Notes to My Former Self

Hindsight is 20/20. Well, this isn't really hindsight since I'm still IN it. Like, way in it. I don't know what day it is but summer vacation is NOT almost over. Max started crawling and my vacuum cleaner has another mysterious clog, a terrible coincidence of events. Nonetheless, if I could go back in time and write a parenting book for my newbie parent self, it would have these tidbits in it....

1) It's always good to have some friends with kids older than yours. The bigger kids will play with your kids in ways you'll never be able to and it's a window to your future. Keeps things in perspective and reminds you that time keeps marching on, even when the days feel endless.
2) Never cook dinner at 5 o'clock. Little children are wild beast demons at 5 o'clock. Big children need rides to activities. STOP FIGHTING FIVE O'CLOCK! It will beat you down every time. Cook dinner at some other time and reheat it. Or have sandwiches.
3) Record your baby's laughter.
4) Seek out wide open spaces. Children do magical things with wide open spaces, and it's good for them to take their conflicts out of your ear shot (they solve their own problems) but still under your watchful gaze (they don't kill each other doing it).
5) Don't spend too much time figuring out when your children will sleep. Instead, figure out how you can squeeze in a solid eight hours in between nursing, nightmares, kids spilling water bottles on you, losing your spot in the bed and wandering the house looking for an uncluttered horizontal surface to fall down on and so forth.

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