What I Learned In Parenting 401

I've learned a lot about parenting over the years. One of the first things I learned was that all babies are not created equal, and that everyone has a piece or five of advice on how you should raise yours.

I learned a lot with our firstborn, and more still as the family grew, but Micah has taught us so much more than the other kids. He's put things into perspective for us. Where once we would have freaked over things like dress codes and music choices, we've come to realize that kids need to find their own way in the world and if what they're doing isn't illegal or immoral, it's really just a matter of our choice vs. theirs. If there's a philosphy that we can attach to what Micah has taught us, it would be Don't Sweat the Small Stuff.

Just the other day, Becky asked me what I would think if she got her belly button pierced. I didn't answer her, mostly because I was lost deep in the dark rooms of my brain, thinking. My initial thought was, "huh, I had no idea she'd ever want one." And that was closely followed by so many other thoughts that I was sucked into my own world and never did get around to answering her.

I heard thoughts like "Oh my word! She's going That Route with piercings all over her body! What will be next? Tattoos?"

And then I smacked myself and thought rationally, "It's really a harmless place for a piercing. I don't see any reason why she couldn't have one."

I contemplated how far I'd come as a parent. There was a day that I would have freaked over that question. I would have justified why I didn't want a daughter of mine to have multiple piercings, and told her NO in such certain terms that she would have thought long and hard about asking me anything again in the next five years, while hiding the fact that she'd just gone ahead and done it.

Micah has taught us so much. We learned from him that small things aren't a big deal. So kids wear flip flops to church, and I was raised that patent leather is the only acceptable footwear. It's not a biggie. So the kids rooms are trashed. It's their space, and as long as they keep my space fairly clean, it's not hurting me. So our 8th grade daughter was asked to the prom by a senior. He's a good kid, and they're really just friends. So the boys want to take ballet when boys clearly don't do that. Each to his own. (The boys haven't asked to take ballet. Yet. But I'll bet Micah would absolutely love it.)

Of all the things that we've learned from our youngest, there is one thing that stands out head and shoulders above the others. I don't know why it took us so long to learn, being that he's our fourth child, but we know now.

Never teach your potty-training son to give you a high-five for a job well done until after he washes his hands.


ds.mama said...

Lol, thanks for that last little bit of advice.

Wineplz said...

Words to live by as we work on potty-training Cooper.

Brandie said...

Were you eaves dropping in my kitchen tonight? LOL. We just had a similar conversation about personal style. Thanks for that last bit of advice!

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Burgh Baby said...

Remind me to never give Micah a high-five without inspecting his hands first, mmkay?

the planet of janet said...

i'll keep that last bit in mind when we meet this summer ...

Karen Deborah said...

love this, i do however ask the girls not to pierce. Just haven't got there. I worry about pain and infections and those rings getting snagged and pulled; I am a chicken like that.
So another reason to give thanks for Micah. God's gifts come in interesting packages.

Is this your new blog format?

Nap Warden said...


Michelle said...

Let me know when you get the washing the hands down (with soap) 100%. I'm still working on that one. As in I have to ask if I will see soap bubbles in the sink before it dawns on some children who live in my house what exactly I mean by "washing their hands." Yay to parenting with boundaries but not freaking out (this goes hand in hand with a great book I'm reading) :)

HalfAsstic.com said...

Oh, honey! That last bit of advice? Priceless!

Kim - In Search of Me in Mommy said...

Oh... I am sure I have so much to learn! Love the last thought! LOL Potty training has taught me a lot... http://insearchofmeinmommy.blogspot.com/2010/02/pesky-potty-problems.html

I just recently found your blog. It's wonderful! Thanks!

Leanne said...

Too funny. The things we learn. Oh, and I'm proud of you as I agree with the whole tummy piercing thing. I'm just not sure I'll be as cool when my daughter comes to me with this idea. Uh, no, no and no will probably come out of my mouth before I can stop it... Sigh. But I'll try.

Flea said...

Ew ew ew! Good lesson.

I don't mind some piercing, but I have younger cousins and sister-in-laws, as well as a husband who worked at an art college, so I know that many piercings have purpose. Hence a long conversation with my daughter if she ever asks for anything other than an ear piercing.

Anonymous said...

I am hoping that taking the laid-back approach when it comes to things like piercings will keep my kids from doing it just to get a rise out of me!

Very sound advice with that last bit! I am now in the habit of washing my hands after the kids go to the bathroom, whether I am helping with wiping or not.

The Sports Mama said...

Um... I'm of the mindset that there is never a good rationale for a senior boy to ask an 8th grade girl to prom. No. Never. And being the mother of a soon-to-be-senior... I might have something of a clue here.

Besides, I've seen her latest FB pic... she's awesomely beautiful and grown up looking.

Which is why I continue to encourage my teenager's belief that at his current point in life, anyone younger than a sophomore is just too young.

BUT...... I'm just paranoid like that. :)