Wednesday, August 5, 2009

(This was written while I was pregnant with my first kid. I am going to update in italics after each statement, just to see how we’re doing.)

As a burgeoning mother-to-be I find myself reflecting on parenting and the many nuances thereof. Occasionally something will pop into my head and I tell myself how I will handle it when it applies to me and my newest littl’un. So I have composed the following to help myself remember what I am and am not supposed to do as a parent…or as a good laugh when I realize that I do none of this.

I vow never to use the phrase “Because I said so” if a rational and understandable answer exists or at least only to resort to it if the real answer backfires. (So far, so good but he is only 18 months)

I vow to still be a person and be capable of speaking of things other than my family and not to only ever speak of what is spewing forth from one end or another of my child. (I think I’m pretty oblivious to this one, although I did talk about the news yesterday.)

I vow to never give unsolicited advice to a deer-in-the-headlights pregnant woman as I truly hate it when they do it to me now. (None have really talked to me; I seem to always be the pregnant one.)

I vow never to intentionally scare a pregnant woman with highly exaggerated pregnancy/labor stories of my own as it seems others are doing to me now. (Granted, I was on a mood acid trip for a good part of that first pregnancy and was pretty sure everyone was out to get me somehow. In hindsight, though, it did seem like mother-people were just trying to say the worst things they could think of.)

I vow to not rule out the possibility of using formula especially if I end up stuck in the bathroom at work for hours on end trying to pump only to find out that I had it backwards or something. (I did and do pump in the bathroom at work, and it’s hard to get it backwards but somehow...I did.)

I vow to try and refer to my disobedient child as sparingly as possible as “your child” to my husband. (Ooooh...moving on)

I vow not to use television as a last resort for entertaining my child…depending upon what’s on. (He likes Blue’s Clues and the Wonder Pets, though I hardly see it as using the TV as a babysitter because I’m sitting there watching it with him. And singing.)

I vow to consider having another baby even though this is no picnic and I’d rather be on a diet. On some level, at least. (I did consider it and now I have Sully, too. Although while pregnant with him I desperately wanted to go running.)

I vow not to succumb to my picky eater’s not so finely tuned palate and serve him only hot dogs, chicken fingers, and macaroni and cheese. Even if that’s what Daddy is eating. (Connor eats all kinds of things regardless of where they are. I caught him recently with his head on the floor, chewing something out of the carpet.)

I vow not to try to force my child to eat olive tapenade or pesto in an attempt to be a modern up-to-date mother of a would-be foodie child. Sometimes hot dogs aren’t so bad. (You will not find tapenade or pesto on my grocery receipts. That’s mostly because I won’t eat it. I guess I’m the picky one)

I vow not to give my child a mohawk if he genuinely likes his normal, everyday, boring haircut even though Angelina Jolie’s kid can pull it off. Not to mention some two year old I saw at the market the other day, but I think his mom just got distracted with the clippers at home. Not so much intentional. (He still doesn’t have a whole lot of hair, but what he has is blonde and curly. I’m not cutting that.)

I vow to try never to leave the car seat on top of the car with the baby still in it while I’m driving. (Even through two kids, I have yet to do this.)

(To leave the carseat on the car.)

I vow not to make myself feel bad by reminding myself that as much as I want to scrapbook, I have nothing to put in one. (I didn’t feel bad until I just re-read it.)

I vow to take enough pictures of my child so that I remember what he looks like later on when he is no longer bald. Maybe that shouldn’t be a vow. Yes, that’s just an “I’ll try”. (I did. Mission accomplished.)

I vow not to let myself go broke because I refuse to give my child any baby food that isn’t organic (which probably tastes like the kid’s already eaten it). (No worries there. I did buy some but he spit it out just like he would the cheap stuff. I’d rather he spit out the cheap stuff.)

I vow not to be afraid to give my child refined sugar before he’s a teenager. There’s a lot of it out there; gotta get ‘em ready somehow. Like the Spartans training their kids for war when they’re toddlers. It’s out there so ya gotta be prepared. (Unfortunately, Connor was introduced to Coke at an early age by someone who shall remain nameless. So now every time we pass a McDonald’s I hear from the backseat “Co-Co”. Great. He’s also a big fan of ice cream, cookies, and chocolate. Always keep a firm grasp on your dessert, or it will be gone.)

(‘Nameless’ is spelled D-A-V-E)

I tried to make these resolutions sensible and some even doable. I know, though, that in a few years on Christmas morning my tow-headed toddler will be bouncing around the living room full of milk chocolate and candy canes, wearing a bow on his head, clutching the box to a new toy as the toy lies forgotten, and my husband will be laughing, and I will not remember this list at all. It won’t even matter.

(That Christmas thing hasn’t quite happened yet as he was too young to really understand what was going on. But he did have a bow on his tushie.)

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