3.10.2009

I should start a list

Because being childless makes me such a parenting expert, I think a good activity would be to start making a list of all the "When I have kids, I will never . . . " rules. That way I can remember them. And then, when I inevitably break every last one, I can cross them off the list one (or two or three) at a time. You know, things like:

I will never yell at my kids in a store
I will never forget that one of my kids is still sitting in the car
I will never use the TV as a babysitter
I will never let my kid wear his underwear on the outside of his pants to church

Here's one, though, that I hope will actually STAY uncrossed on the list:

I will never bring my toddler, whom the librarians have possibly nicknamed "The Beast," into storytime while she has a sharp, pointy metal object that resembles a mechanical pencil or blackhead remover in her hand. I will then not sit there during storytime and text on my phone while my daughter tries to pull her infant sister's brains out through her nose with said implement. And when another mother notices what is happening and stops my younger child from being mummified, I will not shake my head all, "What can you even do?" and then go back to texting.


But anyway. What are some things on your "When I'm a parent I will never" list? Or, what things have you had to cross off?

34 comments:

Jenny said... [reply]

The one that I was loathe to cross off that was on the very top of my list was 'my children will always have perfectly groomed hair'.

Insane Curls= not perfectly groomed hair

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Nemesis said... [reply]

HEEE! Free purse for Meeeeeee! And loads of nice things said by the funny Taren!

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megs said... [reply]

nem,

how about, ' i will never let my little baby run around in her diapers with snot drooling down her face while i have company over '

or how about, ' i will never let my child leave the house in a hideous outfit. '

ha ha

i love when i tell my mom things like this and she says, 'just you wait.'

it's quite funny actually

La Yen said... [reply]

I will never give my kid a cat bath. I made it almost four years.

beckyww said... [reply]

I used to have a long list. Until I had children.

Rachie said... [reply]

I personally would rather see a parent yell at a kid in a store than not yell at them at all. Especially when that child is throwing a tantrum or climbing around in the cart ready to take a skull-crunching dive onto the floor.

I will say, though, that if I had children, they would never walk around with Kool-Aid mustaches or Kool-Aid stained shirts.

Elsha said... [reply]

I was pretty careful before I had a baby to always say things like: I would prefer not to blah blah blah. Now when I see other people's kids do things I think: hmmmm. I wonder how long before I have one that does that...

Z's Wife said... [reply]

One that I had even before my children were out of my womb is that I would be a stylish pregnant and that I'd never be caught in public wearing my husbands sweats while looking for ice cream or any other said craving. I knocked that one out in my 5th month of pregnancy with my first kid. What was funny is that some other woman was doing the same thing as me... and she said "at least you have an excuse, you're pregnant!" before walking away in her sweats with ben & jerry in hand.

As for once my kids arrived, I said I'd never be the mom in sacrament who has a screaming kid because you should always take your kids into the foyer. Well... once I had two kids and my husband was away with the military overseas, I didn't have a choice but to be that mom and it totally sucked.

goddessdivine said... [reply]

Never mind my list.....some small child actually brought that sharp object to a public library? And the mother did NOTHING? I think this borders on child abuse. Can we say--social services? I can only imagine what happens in her house.

goddessdivine said... [reply]

But seriously. My children will not look like white trash when I take them out in public.

April said... [reply]

Once you have two kids, TV is the only way you'll ever get a shower. Hey it's PBS kids. Good to get them hooked on a good station early.

Chelsie said... [reply]

I've got a toddler and there are plenty of things I said I wouldn't do- feed my kid hot dogs, let them watch TV.

However, there are others I won't budge on. I'm not running into her room if she whimpers, making food too big a deal- hence the hot dogs and LOTS of others. You have to keep your own sanity in mind.

Lists I'd like to make for others:

Don't abandon me at the circ desk while you chase after your kid who ran down the hall, hit them in the head really hard, then tell them to shut up when they whimper through tears that they, "don't like you, Mommy".

Just because you love your 5 year old and think he's darn cute, doesn't mean I agree and want him crawling all over me for 3 hours and throwing fits when I get up to get a drink while you fawn over how cute this behavior is. I operate under the assumption that everyone thinks my kid is cute, but that doesn't mean this gives my kid a pass to behave in a way that would annoy me if I didn't know them (and I am extremely easy to annoy).

