The 10 Commandments of Parenting

The 10 Commandments of Parenting

I. Thou shalt not dress thyself for any occasion more than three minutes beforeth the departure time. For I say unto you, woe, WOE to the mother who thinketh she shall escape the reacheth of vomit.

II. Thou shalt abandon thy principles and alloweth thine offspring to watcheth the television, eateth the ice cream, and weareth the mismatched clothing.

Blessed is the mother whose offspring does not cryeth for absolutely no logical reasoneth. 

III. Thou shalt vow to be reassuringeth to other parents in regard to their offspring, and sayeth things like, “Surely I say unto you, Billy shalt be fineth in spiteth of his scrape;” while simultaneouslyeth vow to freaketh out over thine own offspring, and beggeth your husband to taketh them to the emergency room upon accidentally cutting a finger whilst clippingeth their nails.

IV. Thou shalt not puncheth strangers in the supermarket for givingeth dumb suggestions to thee in regards to thine offspring. Nay, verily – thou shalt worketh on thy fake smile in thy free time, and pasteth it upon thy face, and continue thy shopping in a hasty manner.

V. Thou shalt remember the Disney Channel schedule and keep it holy.

VI. Thou shalt not eateth thy Thin Mints in fronteth of thine offspring, for surely thine cookies shall perish.

VII. Thou shalt sweareth to thine offspring that if they getteth a tattoo whilst living in thine house, thou shalt also go and get an identicaleth tattoo and taketh photographs and posteth them on the Facebook for all to see.

VIII. Thou shalt not watch television programs that are not appropriateth for thine offspring, except for season finaleths, and shows you have been waitingeth to see forever, and shows that amuseth you with their humorous ways, and just forgetteth this one and watcheth what you want.

VIIII. Thou shalt make exaggerated threats to thine offspring in thy church, mall, or any other localeth place, and sweareth to them that they shall be held in captivity for twentieth years if they do not getteth in the freaking car. Thy husband shall stand beside you, pleading for you to just forgetteth about it before the cops show up, and assureth you that the offspring shalt not groweth up to be serial killers because you did not disciplneth them.

X. Thou shalt honor thine own mother and father, for they are the babysitters and savers of thy sanity.

Blessed are the grandparents, for they keepeth us from too much prison time. 

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Josh-to-English Dictionary

Josh-to-English Dictionary

I have a confession: I have no idea what kids are saying, like, 99% of the time. Even older kids. I pay attention and concentrate really hard, but usually I just wind up nodding and smiling and hoping I didn’t just give a kindergartner permission to cut her own bangs (don’t worry, that hasn’t happened yet).

The one child I do understand is my two-year-old son, Joshua. It takes a little bit of guessing sometimes, but usually I can figure out what he means. However, out of sympathy to those who suffer from my affliction and have no idea what he is talking about, I present to you the Official Josh-to-English Dictionary, Copyright 2015. Read more

On your second birthday

On your second birthday

Dear Joshua:

Wow…today you are two years old! That just seems so incredible to me. How can you be two when you are still my little tiny baby buddy?

But as much as I don’t want to acknowledge how old you are, I have also had so much fun getting to know you over the last two years. This last year in particular has been amazing, because your little personality started to shine through. I have began to understand you better and better, and it has just been so exciting and interesting. Last year I told you about all the things you have taught me, but this year I want to tell you about all the things I have learned about you. Read more

The Mommy Wars

The Mommy Wars

Before I became a mother, I had a vague idea of what parents did. Feed child, clothe child, try to keep child from beating up other children. It was one of those subjects that I was woefully but blissfully ignorant of – I really didn’t have much use for information like which brand of diapers was best or how you need to move like a frickin ninja to escape infant projectile vomit.

I am still far from an expert, but after I had kids, I crossed over to the Other Side. No, not Narnia. The Other Side of the gap that separates parents from non-parents. The side filled with tiny onesies and 800 sets of plastic keys (seriously, do they even work in the plastic cars? Then WHAT IS THE POINT) and dogs that whisper “Hug meeee” at four in the morning when you’re walking to the bathroom. You can look behind you and see the non-parent side for a little while. Then Dora the Explorer asks you to help her find her map and before you know it the non-parent side is nothing more than a distant memory.

The parent side has lots of surprises. You learn words like “Wubanub” and “cluster feeding” and, in our case, “hyerbilirubenimia.” But one of the most unexpected surprises I encountered was the Mommy Wars. If you’re not familiar, the Mommy Wars is an ongoing battle between mothers (and occasionally fathers) over various methods of parenting. For example: formula feeding vs. breastfeeding, strollers vs. babywearing, cloth diapers vs. disposables, velociraptor vs. t-rex, etc etc. I tend to bop through life in a cloud of glitter and Skittles and assume everyone does the same, so I was really surprised to see how often these issues popped up, not to mention the intensity of the arguments they caused. Articles are flung left and right; everyone from psychologists to school teachers to children’s birthday clowns seems to have a scientific opinion on whether letting your baby sleep in your bed will scar him for life. Sometimes people start snapping their fingers and singing and that’s when you know that it just got real.

