1. When people say things like "you cannot put a price on that," it doesn't mean you won't be paying for it.
2. Sanctimonious parents often really do know what they are doing. The trick is to figure out what they know without having to spend too much time around them.
3. There is nothing dumber in parenting than starting an argument with your mother-in-law over her style of feeding, caring for, or entertaining your children. She is feeding, caring for and entertaining your children. Do the math.
4. You can spend a lot of time trying to get to the bottom of questions like "why are there marshmallows on the pool table?" but it won't improve your bank shot.
5. Be very skeptical of parenting books that promote some trendy new "system" or "method" or "way" of raising cooperative, successful and attractive children. It is virtually impossible to get kids to read these books.
6. If you do not have a system for keeping track of scissors, nail clippers, left shoes, cell phones and permission slips, the result is exactly the same as if you did, except that you will have established yourself as the go-to person for tracking it all down when the system fails.
7. It is important to keep at least one small part of your life for yourself even if it is only the part you spend thinking about taking a shower. Actual showers are where you will be signing permission slips and mediating sibling disputes for the next 18 years.
8. Keep a pen handy in the shower.
9. Don't get too attached to anything in your house that is made of glass or can be thrown.
10. When someone from the PTA approaches you for the first time, tell them you would really, really like to help, but their projects are stupid and the other parents are irritating. Then say, "I'm just kidding," and give them your husband's cell phone number and e-mail address.
11. Pedicures are a waste of time and money. Schedule them regularly.
12. Celebrity parenting advice is not as useful as you would think.
13. The best way to keep your sanity throughout the teenage years is to spend them on a tropical island with a handsome stranger and a supply of rum drinks. The second best way doesn't work.
14. Surround yourself with people who can talk about something besides their kids. Make sure at least one of them has a really dark sense of humor and a tattoo.
15. Don't look under the couch cushions until you have come to terms with the fact that what you see as a piece of furniture, your children will always see as a place to eat chips and salsa straight from the package.
16. While no one really believes that wolves are capable of raising human children, if you set the bar at the wolf standard, you will spend a lot less time frustrated over things like the fact that your kitchen looks as if coyotes have been using it.
17. If you can dream it, you can do it. Just kidding. Your dreams are finished. Get over them.
18. Make new dreams. Really, really, tiny dreams. Take a ridiculous amount of pleasure in them.
You are funny.
Posted by: Robbi | January 29, 2013 at 11:40 AM
I very much appreciate number 16. That's my favorite one. Also, I need to make shirts for my kids that say "Raised by Wolves." Then the whole world and I will be on the same page.
Posted by: Linda | January 29, 2013 at 11:48 AM
These sound about like the ones I would write. That is, if I were so inclined to write.
Posted by: Gigi | January 29, 2013 at 04:02 PM
Posted by: Twisted Susan | January 29, 2013 at 08:46 PM
I would very much appreciate some wolf help around here.
Robbi, as I have said before, you can't blame babies for everything. (See Babies Ruin Everything: Pictures by Robbi Behr, words by Matthew Swanson, inspiration by their baby.
Posted by: Suburban Kamikaze | January 29, 2013 at 09:43 PM
Are you telling me that even when they are TEENAGERS, I will not be able to take an uninterrupted shower??!?!?! I have been quietly dying inside over here every day when I have company in the bathroom asking me hard questions, crying, and/or telling me detailed and complex stories that I'm supposed to hear properly while the water is running and shampoo is in my ears and the shower door separates their little voices from my ears. I was just hoping that as we are approaching the ages of modesty ("Get out of my room while I'm changing!!!!!!"), I might get a reprieve. I am crushed.
Posted by: MommyTime | January 30, 2013 at 06:09 PM
This is where your teeny, tiny dreams come in: You buy yourself some really nice soap, or an extravagant brand of hair conditioner. Then, just before you dash into the shower the next time, you retrieve them from your teenage daughter's room. Look under the bed, or possibly under that pile of laundry on the chair. By the time you find them, your showering window will have closed, but if you are lucky, there will still be time to stop and smell the pomegranate.
Make time to stop and smell the pomegranates. That's all I am saying.
Posted by: Suburban Kamikaze | January 31, 2013 at 06:04 AM
So funny and so true! I love #3 and #10 the best. Another good way to get out of PTA and room parent requests is to say regretfully, "Oh, I wish I could -- but I haven't been allowed to volunteer ever since the INCIDENT." Then just nod and walk away. They won't have the nerve to ask you WHAT incident and they'll never ask you to volunteer again!
Posted by: Darcy Perdu | July 03, 2013 at 01:50 PM
A nice addition to the PTA Escape Plan Files, Volume 1.
Posted by: Suburban Kamikaze | July 29, 2013 at 09:09 PM