Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Few Words of Advice



I went to a baby shower today for one of my dearest friends.
She's getting ready to have her first baby.
She looked radiant and innocent as she sat in her round-back chair eating her brunchie foods and looking around the room.
There were a few times I felt that her look went from,
"This is so fun" to "Dear God, is this really happening?!" - but maybe that was just me projecting.

The party was lovely.
It was held at San Francisco's Metropolitan building.
There were no duckies or bunnies in sight.
This was city stuff.
Just the hike a quarter of a mile straight uphill from the car to the party told me it would be different.

Country Mouse goes to City Mouse's Shower.
A book by Kerri Green.

Everything was pretty standard shower affair, from the finger foods to the cupcake stand.

But then it happened.

The girl throwing the shower handed out cards for us to write down our sage words of advice.

The lady next to me casually asked if I had kids.

You know that moment in a super hero movie where the main character turns from average Joe into their alter ego, and you can watch the transformation start to take place just from the look in their eyes?
My eyes did that.
Like when a shark smells blood.

Oh, Lady.

I started writing so much on those index cards I probably should have left some cash for replacement pens.
I think I started to smell smoke.
I hope no tree huggers were witness to the amount of index cards I ended up taking for all the "advice" I ended up giving.

And I wanted to give more.

I pulled it together when I heard my friends gasp,
"Oh my gosh. She's starting another one."

I just couldn't help it.
I felt burdened to warn her.
To take her by the shoulders and look deep into her eyes and really EXPLAIN.

Run quickly.
Grab as much as you can in three minutes and RUN.

I'm just kidding.


I did tell her about Mylicon.
Arguably the most brilliant pharmaceutical invention of our century.
That stuff is magic.
It really didn't matter when or why my kids were screaming, Or if it had anything even to DO with gas.
.03 mls of that stuff and they were smiling and sleeping and my hair magically stopped falling out and my jugular veins stopped pulsing as tiny song birds toyed with my hair ribbons.

I told her to remember to be a parent first and friend second.
I mostly told her this so I'd be able to tolerate being around her and bouncing baby boy later on.
I see some kids that rule their roosts and I really have strong, non-Christian urges that involve duct tape and deep trenches.

If you point that caterpillar sized finger in my face and scream "No" at me one more time I will most likely snap it off like a Cheeto and put it in my pocket to later turn into a charm.
TOTALLY the Boss of You.

There was so much I wanted to say.....

*Think about what you name him.*

My brother and sister in law,
had they ever had a girl,
Were planning on naming her Kaya.
Beautiful name.
If your last name is not King.
I pointed out that she would be "Kayaking" and they both said,
"Oh...I don't think people will really pick up on that."

Clearly they have never met any eighth graders.

*Please. PLEASE bring tissues with you places.*

No one wants to see a kid with snot down to their lip.
You will wonder where all your friends went and your child will grow up to be one of those weird people that talk to puppets if you don't.

*Stop the insanity of the orthopedic looking character Velcro shoes.*

My kids love them, too.
I still will never buy them.
My kids would love cans of frosting and marshmallows for breakfast, but that's just wrong so I say no.


Dora light up shoes from Payless?
Jab me in the eyes.

*Stop pushing them in a stroller by the time they are three.*
Seriously now.
And we wonder why so many twenty-something's are so slow to leave the nest now a days.
They're being strolled until seven and breast fed till five.

In some countries seven is old enough to get a job.
It's DEFINITELY old enough to walk.
Uncover them from their fuzzy Looney Toons blanket you bought at the fair and let them walk.
Their muscles are atrophying.
And while you're at it, bottles are not for juice. Unless you just don't like teeth.

*Learn to get ready and eat breakfast all in under 10 minutes.*

If you have to eat soggy toast in the shower, so be it.
You have places to be and you still have to pack the diaper bag.
It may even be best to swallow food whole. Not unlike a python.

*Always bring a change of clothes.*
For you AND the baby.
The amount of things that can come out of those little creatures is astounding.
It's amazing how they can actually throw up more than they've even eaten.
It's like a baby version of the loaves and fish story from the Bible.

*Tell any crunchy granola mom trying to make you feel guilty for X,Y, or Z to BUZZ OFF.*
How's that for a bee themed shower?
There will be times you will not care if an item is made STRICTLY of BPAs and lead paint as long as you can shove it in their mouth and make them be quiet for
Five. Freaking. Seconds.

*Never attempt calling a voice-activated phone system if your children are anywhere in a half mile radius.*
They know.
They sense it.
By the time you're saying your first, "SPEAK WITH A REPRESENTATIVE" they will be there with their tiny mouths a half inch from the mouth piece asking for snacks or crayons or help wiping.
From there on out you can kiss your phone bill paying life goodbye as you pull out your own eyelashes more and more with every,
"Sorry, I could not understand your request. Did you say you'd like to pay triple your bill?"
I am almost completely positive that my current blood pressure issues stem vastly from this very scenario.

I could go on for days.
Had I not shown great restraint, I could have burned through 20 of those puppies.

But the best advice I did give was to
laugh and play and blow raspberries because it goes by SO FAST.
And to just relax.

For real.

You don't have to be perfect.
Just look at me.
I was entrusted with FOUR of them and I hardly ever step out of my yoga pants these days.
Who cares if they don't read Chinese by three?
Sure. They'll go far,
but when they get to where they're going, the only thing there to greet them will be the sound of crickets chirping.
Frankly, those kids are kind of scary anyway, and probably won't have a ton of friends.

It's OK to turn on a DVD for them sometimes.
You're not draining their brain cells.
Sometimes you're taking a moment to replenish your own supply.
Read, TOO, but a little Elmo never killed anyone.
Caillou might have, but that's another blog.

Some parents put too much pressure on themselves.

I met a mom of twins this weekend who practically Lept into my arms and tongue kissed me when I told her I was all for getting your kids on YOUR schedule and not at all interested on letting them "Be free to experience their own PERSONAL boundaries."
You're the parent.
They're the kid.

The end.

Maybe the best advice, though, is to
toss all advice and just dive in blind.

They will teach you everything you need to know.
This isn't cookie cutter life.

Be who you are,
Give yourself a break and maybe a pedicure,
And sleep now because you won't get to ever ever again.


  1. You forgot :
    "Don't be a martyr. Let your husband help with stuff."
    I can't handle the moms who don't hand the kids over to dad. So what if they don't get a balanced meal, or in bed on time, or have near misses on the playground. Daddy can do "almost" as good a job as I do!

  2. Oh, and when they get a bit older give them chores. I can't stand it when I meet a mom of a fellow eight year old who has NO chores. By age five I had Ellie cleaning her own room and doing her laundry. Now she also has to help with the dishes, clearing the table, sweeping the patio, and mowing the lawn. All this without allowance. Instead she gets special treats here and there.

  3. *sigh* I too blow up the ink pens with "The Advice" book :) Black clothing is a no no even though mine are many years past nursing. I swear any baby within 5 feet of me is bound to get a booger or barf on me. Seriously those little puke shooters can get me from that distance! Seriously though what happened to parents being parents and not atm, taxi driving, personal cook best friends? It makes my skin boil when I see children disrespect adults let alone their parents. When I see it I want to punch their parents in the face for their lack of parenting and for adding to societies down fall. Alas I regress.

  4. The caterpillar Cheeto finger was pure brilliance.

  5. Thanks Ker! I will do my best to follow all this advice even if all I can do at the end of the day is to follow the second to last one - give it my best shot - and the last one - to get a pedicure once in awhile. I will take child-rearing and sanity-saving advice from you anytime! xoxo