Friday, July 15, 2011

Survival Guide: A Mommy Is Made's Dos and Don'ts

* DON'T ever do a smell check in public.  While this may work in your intimate circle of mothers, it's never cool to sniff your child's butt in front of total strangers.  Find a way to perform a discreet diaper assessment and you won't have half of Target looking at you in sheer disgust. 
* DON'T mimic your child's wave unless you're in the confines of your own home.  It's not okay to wag a limp, floppy hand at your garbage man while saying, "buh-BYEEEE... BUUUUH-BYE".
* DO make sure to find time for a shower.  Your husband, among others, will thank you. 
* DON'T break up your kid's food with your own mouth.  There are reasons we have forks and knives. 
* DO make time for yourself.  Embrace nap time! You never know when it will reach its bitter end. 
* DON'T roll your eyes at someone else when their child is behaving badly.  Karma is a bitch.  And Kid Karma is the mother of all bitches.  The minute you think your child is perfect your sweet and innocent kiddo will prove you wrong and snatch up every last ounce of pride that you have. 
* DON'T forget the snacks.  Snacks are a parent's savior.  Never underestimate the power of a snack bowl.  
* DON'T order off the kid menu unless you're 100% sure that your little monster will eat 75% of his food.  Paying for an eight dollar chicken breast that will be used as a tambourine is just silly. 
* DO make your best effort to clean up the food fight that has taken place at your table.  As someone who has worked in numerous restaurants I can tell you that it's pretty crappy to leave the equivalent of Armageddon under the highchair.   
* DON'T lose the milk.  I can't tell you how many times Mackenzie has hidden her bottle as if it were the Hope Diamond.  She'll manage to find it hours later and proceed to drink from it.  Luckily she's yet to become violently ill from ingesting sour milk, but at this rate it's only a matter of time.  Someone really ought to put a GPS in those things. 
* DON'T panic.  As it turns out, coming into contact with goose poop will not kill your child.  It may kill YOU knowing that you'll have to clean it, but they'll survive the ordeal. 
* DO encourage independent play.  Otherwise you'll be in a straight jacket by the weekend. 
* DO realize that it's okay to lock your child out of the bathroom every now and then.  Mackenzie still seems to think that mommy's potty time is cuddle time.  Her head has come way too close to the toilet seat than I care to admit. 
* DON'T adjust your volume when you have a baby.  Don't turn down the TV when your newborn goes to sleep or spend the rest of your evening conversing in whispers.  You'll be doomed later on in life. 
* DO adjust your temperament.  You don't want to lose your marbles in the early months of parenthood. 
* DON'T subscribe to the notion that your life with a baby is the "new normal".  There IS no normal in parenthood.  As soon as something SEEMS normal it will change in the blink of an eye and you'll suddenly be removing sneezed mac n' cheese from your clothes instead of dribbled spit up. 
* DO embrace and accept your child's developing personality.  I've finally given up trying to force Mackenzie to sit in the bathtub.  It only ends in an ugly fight that leaves ME covered in suds and HER battered and bruised from falling and hitting her head.  If she wants to stand in the bath, so be it.  She's incredibly stubborn... wonder where she gets THAT from?
* DO set the record straight on who's in charge.  Otherwise that kid will run you down so hard you won't know what hit you.  
* DON'T force your child to eat.  Unless you want to clean up regurgitated beans all afternoon. 
* DON'T apologize to people in the grocery store who think that you're talking to yourself in the produce aisle.  There's a kid in the cart, folks! She may not be able to talk back but she certainly will learn to speak sooner if she's spoken to often. 
* DO apologize to people in the grocery store if they're trying to be nice by saying "hello" to your daughter and she responds with the stink face and a forceful "NO!"
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