When you are pregnant for the first time, there is a good chance you do your homework.
You read a lot of books.
You find out what the experts say.
And you follow their directions.
For like eleven minutes.
Then you learn better.
And you do what really works, especially with respect to the following:
What the experts say: Change your kids’ sheets once a week.
What you really do: Change the sheets when they no longer pass the sniff test.
What the experts say: Place a mattress pad on the mattress and a fitted sheet on top of that. Repeat. If your child has an accident in the middle of the night, just remove the top sheet and mattress pad so you don’t have to remake the entire bed.
What you really do: Do that double layer thing once. Take off the top layer after kid pees in the bed at 2 a.m. Forget to ever do it again. Cover up pee spot with towel the next time because you are too fucking tired to deal with it in the middle of the night. The next night, see the towel and realize you forgot to change the sheets. Take off towel. Perform sniff test. Decide the sheets are okay for one more night.
What the experts say: Begin brushing your child’s teeth as soon as the first one breaks through the gums.
What you really do: Figure you should probably buy a toothbrush once the number of teeth your kid has is approaching the double digits.
What the experts say: Make an appointment with the dentist as soon as your child gets his/her first tooth.
What you really do: Make a dentist’s appointment before your kid’s first day of preschool so you can fill in the dentist’s name on that preschool emergency form.
Disinfection of Baby Bottles and Pacifiers
What the experts say: Boil the baby’s pacifier in hot water if it’s accidentally dropped on the floor.
What you really do: Pick up pacifier, suck on it, and shove it back in your kid’s mouth.
What the experts say: Sterilize baby bottles after each use.
What you really do: Realize you have no clean bottles and run a dirty one under hot water. Perform sniff test. Repeat if necessary.
What the experts say: Limit non-educational screen time to an hour a day.
What you really do: Lie and say you limit non-educational screen time to an hour a day.
What the experts say: Limit time outs to one minute for every year old your child is.
What you really do: Forget you put your kid in a time out and let her out 27 minutes later after she asks you if it’s time to come out of her room yet.
What the experts say: Be positive, be consistent, be flexible, catch them being good, let them be kids, don’t baby them, give them freedom, don’t give them too much freedom, give them structure, don’t give them too much structure, give them advice, let them learn from their mistakes.
What you really do: Be positive, be negative, be too easy on them, be too hard on them, catch them being good, go off on them for being bad, smother them, give them too much freedom, over schedule them, underschedule them, confuse them, clarify for them, give them too much advice, give them too little advice, wonder if you are doing a good job, and ultimately have some shitty days, have some great days, and have a whole lot of okay days in between.
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