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June 2008

First (kind of) Parental Thoughts

Roswell the Alien BabyIt had to maybe happen at some point, but Leif and I decided to have kids, and lo and behold, I'm now 3 months pregnant. So far I'm not one of those "OMG OMG OMG OMG I'M PREGNANT AND HAVE TO TELL EVERYBODY I EVEN KNOW A TINY BIT" people, although I have informed most people I want to know through a combination of "seeding" (ie. telling people who will tell everyone else), Facebook, Flickr, and just random IMs and phone calls. I still don't get the people who post that stuff on message boards where anyone can see it. I mean, yeah it's cool and all, but honestly if I don't know you, I really don't care.

The message boards I read have their purpose though honestly because I'm getting several good ideas of what not to do when the kid is born and some good ideas of what to do. I've been mentally gathering a list of things that we will try our darndest not to do. A lot of this stuff is more when they're older, but you can plant the seeds early on. Well, we can try at least, right? I've actually gathered some of this stuff from my own family (not that they necessarily did any of this, but I watched things and just am doing the opposite of some of them).

1) Teach them that they're not the best at everything, and it's ok. They just need to accept it, or try harder if they want to get better.

2) On that same note, if they want something they need to work for it. I'm not talking about toys, but I'm talking more like getting better grades and such. Things aren't just going to be handed to them because they think they're entitled to it (and honestly, 99% of those situations I've seen, they're not even close to being entitled to getting it). Actually if my kid gets that annoying entitlement attitude I'd slap them upside the head (figuratively!!!)

3) If you do something wrong, take responsibility for it, even if you know you're going to get into trouble. It's amazing how many kids I'll watch do something, and then when you ask them if they did it, they say "no". HELLO?? I SAW YOU DO IT!! There's consequences for everything.

4) Much as this will pain us, they need to make their own mistakes in certain things, else they'll never learn. Conversely, bailing them out of situation after situation will cause them to never learn because that will just teach them mommy and daddy will always make it better.

5) The world does not revolve around you. Maybe when you're a baby or a toddler it does, but when you're in your 20's...it doesn't. Sorry, that's life, just deal with it.

6) If we have another kid, and you miss their wedding for some dumbass excuse, and you think they should just "get over it", and they start forgiving you, but then you never do anything in the subsequent years to even try to repair the relationship you screwed up (especially when you make up lame excuses as to why you can't visit them even though other relatives living in Europe have visited them several times already), seriously, another slap upside the head is coming your way.

Of course, having never done this before, I should look at this list in 10 years and see how we're doing, and I might laugh at how naive I was, but you have to start somewhere.

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