Just a sampling of parenting maxims from the owner of a 4 year old “monkey”.
1. If a 4 year old ever tells you, “Hey Mom, smell this!” Do not inhale. I repeat DO NOT INHALE. Just pretend you’re Bill Clinton in a college dorm.
2. Never argue with a 4 year old. You can’t beat non-logic. That’s what the “Because I said so” and “Because I’m the boss” cards are for. Play them instead. If all else fails, remember that you’re bigger than this little tyrant and just pick her up and make her obey. (Don’t try to tell me this doesn’t work… I’ve had 3 of these things and it works while they’re small. Don’t try it on the big ones, you’ll throw your back out trying to pick them up.)
3. Don’t wish too hard for quiet. Quiet is a dangerous thing when a 4 year old is in the house.
4. Don’t ask, “Why did you just lick that?!!?” There is no answer that will satisfy you on this score.
5. Choose your battles. Some days your child may discover the hill they are ready to die on just happens to be the hill you’re ready to kill him on. It’s on days like this that your child’s cuteness will be their only means of survival. That’s a God given preservation method. Go with it.
6. I often threaten to give my children away to the first gypsies I find. But if you ever DO come across any gypsies the chances that they will want your children will be slim to none. You might be stuck with them. Sorry.
7. Whoever coined the phrases “As easy as taking candy from a baby” and “Sleeping like a baby” clearly never had children of their own. Anything else they say should be ignored too. That person is a liar.
8. Don’t argue about fashion with a 4 year old. As long as they aren’t going to die of frost-bite just let them wear what they want. No one is going to think you are a bad parent if your kid has one yellow sock and one red sock. No one is going to call Child Protection if it’s obvious that your kid dressed herself. If you start fighting this battle now you are going to run out of ammo by the time you hit the teen years.
9. If your 4 year old is still peeing in the compost pile in the back yard, you should break him of this habit before he goes to Kindergarten. This is just from a teacher’s perspective. Peeing on the playground is usually looked down upon.
10. Finally, some nights it’s OK to make popcorn for dinner and sit in front of the TV watching a movie together. Actually, that’s what we did tonight and I’m pretty sure my 4 year old loved it as much as I did. The world did not end.