I could go on but I'm starting to get worked up.

brinestone said... [reply]

I will never let my kids have cell phones before they can drive, if then.

Musings of the Mrs. said... [reply]

As another childless person, I often think of these things as well. One thing I really will never do is not wipe my child's face to rid it of all food IMMEDIATELY after they eat. I remember being little and having friends whose parents did not do this, and I would gag, even then. It absolutely grosses me out when kids have smeared food on them. Also, my house will never smell like a mixture of peanut butter and apple sauce. I HATE that smell and most parents with young children have houses that smell like that. Its gross!
Whew! That is a long comment. Thanks for the laugh.

Melanie said... [reply]

Another parenting expert here (meaning I don't have children) . . .I will not make separate meals for my kids just because they don't like something.

Audra said... [reply]

I always said I would never let my kids have a snotty nose un-wiped. My sister always had a snotty nosed kid and I distinctly remember saying "I would never let me kids go around like that! How long does it take to wipe a nose?" Then... you have kids and you realize how boogery they are and it is IMPOSSIBLE to keep up with all the snot! Especially when your little curly girly has a perpetually leaky nose! Look at the pics on my blog... in almost all of them of Callie she has snot. She is just disgusting. I finally taught her to wipe her own. She goes to the bathroom, flicks on the light, gets some toilet paper, wipes her nose, and puts the toilet paper in the toilet. So cute! (She is only 2)

I am really good about making my kids non-picky eaters, even my Ethiopian Princess who came to America refusing to touch anything that was not carbs! And I second the not coming every time a child wimpers and whines (or with the older ones tattle-tale). They have become very good problem-solvers!

Rachel said... [reply]

Oh, my, oh, my. Just you wait. So many things you will do that you swore you never would.
1. My house will never be as messy as their house. (check, baby#2)
2. My kids will never go to church with stuff on their faces. (check, baby #3)
3. I will never allow my child to throw a gimme fit in the check out line. (check, baby #4)
4. My children will never look like their clothes came out of the charity bin sent to India. (check, baby #3)
5. I will never let my children leave the house without fixing their hair. (check, baby #3)

Well, at least baby #1 was clean and polished with beautiful hair!

Pie said... [reply]

I would prefer to never:

-Leave my child's nose unwiped for so long they have a smear of green crust across one cheek (I understand children always have snotty noses- but this goes beyond and must take time to accumulate).

-Let my child run around in a diaper so sodden and full that they and the nasty contents of it are completely exposed.

-Watch my child ruin someone's possessions (say perhaps someone I am visit teaching) make no move to stop them, then when the item is soundly destroyed, hand it back to the person and say sorry without offering to replace it.

-Let my child run up to the front during sacrament meeting and bang on the piano... and wait for a member of the bishopric to stop them.

Kristeee said... [reply]

I won't let my kids beg food off of others and scream if they don't get it. I had a niece who did this and her parents didn't stop her, even though she was sick and trying to share ice cream with everyone. We now let everyone else know not to give in if she tries. It's working so far.

I always thought that I wouldn't let my child scream in the check out line at the grocery store. But well, it's happened. And there really wasn't anything I could do, short of leaving my $100 worth of groceries there and trying again another time, and we really needed some of the stuff. Oh well.

chosha said... [reply]

I will never hide the good chocolate biscuits (read: cookies) away because they are 'too good for the children'.

I will never say, in relation to my child's favourite music, 'turn off that NOISE!'

One I've seen in action: I will not feed my children food made of sugar and food colouring and then get angry and yell at them for being hyperactive.

JustMe said... [reply]

I broke them all, except I NEVER let my son pass the Sacrament in a shirt that wasn't ironed & starched, with dress shoes and pants that weren't too short. This is a BIG personal pet peeve. IRON THE SUNDAY SHIRTS! Heck, by the time they are old enough to pass Sacrament they are old enough to iron their own shirts.

And, when they were little they were always perfectly groomed on Sunday, and as adults, they still are.

