I Learned Everything I Needed To Know About Parenting In One Day

These lessons have worked so far, but my oldest is only 13 so I can't guarantee they work after that. I'll let you know. 

Top Four Parenting Lessons

Ironflower learned to walk late. I swear she would look at my face and cling more tightly to the table, instead of toddling off like she had been about to do. I wanted her to reach her milestones, of course, but I wanted her to do so without falling down. And then one day, as she creeped along the coffee table (baby-proofed with foam corner covers, of course), she slipped and whacked her head on the side.

Valuable parenting lesson number one: You can do everything right and they still might fall down.    

I was 8 months pregnant with Lovebug at the time and Hot Guy wasn't home. And I couldn't even call him, because he was literally on the radio at the exact moment it happened.

I'd been relying on Hot Guy to calm me down ever since Ironflower was born, so this was not good.

I remember Ironflower looking at me right after it happened, and I know the terror showed on my face. She didn't cry until after she looked at me. And soon we were both in tears.

She calmed down first. At least until I tried to put ice on the bump growing on her head. She did not want the ice. I explained this to the (saintly) pediatrician on call. His response? You're the parent.

That was valuable parenting lesson two. 

I put on the Wiggles and held that damn ice pack to her head while she kicked and yelled every time the Wiggles lost her attention. When it seemed like the bump had subsided a bit, I let her down to play again. Immediately she pulled herself up on the coffee table and looked at me. I smiled. She cruised along the table for a few steps and looked at me again. I didn't know if she remembered that that was where she'd fallen before. I certainly did, but I also didn't want her to be too afraid to try it again.

So I smiled and nodded. And she cruised around the whole room. She didn't start walking, because this was real life and not a movie. But she did not so many weeks later.

Valuable parenting lesson three: They're looking at you to see how to react.  And it's probably a bad idea to project that fear onto them, especially if you'd like them to make any progress. 

To this day, there are people who think I'm a calm parent and that I never freak out. They've actually said this to me and they weren't being sarcastic. 

I checked. 

These people have no idea that I'm basically freaking out at all times and neither do my kids. 

After circling the room, Ironflower eyed the ice pack still in my hand. I'd been too chicken to run to the kitchen 8 feet away while she was cruising. She reached for it and I gave it to her. She put it on her own head and I applauded. She put it on and took it off dozens of times while I read to her. I don't know if it really helped, but it was certainly more pleasant than me holding it to her head while she wiggled and yelled.

Valuable parenting lesson four: Don't do things for them that they can do for themselves. Especially if they don't like it when you do it. 

Mom rules

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