My mom adventures in Fort Collins

Unsolicited Parenting Advice: Take 2
April 27, 2012, 5:29 am
Filed under: Parenting | Tags: , , , , , , ,

We’ve been down this road before. I’m no expert, but I can’t resist voicing my opinions.

Clear cut tip #3:

In the world of dress-up attire, there are many choices. Avoid the feather boa.They result in having feathers all over your house, in your laundry and, most annoyingly, stinking up your vacuum.

This child's mother is obviously Bjork, but no matter... she will regret the choice to give her daughter a feather boa. Trust me. Photo from

Clear cut tip #4:

Inevitably, your child will love a lovey. Maybe it’s a beloved blanket, a stuffed lamb, or a favorite book. All I can say is, have a plan for the lovey. Whether you decide to buy more loveys, so that when lovey does a disappearing act you have a back-up, or you simply have rules for the lovey, like “We don’t bring lovey into stores,” you just have to plan for the day when the lovey might not be right where you need it to be.

Controversial suggestion #3:

Kids get sick. I realize this and I empathize with this. For the first year and a half of Scout’s life, it was completely normal for me to miss about a week of work a month in order to take care of a sick kiddo that couldn’t go to daycare. As soon as humanly possible, teach your kids to sneeze into their elbows and give them kleenex by the bucketload. But here’s the thing: I have yet to meet a 3-year-old that has never ever picked his nose. I think it’s a lot to ask of a kid to keep her germs to herself at all times. Use your best judgement: temperatures, vomit, and nasty chest infections are best kept out of public. Allergies, run-of-the-mill head colds, pulled muscles and sprains, and bumps and bruises are probably no big deal.Please, please, please do not bring your daughter to picture day at school after a night of puking simply because you didn’t want her to miss the class picture (this just happened at my daughter’s school). Alternatively, do not expect your child who attends school, daycare, the library story hour, playgroup, the children’s museum, or the play area at Chick-Fil-A to avoid getting sick. Kids=germs. And while Kids + good hygiene habits + luck = less chance of getting sick, you may as well embrace the fact that you will be spending (at least some of) your time as a parent playing nurse.

Aw, poor sweaty, feverish kiddo. Raggedy Ann is gonna get you through it. (From

Controversial suggestion #4

Inevitably, you will be faced with this conundrum: Your child and your friend’s child are around the same age, and you swap stories about how their little bodies and minds are developing. Resist the urge to compare your child to anyone else’s child. Sure, check the websites, know the general timeframes (for instance, it’s well-within-normal for a child to walk anywhere from 9-months-old to 15-months-old. That’s a 6 month window.), but don’t go thinking that your child is behind simply because he or she hasn’t rolled over/sat up/picked up a cheerio/translated his first word into Latin simply because someone else you know has done exactly this. Conversely, don’t go thinking your child’s a genius because they can do something ahead of the curve. Life is long, God willing, and we all tend to even out on this journey.

All-out-get-ready-to-slap-me advice #3

I know many people who avoid certain topics of conversation, like politics and religion. I hate to say, “Let’s add ‘parenting’ to that list,” but let’s go ahead and consider parenting a very personal art. Certainly, things come up, people talk, people may even open up about their struggles, but make no mistake about this: No one is ever looking for someone to tell them anything other than, “I think you’re doing a great job.” The following are also acceptable: “You do the best you can.” “I think you’re a great mother/father.” “Boy, Dr. Sears ain’t got nothing on you.” Just be affirming and supportive of other parents. Like having a debate on facebook about the merits of the Bush tax cuts, it’s likely you will never persuade anyone that they stink at this parenting stuff. In “Reality Bites,” when Janeane Garafalo’s character (Vicky) tells Wynona Ryder’s character (Lelaina) that having sex is a quickest way to end a friendship, she clearly had never offended a fellow parent. THATis the quickest way to end a friendship.

Oh, Lainey, let's grow up and have babies and sing them fantastic songs by The Knack and never ever upset our fellow parents by offending them as we suggest bold notions like keeping sick kids at home instead of bringing them to school to fling snot rockets on their classmates. (From

As with most things of great reward, parenting is hard work. I make no claims at expertise, I’m just a mom trying to do her best and enjoy the fun stuff along the way.


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