As much as I love a good argument, I found myself avoiding these particular fights as I delved into research of my own (fine, as I copied every single thing my sister did). Not because I was offended. Not because I wanted to interview those birthday clowns for myself to see if their science was accurate. No, my avoidance was due to something much simpler. Something that I think has the potential to end these Mommy Wars forever. Are you ready for this incredible secret? Here you go:

Apathy.

Yes. Apathy. I do. not. care. I do not care if you feed your child formula. I do not care if you breastfeed your child. I do not care if your child only eats hot sauce. Not because I am a serene, peace-loving person who can rise above such petty conflicts as I practice yoga in my meditation garden. I am just too lazy to care. I am tired. I am busy. I am constantly losing one of my children. So at the end of the day, whether you strap your baby to your back in a pretty wrap or with several socks tied together, I’m cool with it. Just don’t drop the kid because that’s not cool. I mean, I probably wouldn’t turn you in or anything. Actually, just writing about it has pretty much sapped my energy so go ahead and drop little Timmy; I won’t tell.

This isn’t a humble brag where I toot my own lazy horn and show you how I win all the Mommy Wars due to my lack of judging others and indifference to others’ judgment of me. Despite the awkward, chaotic mess that is my daily interaction with people, I do care what other people think of me. I’m only human. But I am a lazy human, and while I have tried hard to get worked up over the fact that Sally Smith doesn’t believe in disposable diapers…eh. What do I care? Is Sally at my house, throwing away my diapers and forcing me to use cloth ones? Has she hired Tonya Harding to bash me in the knee so I can say a lot of embarrassing things on national television that will follow me forever? No? Then…eh. Sally can have her cloth diapers and I can have my disposable ones and somehow I think the world will keep turning.

So, parents and people everywhere – join me on the Other Other Side. The side where you always feel accomplished because your kids are alive at the end of the day and that’s really all you were going for. The side where all your decisions are right because no one was paying attention to them anyway. You don’t even have to put on real pants. Take the plunge. Cross over. Drop your cares and worries at the gate – your toddler or dog will probably eat them and then you won’t even have to step over them.

Apathy: The real future of parenting. I’d put that on a t-shirt, but…eh.

Clearly my parenting is superior to yours.

The Long Haul

The Long Haul

This week has been a good one overall. I’m getting used to life in the NICU, which is both weird and good at the same time. One of the rocking chairs now has my buttprint on it permanently and that’s nice because now no one else will use that chair. I don’t like sharing.

We had our awesome nurse Jennifer back this week! We love her. She works so hard to go the extra mile to help us. She is the one who started dressing Joshua up in little outfits – and she color-coordinates them with his bedding. And she helped Josh make a nice card for Daniel’s birthday and got Daniel some Mountain Dew! She’s been really great and I can’t wait to have her back next week. Don’t get me wrong – all of the Northside nurses have been phenomenal. We just like Jennifer a lot. We might be in love with her a little.

Daniel got a card from Josh!

We still haven’t been able to hold him. We might get to soon. I’m not as sad as I thought I would be. It’s only been two weeks but I’m already getting used to not riding the ups and downs. It’s hard not to get so excited at every success or really disappointed at every setback but we’re learning. Josh did go back to the regular ventilator and that was awesome! He is doing pretty well, all things considered. He is getting milk and he is off his bp meds. And his brain bleed is no longer a cause for concern because he has hit the two week mark. He has been here for two weeks!!! Well, the nurses count today as two weeks. Technically I guess it’s tomorrow. Whatever. I’m just pretending it’s today AND tomorrow. Anything to get more celebration cake.

The next few weeks are, oddly, what I have been dreading the most: the long haul. The part where Josh isn’t so sick anymore, praise the Lord, but where he isn’t better enough to leave the hospital. So we wait. And make more buttprints in more rocking chairs. Soon I will own them ALL. But this part is where I think we’ll be the most weary. That sounds weird but I think it’s started to hit me just how long the next 12 weeks will be. We’re blessed to have so much family and so many friends around to support us and that has helped a lot. It’s just one of those things that requires a lot of patience. I am not known for my patience. Daniel is so patient that I’m concerned he might have inhaled marijuana by mistake sometimes. Maybe I am supposed to learn patience… meh. Why start now, right? At any rate, the time will pass. Eventually. I’ll just buy a lot of books to read between now and then.

This blog used to be fun and hilarious (if I do say so myself). Now it’s kind of lame and medical. I blame Josh. That rassa-frassin’ baby just isn’t funny. But BFF Jen and I were discussing another awesome adventure of ours recently so I’ll write about that next. Maybe. I might take a nap instead.

“I enjoy the darkness.”