Yesterday was my little girl's 3rd birthday. Tomorrow marks the day we actually took her home three years ago. It's hard for me to grasp that there will soon be 5 little ones running around my house. I am still learning as a parent. In truth, I believe everyone continues learning as a parent their entire lives. My parents are having to figure out how to be grandparents, theirs are learning to be great grand parents. Constantly gaining and lessening responsibility. Also constantly gaining and imparting wisdom or at least your opinion onto the next generation.
I've certainly, bearing my ass, have tried to impart my experience onto new parents. Now I've learned to just keep my mouth shut. No kid is the same. Now that we have two that is certainly evident. I have a friend who successfully did that whole cry it out crap with her first kid and the second kid wouldn't have any of it. There is no guide book or correct versus incorrect. That's what gives each of us our individuality, our personalities mixed with those of our parents and siblings all swirled into different socioeconomic levels.
So what have I learned in 3 years of parenting?
If something is breakable and within your child's reach, it will be broken. In fact, if you leave anything within their reach, yelling at them for ruining it is really silly cause it's so your fault you ninny. Of course I'm speaking to myself here.
Mommy and Daddy's toys are far more coveted than any other object in the house. Cell phones, Television Remotes, Stoves, Refrigerators, Power Tools, Computers, Kindles and Cars. Most will have to be replaced at some point because of their obsession and penchant for destroying objects!
If you want your child to eat something specific, lets say a sandwich or non pasta related food item (cause you know pasta will be devoured no problem) do not under any circumstances let them see chips, fries or any other potato related item. Starches will win every time.
Volume levels of children are adjusted accordingly to the importance level of a phone conversation. Trying to get a telemarketer off the phone and your whole house is silent. Chatting with a friend or relative, there is a constant murmur with occasional bursts of "here I am" reminders. Finding out that a relative has just passed away and you might as well be at a public playground. Working diligently with the computer technician whom you waited on hold with for 2 hours to get to and Walmart's PA system might as well be attached to your shoulders. Try talking to your boss while trying to convince him that working from home will cause no distractions to your work performance and 747's fueled by baby screams couldn't touch the sound level your kids produce. I now look forward to going to my office at work and completely understand why my mother used to lock herself in the bathroom for half an hour every night.
Poop happens. A lot. Lose your gag reflex and always keep extra wipes around. Same goes for snot and drool, just less gagtastic I guess.
Older siblings will hurt younger siblings. You must defend the little ones.
Younger siblings will annoy older siblings. Give them separation often.
My kids are my biggest fans. Every time I walk in the door I have 2 little people scream DADDY! Typically followed by my wife mumbling, yeah, go get your father please. Enjoy this adoration, I've seen my friends with teenage children. It goes away completely. The cacophony of 5 rugrats calling out my name could be really cool though.
Speaking of names. If you call your spouse by their real name, so will your children. I've been Dorn my entire life and only Daddy for the past three years. Why then is it so unnerving to hear my daughter call me Dorn? It's even better now that we're Daddy and Tina not Mommy. Snicker every time gets me smacked.
Pacifiers are a blessing and a curse. My son wouldn't take one at all. My daughter had hers taken away 6 months ago. That was the end of non-car-educed-naps.
Children are so much smarter than we given them credit for. Combine them in groups and they can do serious damage. Just because they cannot properly communicate their thoughts doesn't mean they aren't using their little heads.
The television programs that annoy you the most are probably the ones teaching your children something. Those you can actually stand to watch are mindless crap. Both serve a purpose.
Yelling at your children is pointless. They will tune you out in an instant. You'll learn to reciprocate accordingly.
I'm sure there's a million and five other things but I've still got forever ahead of me to continue learning. Most important thing though is to enjoy each moment you have because time flies so quickly. I can't wait to see what the next 3 years holds, let alone 30!