With all these advice posts, you might be thinking “Wow, she really has it together!” when in fact, I most certainly do not. I’m ready to come clean about my parenting mishaps. Here are the first 8 “fails” that come to mind…
#8 – Getting toddler dressed. Luke resists most things we tell him it’s time to do. So we start our days with him not wanting to put on a fresh diaper or clean clothes. My workaround here is that he no longer wears pajamas at night. Instead he wears regular clothes so when he strolls out of bed the next day, at least he won’t be sporting Elmo jammies the whole day.
#7 – Matching toddler’s clothes. As part of growing up, and in an attempt to prevent a tantrum, we try to let Luke pick out his clothes (often at night, see #8). This often results in bright green shorts and an orange Mickey shirt. Usually I don’t care because we aren’t leaving the house, but on our rare outing days, I wish he’d look a little more put together.
#6 – Keeping shoes on toddler’s feet. Lately our shoe situation has been rough. Luke’s outgrowing size 6 but all the 7s are too big, so he seems to have an issue with any pair we put on. He’s been barefoot in a lot of public places. I tell myself that he’s boosting his immune system and/or he’s participating in the earthing movement.
#5 – Going in public alone with BOTH kids. If you see me out and about alone with both of them, be ready to assist. Whether that means holding the baby so I can appease Luke with a snack, or simply handing me a tissue to wipe the tears that are likely to start spewing from my eyes at any moment out of frustration, exhaustion, or both, just be prepared. Or turn around – I won’t be offended.
#4 – Having a clean house. The only times our home is clean is when my mom or mother in law have been over and have taken it upon themselves to tidy up, or if we’re having company and do one of those mad dash cleaning sessions in which you throw things in closets and drawers. I figure there’s really no need to clean up a mess when it’s going to be messy again in about 2.5 seconds.
#3 – Bathing toddler. Luke never wants to take a bath. We offer bubbles, a shower, a shower in mama’s bathroom, etc. Each option is met with a “no.” Often after filling the tub, placing him in it while he’s screaming, he’ll calm down and take his bath and then not want to get out. Other times, we consider the fact that he went swimming that day as a bath replacement. Or we’ll grab the hose and spray him down outside on the deck.
#2 – Brushing toddler’s teeth. The only time Luke has had his teeth effectively brushed is when we went to the dentist. Every night consists of asking him if he wants to do it, possibly having him brush his front teeth for 2 seconds, and then Robert and I holding him down while prying his jaws open to try to get the toothbrush in there. We have caught him eating toothpaste a couple times, so that must be helpful, right?
#1 – Getting toddler to bed. We (try to) follow a very predictable bedtime routine each night. Bath time is followed by teethbrushing, which is followed by putting on jammies and a diaper and reading 3 books. However, no matter how many times we follow our routine, we’re met with resistance (see #8, #3 and #2). Luke always seems to “need something” from the kitchen, or need to be covered up (with TWO blankets!), or need another “once upon a time story,” or for mama to sit on the alligator pillow, or for dada to sit on the laundry basket. You get the picture. Finally after getting “something” from the kitchen – usually cookies, AFTER we’ve “brushed” his teeth – covering up and recovering up with blankets, making up countless stories about mowers and sitting next to him at distances farther and farther from his bed, Luke will go to sleep. By this point it’s about 9 p.m. and I head to bed myself.
So there you have it! I could have several more entries, but I don’t want to beat myself up too bad 😉 I know that even though our days are long, these years are short, so I try to enjoy every minute!
I’m curious to hear from other moms and dads out there! What are your biggest parenting fails? I think it’s healthy to share and make light of the many struggles we face!