For the purpose of the rest of this text, “children/offspring” shall be defined as:
- Girl, 4 years old, blonde hair. May be prone to sudden, dramatic outbursts of convincing tears and/or hysteria. Answers to the name of “Miss C”.
- Boy, 2 and a half years old, blonde hair. Likes to scream at a pitch that may be dangerous to eardrums: proceed with caution. Referred to as, “Little F”.
- Boy, 3 months old, bald. Likes to stare at people/things without blinking. Warning: appears irresistible with big blue eyes and a toothless grin but possesses vampire-like qualities (attempting to latch/suck on any person or thing that gets too close to his mouth). Goes by, “Baby B”.
Objectives (for parents):
- Keep children alive. This includes, but is not limited to, instances in which the child seems determined to kill himself, herself, or each other (ie: jumping off of things, putting blankets over their heads, diving face-first into buckets full of water, pulling plastic protector plugs out of electrical sockets; scratching, biting, hitting, kicking oneself or each other, etc.).
- Maintain a realistic level of sanity. Occasional fits of sobbing, pulling hair out, hyperventilating, rocking in corners, and outright panic are to be expected. Hallucinations, hearing things, and sleeping while standing up are discouraged but may occur when offspring have not slept (alternatively or collectively) in 3 days or more. Note: these levels of sanity seen in parents are acceptable. If child displays any of above symptoms (or has a stuffy nose), display outright panic (see above) and rush child to nearest emergency room.
- Learn. Double check the recipe when the 4-year-old says that it’s the MUFFIN recipe that calls for two eggs, NOT the cookie recipe, because she’s usually right. Be open to new information. Learn from others’ ideas. Be willing to change the path you are on if it’s not working out. You really don’t want to mess up the cookies.
- Have fun. Okay, having two kids in diapers at any given moment, changing clothes three times a day because there is poop, spit-up, milk and marker all over them does not usually fall under the “fun” category. But slow down in the grocery store while the kids are excitedly pointing out bright colors of the bell peppers. Look away from the phone and meet the big, unblinking, eyes of the baby staring reverently up at you. Laugh at the jokes, not because they’re funny but because your child is laughing and, therefore, not screaming at the moment. Enjoy when you get an interrupted break in the bathroom, no matter how short. Appreciate when you get to eat a meal before it goes cold. Log every laugh, because one day your kids probably won’t think you’re very funny anymore. Make note of the new things they learn every day simply because it’s astounding how much new information they can take in.
- Remember these days. Write down the quotes that are adorable because they’re almost grammatically correct but not quite. Remember spending all day in your PJs because you haven’t had time to shower yet. Remember how your child’s eyes light up the first time he learns to spell his name. Sing along with the Disney songs they listen to over and over (and over and over and over and over) again. (That buzzing sound in your brain? Deep breaths… Let it go.) Don’t forget them because when your daughter woke up from her nap today, you swear she was an inch taller. Because your newborn baby is suddenly wearing size 6 month clothes. Because your 2.5 year old is suddenly extremely independent and won’t let you wipe his mouth anymore (and now that you can’t, you miss it). Because soon the kids will be out in the world on their own, and you’ll look back at these days, now, and think of them as the “good old days”.