kaiser

  2. Thanks for stopping by, John! My kids both started speaking pretty early...wonder if that had anything to do with it? As it turns out, neither would ever take the thing, even with all the whining and begging (from me!)

  3. You know my first 2 both took a bink. Jake talked pretty early, Noah not so much. I'd take a kid learning to talk slower though if it meant they weren't attached to my boob non-stop though ;) Heck - aren't we begging them to pipe down now anyways? Maybe I should break those binkies back out;)

    Oh - and I should add- Ike NEVER took a bink and he's been the slowest to talk. Could be he has his brothers catering to his every need though. hmmm......

  4. You know my philosophy on the whole thing, right, Amy? It all evens out in the end. And, you are so right about begging them to stop. There's no such thing as quiet time at my house!

  5. Oh.My.Word! So Funny. So true. Been there, done that!


  6. My son didn't use a binky and still was a late talker. Now that he's talking, I'm thinking I should've pushed the binky. This talking thing- WAY overrated :).

    BTW Heather, I'm adding "eating food off the floor" to the list of things parents say they'll never do, but then totally cave. At least I did! Crawl under the table and fetch your fruit, children!

  7. Neither of my kids took a bink, all though I tried, and the girl is still slow at talking... and def the sugar and tv, that was apart of my list too, and the floor! I totally agree Minivan!

  8. OMG, Sheri. I totally meant to add that food on the floor thing to my list. See what happens when your blog post is all in your head and you don't jot down? I'm adding it!