Anonymous said... [reply]

Audra-

HOW do you make your kids non-picky eaters??

SHARE YOUR WISDOM!

- Anon from Waffles-Only Land

(word verification: odervi -- don't you serve those up first?)

Captain said... [reply]

Ha Ha Ha Ha HA HA! Oh naivete. . . How little do you all (without children) understand or know. I make you this promise: you will break all those vows, and faster than you can imagine! It's not as easy as you think to control an unruley youngster or yourself. I'm so looking forward to when you all have children! Mwaah ha ha ha HA!

(Side note: the little girl with the sharp object = just plain stupid. That is not in the same category as these other things)

Audra said... [reply]

Long comment for Anon. Skip if you do not like long stories and comments!

Anon.-

First thing you have to remember: Kids will not starve themselves, and them going to bed without a cookie while their siblings get one is not a crime against motherhood.

I think my kids are not picky eaters because they know "Momma don't play" when it comes to certain things. They also know "Momma makes a mean batch of Chocolate Chip cookies!" Both of these things go together. For example:

Last night my little Doe-eyed Ethiopian Princess decided she would eat her meat and not touch her veggies. They ate outside because it was a nice day so I did not realize this until after she had been playing some after dinner. So I called her into the kitchen, told her she knew better, and that she needed to sit down and eat some of her veggies. Therefore she tried her lamest trick in the book (I would think she would have realized it does not work by now). She sat there and picked up itty bitty ant sized pieces of her vegetables and ate it like a mouse. I just let her sit there and do it for 15 minutes and waste her time. The cookies were being put in the oven and she looked at them longingly. I looked at her plate and said "You KNOW you gotta do better than that or you are not getting a cookie!" To which she tried to fool me by taking ant size portions and eating it like a mouse, just twice as fast, but with no full piece of broccoli being consumed in the 20 min she had been sitting there. Finally, cookies come out of the oven, she relizes she wasted all her time because "Oops, I forgot, momma don't play", I give her 2 min to finish or no cookie, and the veggies were finished in 1 min flat... she can do it if she wants to... broccoli will not make her puke, she actually likes it, she is just a girl and with that comes a certain amount of flitty manipulation...

Slowly she is coming to know that NO ONE outstubborns the mother!

Basically if they did not eat well (meaning some of everything) they can sit and look pitiful and even (gasp) cry while they watch their siblings enjoy a granola bar, cookie, even a banana. If they cry I invite them to cry in their room, then they usually stop because crocodile tears can be well controled.

Also, a key is not to cook anything really disgusting! I tried to make a healthy blueberry muffin the other day and it just tasted BAD... so I did not make them eat it. They all had to give it a good try, but I could not blame them. But broccoli and cheese is not so bad!

And they also try to pull the "I can't eat this because I am full!", and of course the only thing left on their plate is the green beans they barely touched, to which I say "go ahead then and throw it away", then I let them throw it away and once it is beyond the point of no return I add, "too bad you are so full because I had ice cream for everyone"...

but here is the key...

when you break out the ice cream...

You don't give them any...

because "They are too full!"

And they will say they are still hungry, for which I give them more green beans and tell them they need to eat it because they are hungry. If they say they are not then I point out that they lied then, and they KNOW momma don't play with lying (that is basically the only thing that gets you in big trouble), so then they say they did not lie and they eat the green beans.

Sounds mean... but effective... and next time they do not pull that trick on you!

It sounds harsh... but with my doe-eyed Ethiopian Princess who prefers all refined white carb products... it is the only way I can keep her from getting scurvy!

Sorry Nim this was long!

Valli said... [reply]

My list is quite lengthy since I also am in the non-parent realm currently. A few include; not posting half naked pictures of our children on the web for the world to view, bringing our children to Enrichment meetings and expecting the other women there to watch them, allow my child to scream non-stop at people during church, watch my child injure another child or adult and not have that child apologize for their behavior.

Discussing a few list items with my husband has brought to light that we do not entirely agree on a few of them. So, we will see how long it takes for him to cross things off my list. But then as the parenting expert I currently am I will surely have them smitten off the list faster than I know what is happening once the bundles of joy have all arrived.

