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Sunday, February 27, 2005

Things I've learned

At the ripe old age of 35, I feel qualified to pass on to those parents younger than me pearls of wisdom that will lessen embaressment, reduce anxiety, and minimize bad decisions.

  1. NEVER say NEVER. For example, when I declared my unborn daughter would NEVER play with Barbies, I doomed myself to a closet full of not only Barbies, but the more hideous Bratz dolls.
  2. Don't talk about someone's bad breath in front of your children. They will remember it and are programmed to LOUDLY repeat your criticism to that person.
  3. Avoid people with the nicknames given to your children's genitalia. For example, if your son knows the word 'teeter', don't introduce him to Mr. Teeters. This will produce giggling that cannot be controlled.
  4. Discussing breeding of dogs can only lead to the inevitable question - "What is breeding?" and the followup "Is that how babies get put in a woman's belly?" These questions will not be asked in the privacy of your home but most likely in the middle of church, social gatherings, or in front of your grandmother.
  5. Letting a child have a sip of beer or wine to quell their curiosity will come back to haunt you as they tell their teacher they drink beer at home.
  6. Never use a strobe light in your bedroom at night if your window faces the road. You'll have to trust me on this.
  7. When indulging in an afternoon delight, always lock the door AND turn up the radio. Questions about certain phrases or sounds are hard to answer.
  8. When teaching your daughter about menstruation, remember what you tell her in private will be repeated while standing in line at Quizno's.
  9. If you tell your son that breasts are for breastfeeding, be prepared for running commentary about large busted women - "She could feed a whole lotta kids, momma" loud enough for all to hear.
  10. When making derogatory remarks about a co-worker, be prepared for your child to ask them what 'lazy ass' means and where they keep their 'white trash'.

If only one parent can benefit from my mistakes, then is was worth all of my babbling and backstepping at church, restaurants, and family gatherings. Good luck.

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