I know there are a billion do's and dont's of parenting, but since there are so many, not all of them get shared and new parents need all the help they can get. So I have decided to share 8 lesser discussed do's and dont's that I have experienced in this past year.
1) DO develop a good safety hold and fun song/dialogue at bath time. For several months, giving baths is very nearly a leisure afternoon in Guantanoma Bay so develop the technique early.
2) When your kid can crawl/walk and is engaged in playing with his toys or watching tv, DON'T make direct eye contact. Like mountain gorillas, they only become dangerous after you make direct eye contact and your kid will stop being content and cling all over you. Let them be at peace.
3) DO use your child to get whatever you can in public. Much like priority airplane boarding, the kid can open grocery checkout lanes, skip ahead to get coffee or at the bank or any line really, get a free appetizer or side dish...basically if you have to endure the hassle of bringing the child to run errands then make sure you can be rewarded.
4) DON'T be too snooty to let your child play with trash. It is well known babies like crinkly things. So when you finish a water bottle, give to the kid. Boil pasta, toss the kid the box. Be smart about it and don't give them a used insulin needle. But basically, the idea that your child is "too good" to play with "creative thrifty homemade" toys is nonsense. Your kid can't pooh or fart on command, can't figure out a circle block goes in a circle hole, can't look at noise behind him without falling over. New Flash: Fisher Price and Melissa and Doug toys aren't requirements for Mensa candidates or Stanford enrollment.
5) DON'T even bother trying to not sing or hum the theme songs to all your kid's shows. They will be in your head all day every day so don't fight it. Dora the Explorer, Go Diego Go, Daniel Tyger's Neighborhood, Curious George, and the list goes on. That's why the geniuses at Disney make songs worth singing...because they know those songs will be hopelessly trapped in your mind!
6) DO everything you can to avoid or delay your child learning that they can just give whatever food they don't like to the dogs. Gunner realized that if he doesn't want the chicken or turkey or carrots or green beans, the dogs do...thus beginning a lethal alliance against the parents striving for balanced diets at mealtime.
7) DON'T take your bedtime book collection lightly. Oh no my friend, it needs to be so much more than Dr. Suess. I remembered loving Green Eggs and Ham so I figured it would be my staple go-to story. Not the case. I hate reading it and Gunner hates hearing it. All the boxes, foxes, trains and planes drive us both up the wall. Much like on Wall Street, bedtime stories need you to diversify. We have fallen all for rhyming books with good dramatic story lines and character building yet can still be read cover to cover in 2-4 minutes. Impossible you say? Try Room on the Broom and tell me you can't wait for the Oscar worthy movie starring Cate Blanchett.
8) Dads, DO take joy (never find a reason to be offended or argue) in the jokes about you "not pulling your weight" compared to the moms with a baby. The best I have heard is that your wife should name your next child Gotham, so that way when the kid is screaming crying in the middle of the night, she will say "Gotham needs you" and you will be unable to resist the need to be Batman. And yes dads, you know it is true...you won't be able to resist.
One with the camera....
Stud Muffin at Starbucks eating a muffin...
Hey....how you doing?