Feel free to learn from my experiences (a nice way of saying mistakes). Here are a few of the lessons I have learned over the past 4 years:
Always check for poop – It doesn’t matter if they have just pooped, pooped three times already, or there is no smell. It always strikes when you least expect it. You pull off that diaper and poop goes everywhere without a wipe in sight! So no matter what, always check for poop!
Deadly silence – Silence may seem like a good thing, but it can be deadly. You’re innocently getting lunch or dinner ready, folding laundry, “using the facilities”, and you realize you haven’t heard a sound from your kids. With a sense of foreboding you seek them out. Some of the things I have found include: Urpling chewing happily on a variety of fruity Tums, Sasquatch eating a three day old part of a Subway sandwich from the garbage, or Urpling stripped naked and being rolled in some paper towels by her sister.
Pants to bed – both girls hit a phase where they figured out how to take off their diapers. They liked to do this in the middle of the night or bed time. Once Urpling took hers off while we were staying with my in-laws. She then pooped and peed all over their hallway carpet. I discovered her and the mess 30 minutes before we were suppose to leave for a wedding. I have learned, if youn put them in pants, even with nightgowns, this doesn’t happen.
It’s Easier to eat healthy at home – Getting the kids to eat anything at restaurants is hit or miss, let alone the “healthy” options. (I put those in quotations because the healthy choices are rarely that much healthier than any of the other options) I would rather stay home and cook something. So if we do go out, they kids get what they most likely will actually eat. It may not make me Mom of the year, but it means that Sis Smiley and I usually actually get to enjoy my dinner out. Which is really the point of going out in the first place.
Dress your kids up when you go out – Mainly when you are going some place for an extended period of time. Like weddings, out to eat, parties. etc. Any place where your kids are likely to make a scene, possibly multiple times. I have found if you dress your kids up super cute, than people tend to be more forgiving of their behaviors. Trust me, it works.
Free stuff rocks – This is self explanatory. Never turn down free stuff….ever.
A fresh diaper and empty garbage makes your kid poop – If your kid seems a little plugged up and you’re worried about them, just empty the garbage and put on a clean diaper. This always seems to guarantee they will poop within minutes. Just when everything is fresh smelling again…
A bad day can always get worse – No matter how crazy it is, there is always room for the kids to make it even crazier. Seriously.
A bad day can always get better – No matter how bad the day is, my kids can do something so mind blowingly adorable that you are almost instantly happy again. True story.
No return policy – There will be times where you wonder what insanity caused you to think you should have kids. That you would be equipped to handle the raising of another soul. But there is no return policy, so strap in and hang on.
Always have a puke bucket in their room – My kids went 2 years without puking. Yet I would gladly have kept a puke bucket needlessly in their room for those 2 years if it would have prevented me from having to scrub puke out of the carpets several times. Just when they seemed to be better I would take the bucket out of the room and they would puke again. So now that bucket is staying there until the apocalypse.
Feel free to add your own lessons in the comments. Parenting is a live and learn experience to be sure. I’m always looking to learn from others mistakes instead of making my own.