In our defense, my husband and I are tired. I mean, we were tired when we had the first kid, too — or at least we thought we were. But looking back, we really didn’t know what being tired was until the second one came along. (And hit us like a freight train.)
I think what happened was, we grossly underestimated the impact our sons’ brotherly tag-teaming would have on us. But honestly, I’m not entirely sure, because I was largely unable to form memories in those early days, due to the dangerous lack of REM sleep I was getting.
Not only that, but by the time our second son came along, we had shelved or donated all the parenting books. We had let our subscriptions to the parenting magazines lapse. We rarely went online to research our next move anymore. I admit: We were winging it.
Which, again, in our defense, seemed sensible — efficient, even — at the time. I mean, the first kid was coming along fine, right? And the second kid was right there in the room when we lectured our firstborn (over and over, endlessly), so it stood to reason that Kid No. 2 would absorb at least some of our parental wisdom by osmosis. We thought we had it covered.
This may have been a mistake.
We’ve recently noticed a few … let’s call them “gaps” in our younger boy’s socialization. The moment I looked at my own child and exclaimed, “Didn’t your mother ever tell you…?!” I realized we had a problem.
Since then, it has come to our attention that we have neglected to tell him a thing or two (or 15):
- When you call someone with a question and they answer, there are a few additional steps before you hang up, such as saying, “Goodbye.”
- When heading outside to play, don’t stop at socks. Go ahead and put on those shoes as well!
- How napkins work.
- When a person (say, for instance, your mother) speaks to you, it is customary to acknowledge that you heard her the first time, rather than let her repeat herself 10 times before you ask her what her problem is and tell her to chill.
- WE DO NOT RE-USE DIRTY DISHES FROM THE SINK, EVER EVER EVER.
- Just because it’s true doesn’t mean you need to say it out loud — particularly during a dramatically silent moment of your brother’s school concert, which is being recorded.
- What dresser drawers are for.
- When teachers give you papers and say, “These are for your parents,” they are referring to your father and me. Over here. The ones who sign all the papers.
- Check the expiration date on stuff you find in the back of the fridge.
- If you vomit or suffer a substantial blood loss, you should probably mention it to us at some point.
- Just because Grandpop does it doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. In fact, try the opposite!
- Do not drink from someone else’s water bottle, even if you can squirt the water into your mouth without the bottle touching your lips.
- You are not allowed to do everything that we never told you not to do.
- Your dimples are powerful. Use them only for good, never evil.
- Girls drool. Moms rule.
Of course, we’re trying our best to rectify these things as they come up, but to be honest, we may have missed our window of parenting opportunity on some of them. So please accept my apologies, World.
Like I said, we were really, really tired.More On