Preparing for a Baby 1 of 13
One of the benefits of becoming a parent later in life is that you have time to observe how other parents interact with their kids. And in the years before we got pregnant, my husband and I witnessed some questionable things. Here are 10 things we hope we never do to or with our kids.
Preparing for a Baby 2 of 13
1: Use a leash
Sure, I get it that once a kid becomes mobile it can be hard chase after him/her. But my kid is a person, not a dog. When I see kids on leashes, I feel embarrassed for them. Do their parents take them to off-leash kid runs where they can move freely among the other children? Do they use commands like sit, stay and heel? It may be hard for me to catch my breath running after my little one, but my child will not be harnessed.
Preparing for a Baby 3 of 13
2: Give them a pacifier
A pacifier is probably okay and somewhat necessary during the first few months, but after that they should be tossed in the trash. Never mind the fact that kids old enough to be out of a stroller just look plain ridiculous walking around with a piece of plastic in their pie hole. Intervene before this happens! Also, were not sold on the idea of plugging up a childs mouth to get him/her to be quiet — that just seems lazy.
Preparing for a Baby 4 of 13
3: Talk baby talk
What is it about babies that make people want to blather on to them in high-pitched moronic voices? If you want your child to be intelligent, then speak intelligibly to him/her. The same goes for made-up or babyish words — in my house well go to the bathroom (not go potty) and well call our private parts by their actual names. If Im really lucky, my kids will learn how to clearly give my drink order to a bartender (Tanqueray martini, straight up, two olives) before they start pre-school.
Preparing for a Baby 5 of 13
4: Dress them in novelty onesies/tees
Your baby doesnt know who Che Guevara is and he doesnt listen to that group of old men a.k.a The Rolling Stones. Those iPood or BYOB jokes are lame. Bottom line — dont use your baby as a billboard for irony.
Preparing for a Baby 6 of 13
5: Tolerate picky eaters
Have you seen that commercial where a mother and daughter are grocery shopping together and the kid rejects every item she picks up? (I dont like chicken. I dont like broccoli.) Her solution? Purchasing some disgusting chocolate-flavored meal replacement drink instead of acclimating her daughter to people food. Not gonna happen in my house. Also off the menu? Any un-foods like Lunchables marketed to kids with their loud packaging and tiny portions of over-processed meats and cheeses. Its called a sandwich, and thats what youll be getting.
Preparing for a Baby 7 of 13
6: Tip-toe when they're sleeping
Do your kids live in your world or do you turn your world into a kid universe once you have children? I dont plan to shush people, turn off the TV, silence my phone or tip-toe around my own home just because the babies have been put down to sleep. Babies are great at acclimating to whatever environment theyre in, so if you create a pristine, soundless environment that will be the only way theyll fall asleep! (This is not good prep for college dorm living.)
Preparing for a Baby 8 of 13
7: Allow them to interrupt adult conversations
I drove two hours to visit an old college friend and left her house realizing that I hadnt found out anything about what her life was like because she allowed her kid to interject his non-sequiturs and requests for juice boxes throughout the entire afternoon. Theres a time for children to be the center of attention and a time for mommy to step up and say you dont interrupt me when Im talking. When the adults cant get a word in edgewise, its time to lay down the law.
Preparing for a Baby 9 of 13
8: Buy the popular toy
My parents never stood on line at Toys R Us at midnight to buy me a Cabbage Patch Kid. Just because everyone else is doing it is not a reason to hop on the bandwagon. Its a lesson I was taught and one my kids will learn. So you wont see me punching out another mom over a Zhu Zhu Pet or shelling out $500 for a pair of miniature designer jeans.
Preparing for a Baby 10 of 13
9: Stay stroller-bound
When your child is old enough to order for himself in a restaurant, hes too big to be shuttled around town in a stroller. A little more exercise would do most kids good and even though youll get where youre going slower, at least you wont be pushing a little emperor around as his feet skim the sidewalk.
Preparing for a Baby 11 of 13
10: Pull them out of school for vacation
Ive often been poolside at a fancy resort and wondered — what the hell are these kids doing here, shouldnt they be in school? Sorry, but when youre a kid, school is your job and youre not going to miss this weeks spelling words because I found cheap airfares on JetBlue. The same goes for those parents who bring their kids to the 10 oclock showing of Red Riding Hood. If you can afford six tickets, nachos and a giant-sized popcorn, you can afford a babysitter!
Preparing for a Baby 12 of 13
Disclaimer: I realize that observing parents and actually being a parent is completely different, so Im calling dibs on the right to renege on any of these pronouncements when our little one arrives.
Preparing for a Baby 13 of 13