|Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography/freedigitalphotos.net|
1. Use a pacifier. I've never liked seeing a child walk around with a pacifier stuck in his mouth for no reason. First of all, it looks ridiculous. Secondly, who wants jacked up teeth? I vowed I would never use a pacifier. Bahahahaha, hilarious, right? At first it was easy to resist temptation (you know, to put a plug in it) because my son wouldn't take it. He'd spit it right back out. But one day in desperation I tried his pacifier one more time and it magically worked. I said I'd only use it at nap time or when he's teething or when he's really upset, but it's SO easy to give it to him any time he cries. I have to deliberately stop myself from reaching for the pacifier. I love it so much.
2. Feed my child junk food. What decent parent would willingly give their child junk food? We've all seen Maury where a 2 year old the size of a small hippo comes on the show and the parents blame McDonald's. But there's something to be said for having processed food handy. My son loves puff cereal so I keep it in the diaper bag. Crying in his car seat? Give him some puffs. Fussy at home? Give him some puffs. Doesn't want to sit in the shopping cart? Give him some puffs. On second thought, maybe I'm starting some bad food associations. Ten years from now it's going to be - upset? Stuff your face with Oreos. Hmm.
3. Buy stuff he doesn't need. I had planned on being a minimalist. He doesn't need lots of toys. He has an imagination! And books! And he thinks shredded paper is fun! And really, I was right. He doesn't need lots of toys. Mama needs lots of toys. Do you know how hard it is to entertain an infant? How about entertaining one for the 12 hours he's awake every day? What, that rattle is on clearance? Throw it in the cart.
4. Let him sleep in my bed. Nope. I refused to let this happen. I didn't want him to encroach on the space I share with my spouse. Then we figured out that he doesn't sleep well at night. And by doesn't sleep well, I mean at all. It started innocently enough. Sleeping next to me in the guest room when I couldn't bear to walk him around the room again until he'd fall asleep. Then Nana came to visit and there wasn't a guest bed to use. When push came to shove, I chose sleep instead of bed space and now he's in our bed full-time. We even put in a guardrail. Yeah, he's definitely permanent. He doesn't even pretend to be tired when I walk him at night. He knows he sleeps in our bed and refuses to settle for his hard mattress.
5. Use the TV for entertainment. We would read books instead. Or play outside. It'd be like the television didn't exist. And at first, it worked. But after awhile, I started to have withdrawals of my own. No TV makes Mama cranky. In the end, I compromised. If the television is on, it's kids programming (preferably educational, like PBS) and it's not on for long. Sometimes I need the background noise and let's be frank, sometimes I'd like to use the bathroom without being followed. For a crawler, he's surprisingly fast. A fact I was reminded of this morning, when both my son and our dog decided to rest on my knees while I tried to take care of business. Why didn't I turn on PBS? WHY?
Alright, I'm going to stop at five. I'm sure there's more because if I've learned one thing it's that you never say never when it comes to kids. It's like giving karma a free pass to screw with your life. What other things did you say you'd never do? Tell me I'm not the only one.