If I Knew Then What I Know Now

From the serious to the silly, there are certainly things I’ve figured out in this parenting gig that I didn’t know going into it. My favorite bit of advice that no one bothered to tell me?

Point it Down.

My first baby was a sweet little girl. Perhaps people figured I had it all under control by the time our second, a boy, was born. After all, I am the oldest of 4 children and clear at the top of a long line of 34 cousins, many of whom I babysat for.

Still, it was a few days after bringing our little guy home from the hospital that I finally figured out to point it down, and no longer had to wash his clothes after every. single. diaper. change.

On the more serious side, and I’m a bit embarrassed to admit this one, but when my oldest was a toddler, her favorite daily snack of choice was fruit snacks. You know, the gummy junk that has zero fruit in it? Hey, it said “fruit” and “snack” so it had to be okay, right?!

Fruit snacks are not snacks. They are candy. Worse than most candy, actually. Umpteen cavities later… that was just dumb. I wish someone would have clued me in a little sooner. (And my children wish I never would have learned that one at all!)

What else have I learned? A child will not potty train before he or she is ready to potty train. My first was scary easy. At 16 months she flat out demanded, “My turn!” after watching her 2 year old cousin use the potty. And that was pretty much that.

Her brother and sister? Notsomuch. No amount of rewarding, cajoling, bribing, or punishing (Yes, I went there. It didn’t work, and I’ll not do it again.) was effective until they were ready. At age 3! And then? Cakewalk.

With our fourth and fifth children I totally intend to avoid the stress and enjoy the cake.

Oh, the things I’ve learned! I could go on, but it’s your turn! What do you know now that would have been helpful to know when preparing for your firstborn?

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