More Things I Should Know About Parenting But Evidently Never Learned

I was going to wait a year or two until both toddlers were fully school-age before I continued my list of things I should know about raising kids that I apparently didn’t learn the first time (see this post for my list).

Although my first list included ten items, it wasn’t meant to be an exhaustive list. I know now that it is just the first ten things I don’t know about raising kids that I evidently never learned the first time.

Apparently, there are several more because these unlearned lessons just keep popping up all over the place.

But, I didn’t think I would continue the list less than two weeks after I wrote the first ten things on the list. I mean, how many things can there be that I should know but apparently never learned? Will the list ever come to an end?

As it turns out, there’s a few more additions to my list of things I should know about parenting but never learned that I need to include before the children grow out of toddlerhood!

11. I should know, don’t leave open bottles containing some kind of substance within reach of toddlers or they will pour it all out on whatever they are doing. Recently, as I served the toddlers dinner, I opened a new bottle of ranch dressing and poured a little on their plates to dip their veggies in. I set the open bottle down on the table and walked away for a few seconds to retrieve the rest of their meal. By the time I returned to the table, they had emptied all of the dressing out of the bottle into their plates.

Their dinner was floating in ranch dressing!

I know. It’s stupid to leave an open bottle sitting right beside them on the table. I have no excuse except I forgot. I was momentarily preoccupied by another task and that’s all it took…

But if that’s not stupid, if that’s not paying attention, then how would you describe the fact that when we left the dinner table, we went upstairs to take baths and I took a bottle of shampoo off the shelf, opened it and poured a little on Kenzie’s hair. Then I set the bottle down on the edge of the bathtub while I washed and rinsed her hair. Then I walked away for a few minutes and let her play.

Right! When I returned the almost-new bottle of shampoo had been emptied out into the bath water and  she was trying to make it suds up like bubble bath, but it had only turned the bathwater into a shade of dirty pink.

Stupid. Inattentive. Parental idiocy. Will I ever learn? Ever?

12. I should know, don’t take the toddlers with you to go grocery shopping. Recently I took them to the supermarket with me reasoning that I only had to pick up a few things. But I had to wait at the deli counter for my order a little too long. While I was waiting, I glanced over my shoulder and saw Kenzie chasing Kaleb around the antipasto bar that was stationed in the middle of an aisle near the deli counter.

I yelled at them to stop and when they did, Kenzie reached up and grabbed herself an olive out of a tray on the bar and was trying to grab another when I almost reached her. She began running around the antipasto bar and I chased her for a couple of laps until I became self-conscious of the fact that I was mad and she was having quite a bit of fun!

After gathering them both up, I made them ride in the cart during the rest of my shopping. We went to the checkout counter and Kaleb wanted to unload our cart and add its contents to the groceries of the person standing in front of us. I argued with him, grabbed our stuff off the checkout counter and put it back in the cart, and an assistant manager came and escorted us to an unopened checkout counter and kindly checked us out.

Then, as if to add insult to injury, humiliation to embarrassment, as I began to unload the groceries into the car, I noticed that Kenzie was holding a container of watermelon that hadn’t been checked out and paid for.

I anxiously scanned through the receipt hoping to find watermelon listed on there as purchased, but no fresh fruit to be found on the list…no way did I want to go back in there!

What should I do? I was already insulted, embarrassed, and humiliated. What can I do?

So, I put the groceries in the car, set the toddlers back in the grocery cart, and quietly slipped back into the store with the stolen watermelon. Quickly spotting an empty self-checkout counter I legally purchased the watermelon and hurried back out of the store unnoticed by the observant assistant manager!

I must admit, though, that for a moment I considered leaving one or both of the toddlers at the store in exchange for the watermelon!

13. I should know, don’t go shopping for clothing for the toddlers without being accompanied by a female. Recently, I left the toddlers with an aunt, uncle. and cousins (some of my other grandkids) while I shopped for clothing for them.

One of the articles of clothing on my list to purchase was an Easter dress for Kenzie.

Guys (or at least me, but I think I can speak for most guys) have no sense of “cuteness” or “style” and they especially don’t know how to select women’s clothing. How many of you guys have ever purchased an article of clothing as a gift for your wife or girlfriend without their direct intervention?

Just as I thought! So, I guess you get my point.

Since the toddlers’ clothing size is the same as their age at this point in their development, I do okay on sizing.

But if the top and bottoms aren’t together in a set, then I can’t handle it. And accessorizing, forget about it.

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t want to be able to pick out clothing that is cute and stylish, I can’t. I just can’t do it!

So, while out shopping I had to ask women whom I didn’t know about the clothing items I wanted to purchase. Does this top go with these bottoms? Does this dress need a sweater? Are these shoes dressy enough? And on and on it went, asking whatever woman shopper was near for her opinion and suggestions when I became perplexed.

Undoubtedly, some of the women thought I was trying to pick them up. But most were quite sympathetic about my incompetence and were glad to assist. They seemed to understand. They knew, yes, they knew I was in over my head shopping for girls’ clothing without the guidance of a qualified female.

As I just keep adding to this list, I’m starting to get a little concerned. It seems that the many things I don’t know about parenting are starting to outnumber the few things I do know. How can this be? 

More to come, I’m sure…

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