I stopped reading parenting books years ago, around the time I became a parent. Because really, who has time to read once you’re committed to raising another human being…or four.
Incidentally, my sense of time is warped as I’ve found plenty of time to lock myself in the bathroom and read fifty shades of other books.
I might be more convinced to pick up a parent manual these days if it actually prepared me for real-life situations beyond the basics.
I would title it What To Expect When the Tooth Fairy Forgets to Show Up and Other Parenting Dilemmas. It would include but certainly not be limited to the following parenting milestones:
1. The first time your child sees their toy(s) in the trash and you have to play dumb and wonder aloud that you have no idea how that ended up there. In my book, there would be pointers to cover your tracks, including best times of day to dispose of toys (nap and bedtime of course), best days of week (as close to trash day as possible), and if the deed has to be done in broad daylight, well, be ready to empty other trash cans on top of the evidence and smush it all down.
2. The first time your child unknowingly draws genitalia. There would be tips on how to stifle your laughter and act your age, while complimenting him on such a cool, er, realistic drawing. And if you do reduce your reaction to that of an immature school girl/boy, there would be suggestions on how to make it go viral by posting on Facebook, instagram, and your blog. (Sidenote: there has to be a follow-up chapter addressing the first time your child knowingly draws genitalia, right?)
3. The first time you have to search through your child’s excrement for an object she swallowed, such as a marble. This section would include renderings of the various techniques employed by parents around the world, including my husband’s famous squishy bag technique.
4. The first time your child has to poop in a remote location in nature. This happened to me mere weeks ago and I was so thankful a friend was there to suggest the proper protocol: dig a hole in the dirt for her to poop in. Have I just been lucky to not have experienced this in my 8 years as a parent? Also, I realize that’s two about poop. But again, nothing and no one prepares you for the amount of poop you will come into contact with when you become a parent. My book would.
5. And of course, the first time you have to explain to your sobbing child why the tooth fairy forgot to visit. No one wants to have to google what to do the morning of. Good parenting is all about being prepared.
So what parenting milestones would you add to this list? Please share in the comments!