I've been someone's mommy now for nearly eight years, and over that time, I've discovered that there are laws of parenting that some have yet to discover. Wishing that I had been forewarned before I undertook this great adventure, I decided that I would share these little known laws of parenting with each of you, my fellow moms, partners in crime.
- Your child will push your buttons, like blowing up a balloon one breath at a time, until you explode. This is an innate trait, and once they learn to do this, they will continue at it until they are 25.
- A five-year-old boy will not improve his aim despite the number of times you tell him not to pee on the seat, toilet, floor, or wall. (This rule also applies to his father.)
- No matter how many times you tell your child to remember his/her (insert item here – for example, homework, hat/gloves, lunch, change of underwear, etc.), they will not do it. He/she will, however, remember the episode of Sponge Bob Square Pants where Sponge Bob moons the teacher and will choose to reenact the scene in his classroom for his classmates and horrified teacher, thereby prompting a call from the guidance counselor.
- When you think your three-year-old has mastered potty training because she's flushed and there's no mess on her bottom, don't be fooled. Check your high heels. (My friend Cathy had a rather rude awakening when, late for a meeting, she slipped her foot into her Jimmy Choos only to discover that her daughter had not gone in the pull-up pants but had instead left a log in one of her shoes.)
- Your child will do chores if you make it a game for them. Sucking up invisible sand from the invisible sand monster with the vacuum cleaner works particularly well, as does washing off the radioactive plutonium gel from the windows. I have patches of clean carpet and the cleanest windows in the neighborhood (from the thighs down.)
- You will be severely punished for taking a child between the ages of 2 and 6 to a restaurant. Even when armed with crayons, paper, and finger puppets, you will a) not get through an entire meal before having to leave with the little offender; b) scarf down your meal like a vacuum on steroids; or c) ignore the dirty looks of other patrons, the sighing of the waitress (who simultaneously taps her foot), and the kind old lady who offers you advice on what worked for her when she was your age. Take heed to this advice: leave them home and avoid the stress even if it means eating Kraft Dinner for the fourth time that week or out-of-date cans of Campbell 's soup and the heels of a stale loaf of bread for dinner.