Thursday, May 17, 2007

Thursday Thirteen: Advice to Parents-to-Be

For some reason, coworkers and others sometimes ask me for advice on parenting. Maybe it’s because I am old and this gives me the illusion of having a clue, which I don’t, or maybe it’s because my child has at least survived these early years. While I hate to give out unsolicited advice (okay, except for cooking) I figured if I just wrote down a few (13) of these fantastic parental insights, it might be helpful to others.

13 Great Tips to Prepare for Parenthood:

  1. Repeat after me: When you have just fed your infant, do not hold her way above your head and look up, wide-eyed and open-mouth smiling. Don’t think about this one too much. Just trust me.
  2. You know all those dry clean only clothes you own? Just put those in the back of the closet for a while. You’ll need the money you save on cleaning for other things, anyway.
  3. Consider upgrading your kitchen to feature a cement floor with a center drain and handy hose on the wall. It makes a unique statement about your new lifestyle.
  4. If you are compulsively neat or prompt, congratulations, your deprogramming is about to begin. Soon, you will be normal without all that therapy expense.
  5. Take a box of Cheerios and dump it all over the back seats and floor of your car. Try and adjust to this. For an extra helper, have your spouse hide a partially full sippy cup of milk somewhere in the vehicle. You’ll figure out where it is in a week or so.
  6. Borrow toys, blocks and crayons from a friend with kids. Scatter these items all over your floor before bed. Set your alarm for 3 a.m. Get up and attempt to navigate the minefield in the dark. Hint: shuffle your feet.
  7. Instead of having intelligent conversation with your spouse at dinner, practice repeating over and over throughout the entire meal: “Sit down, please. No. Sit down, please. No. Sit down, please. No.”
  8. Chase the cat, naked, laughing, and brandishing salad tongs. He needs to prepare for the new arrival as well.
  9. Have dinner with your friends who do not have kids one last time. Just kidding, a few will stick it out with you.
  10. Practice sounding polite when you say the phrase, “Gee, thanks for the advice, I am glad that worked for you.”
  11. Pull every item of clothing out of your drawers and dump it in front of the washer. Attempt to do this much laundry daily.
  12. Stay parked at a green light in a busy intersection. Try to find your Special Happy Place of Mental Calm while dealing with yelling, honking and screaming nonstop.
  13. Oh, c’mon. Do you really think you can prepare for parenthood? It’s harder than you think, and better than you can ever imagine. Buckle in and enjoy the ride.


jen said...

oh you are SO right. so right.

this is hilarious.

Rachel said...

Wow. You do laundry every day? I really admire you. I stuff Jess and myself into the least-marked clothes and tell myself I'm taking one for the environment. ;-P

The Expatriate Chef said...

I will have to try that approach, Rachel! The stuff gets washed, but we dress out of the dryer often. Wrinkles and all. :)

Rachel said...

hey, I got a million of them. I'm not being a slack housewife: I'm being environmentally sustainable by saving water. I'm not being a slack mom by reading blogs and not reading to Jess - I'm encouraging Jess's independence and aility for self-fulfilment.

foodiemama said...

great blog!

The Expatriate Chef said...

See, Rachel, I think you should do a Thursday Thirteen of all those!

Thanks, all. Your comments are the best part!

Andrea said...

So timely...I'm due in three weeks. Aieeee!

The Expatriate Chef said...

Good luck, Andrea! It's exhausting, but wonderful.

Redneck Mommy said...

Five and six had me giggling. But the cat and the salad tongs had me howling.

Thank you for that. I needed the laugh. Great blog!