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Things We Learned from Raising Our Children

April 6, 2011

When our firstborn was almost two years old, we were repairing/painting the house and before I could grab her little hand, she put it in the paint and took it straight to her mouth. She began gagging and spitting and I grabbed the water hose to quickly wash out her mouth. After she appeared to be safe and to be sure she didn’t ingest something damaging, I told my husband to watch her while I went in the house to call Poison Control. While I was talking to Poison Control, I watched through the window in horrification as she picked up a power drill that was plugged in and started toddling across the yard. My husband was painting like nothing was amiss. It was embarrassing to ask Poison Control to hold, while I covered the phone with my hand and yelled through the open window, “She’s got the DRILL!!!!” at which time my husband snapped into action. I am not criticizing him for this because I was the one who was within reach when she ate the paint!

Learning to parent together as we tried to keep up with our active firstborn changed us and changed our marriage. Neither of us instinctively knew what to do with her and we all know that children don’t come with instruction manuals. Here are some Things We Learned from Raising Our Children:

  • Eat fast, at least if you want a hot meal. We still eat quickly and are trying to break that habit but it all started when mealtimes became war zones with our children.
  • Take the wastebasket with you on the walk to the bathroom when they are saying their stomach hurts. Enough said.
  • The cat is NOT responsible for crayon marks or any other marks on the walls, no matter what the kids say.
  • Just because the cat is silent, it doesn’t mean he approves of being dressed up in clothes.
  • If you are summoned to the bedroom to dispose of a spider and you only have one shot at it…DON’T MISS! I’m surprised they got any sleep that night.
  • Any rude comment or gesture while driving WILL BE repeated to the other parent as soon as you get home.
  • When the children are in the house and everything goes suddenly quiet…investigate immediately!
  • ALWAYS check with the other parent before agreeing to get a puppy or a car…or anything in between!
  • Lastly, an innocent toy like sidewalk chalk can turn into a vehicle of profanity even if the child is in the first grade and can’t spell correctly. Pedestrians will still be able to fill in the blanks.



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