Oh, this will be fun.
Pour yourself a cup of coffee and take a seat because folks? This is going to be entertaining.
I am about to present to you, on a silver platter, the holy grail of first-time-parent ridiculousness. All written out in black and white, absolutely ripe for future mockery. A list of things I am honestly, earnestly, 100% sure that we will never EVER do, or always ALWAYs do everysingletime with/for/to Olive.
This is not a joke. I actually think that this is how things will be. But I am also intelligent and/or self aware enough to know that as much as I think that we will be able to stick to this list, in two years time half of it will most likely be dead and buried.
By the time I am pregnant with child #3, I will probably find myself re-reading it while deep into my third glass of wine, laughing hysterically as Olive gives The Steve a bath unsupervised, using Johnson & Johnson baby soap to wash the Chicken McNugget ™ sauce from between his fingers.
I wish I had taken the time to write this list before having a baby, because already we’ve done a few things I said I would never do, (never ever! ) and so I’ll add those in first, in the spirit of honesty, and I’m sure I am forgetting a few.
So, without further ado, to the delight of seasoned parents and my future self I present to you:
Things We Will Never/Always Do, With Additional Ridiculous Smug Justifications Provided Where Necessary
We will never give Olive a pacifier. Babies don’t need pieces of plastic shoved in their mouths! They need their mamas! We will never put her in a swing. Why would I let a machine rock her, when she could be in our loving arms? We will never let her sleep in the bed with us. It’s unsafe- what if I smother her?! Plus I could never get a good night’s sleep with her beside me. We will always buy her clothing secondhand. There’s so much gently used children’s clothing to be had for 1/10th of the price, why would you ever buy new?(to be fair, probably 90% of her wardrobe is secondhand, but I have definitely succumbed to a few irresistible new items here and there.)
- We will always cloth diaper.
- We will never let her cry herself to sleep. Heartbreaking! Damaging! No one in ancient tribes would ever let their babies cry themselves to sleep!
- We will always make our own baby food from scratch. No jars or pouches for this baby!
- We will always serve her free-range, organic meat. This vegetarian just can’t handle it otherwise, what with the living conditions and the growth hormones and the antibiotics and the animals! Think of the animals! (I concede that she can, and probably will, eat conventionally raised meat from family, friends, restaurants etc., but we’ll avoid it where possible. SWEAR.)
- We will never give her juice. I don’t understand juice, or why anyone drinks it. It’s just sugar water, and even if it is 100% real fruit juice, it’s still providing all of the natural sugars of fruit, without the beneficial fibre to temper it. Hey, Olive! NO JUICE FOR YOU!
- We will never let her watch TV. If I manage to wear Adam down enough, we won’t have a TV at all, which is probably what will make or break this one. All of my five siblings and I were raised without TV, and it’s way easier to enforce if it simply isn’t an option. But although we haven’t had cable in almost a decade, getting Adam to agree to give up TV altogether is a dicey prospect that must be approached with great caution.
And again, I don’t care if she watches TV at Grandma’s or Auntie’s or Joey’s place down the street. If I find her sneaking out at the same time every day and coming home glassy-eyed and reeking of canned laughter however, we may have a problem.
- She will never own or wear branded stuff. Brands on kids really bug me, I hate the idea of my kid walking around looking like a billboard for huge corporations. So no giant logos, or Disney characters, or TV cartoon figures shall adorn her backpacks or tee-shirts or lunchboxes or bedspreads. (Oh my gosh I can hear you laughing from here. But, the thing is, I truly believe I will able to pull this off! Honestly, in my mind this is like, “Yeah! No problem.” tell me honestly, on a scale of 1 to Dick Cheney, how crazy am I?
When I am having a spaghetti-Western style standoff with a four year old in the aisles of Target, I give you full permission to pull up a chair and watch me try and stand my ground, while laughing heartily.)
- We will always encourage kids to do age-appropriate chores. This list is a great guideline, and I fully intend to have Olive helping around the house as soon as possible, and doing all of her own laundry by the time she’s eight or nine. After all, what’s the point of having kids if you can’t turn them into a tiny slave army?
Oh my gosh I think I wore myself out with all of those good intentions, all of those always and nevers. I can’t think straight, I’m just feeling so self-righteous!
I’m planning on updating this list as I think of more, and I’ll update it too, as each of them falls, taking a healthy shot of whisky for each one.
Now, please, tell me I’m not the only crazy first-time parent here?
Tell me that you, too have this list – if only in your head? What’s on it? What have you already done that you swore you would never, EVER do when you had kids?