Science Teacher Mommy said... [reply]

This one has STAYED uncrossed: I will not let my children run around like heathens in the foyer at church. Because, yeah, that is WHY they cry to go out, people.

I hope you have a houseful of wild boys, just to wipe that smug smile of your pretty face. They will not understand the subtle eyebrow and you'll have to wrestle them away from each other screaming, "Don't kill your brother!" Not that it has ever happened.

I'd like to see the list about teenagers. . .

Nemesis said... [reply]

STM, I can promise I have never felt anything approaching smugness about the thought of parenting OR, specifically, parenting a houseful of boys. You must be getting me confused with my avatar. She does look a trifle too pleased with herself.

Nerd Goddess said... [reply]

I will not let my children watch violent movies or play violent video games when they are little.

My husband and I were discussing this, because he likes war games and movies, and I don't particularly want my future 3-year-old knowing how to wield a machine gun better than a spoon.

Mostly we were discussing this, because he was saying how when he was subbing in the 6-year-old class on Sunday, one of the kids was talking about playing "Gears of War" which is so bloody and violent and full of the F-word that watching the commercials made him queasy.

So, I will say no to that until they're old enough to have it not traumatize them. Whenever that may be.

And to add to that, I want to know what games/books/movies my children are exposed to. I know that there's only so much I'll be able to do when they're teenagers, but I certainly don't want certain media things available to them when they're young.

Says the one with no kids.

AuD said... [reply]

My dad's method of getting me and my brothers to eat anything was to put dinner on the table and then say "this is dinner, breakfast is in the morning". If we didn't eat we went to bed hungry. On rare occasions if we really didn't like the main dish he would let us make a PB&J sandwich. I should mention that my dad likes to cook and experiment with food from all parts of the world.

coolmom said... [reply]

How fast you cross these items off your list is directly proportional to how fast it takes you to decide that you don't care anymore. Or you just don't want to be "the bad guy" anymore.

Decide now that caring and being the bad guy is part of parenting. Period.

Show no fear.

april said... [reply]

@AuD - thanks for the laugh at that last line!

i hate when parents don't try to control their kids. granted, i've gotten frustrated at my kids in public and i probably should hold them on tighter chains at the library (i fear you might put one of those t-shirts on my kids while my back was turned), but i do get that there is lots within my power to control my kids behavior or my ability to remove child from public setting when needed. it bothers me when parents say "what can i do?" one year after i was yelling at my kids to get in the car to head for church, i went outside to see neighbors in their front yard. after i apologizing to them, i set the goal of remembering to say "please and thank you" while trying to get my four kids to the car. it's amazing what that little goal accomplished. (also helps when you're not running late and kids have ample time to get to the car - another thing i could work on).

Anonymous said... [reply]

Finally! A place to unload the biggest pet peeve ever!

Letting your 10-year-old show up to primary looking like pervert bait is not cool.

I don’t understand this. Take a good look at the child as she is walking out the door. We have a sweet little girl in our primary, but as she was standing in front of the entire primary it was apparent through her very tight white shirt that her skirt was worn well below her hip bones. She has a little girl anatomy but I think she needs to cover it up, her clothing is so tight that a swimsuit would be an improvement. It was quite disturbing. The Mom also dresses like this and even though her body is covered with her tight white stretchy shirt her jeans and skirts ride WAY too low in the front. When she was pregnant everyone knew the sex of her baby well before it was born. Icky.

We also have children show up in spaghetti strap shorty-short dresses. I am sorry but I don’t want to see your child’s underwear. Plus these are the children whose mother’s call the presidency to complain that their children are cold in the primary room.

I do give the boys a break though. We have one child who wears his pj’s under his Sunday clothes so he can get comfy on the ride home. I think that’s hilarious!

Anonymous said... [reply]

just the other day i had to cross off the "i'll never forget that my child is still sitting in the car" when my husband and i both forgot that our 6 month old daughter was, well, still in the car... we almost made it into costco before my younger sister asked "hey, where's the baby?"
i feel so awful about this that i hope you will understand that i would like to remain anonymous.

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