September 12, 2008

29 Things I've Learned as a Parent …

A wise man once said, "Another year older, another year wiser." That man obviously had a baby. In honor of my 29th birthday (if you haven't sent that birthday card, you better get on it because it was back in May), I'd like to present you with a list of the 29 things I've learned in my first year-plus of parenthood. Some may be obvious, some a little less. But, most important, all of these lessons come from experience.

1. There is no snooze button on a baby.
2. "Stinky" and "Booger" are terms of endearment.
3. A dirty diaper smells bad. Baby formula smells worse.
4. The remote control is just an overly expensive teething ring.
5. Babies don't stay little. Neither does their poop.
6. Dangly Earrings + Holding Baby Close To Dangly Earrings = Very Bad Idea
7. Obscenities are limited to "darn," "shucks" and "great ooglie googily."
8. Crawling is a baby's first step to independence. It's also the end of yours.
9. "Don't touch that" loosely translates in to "Touch it right now—and more often."
10. Everything is a phone. Phones are phones. Shoes are phones. Potatoes are … you get the idea.
11. Drool can be annoying. It can also be used to seal envelopes.
12. No DVR? Don't even bother turning on the TV.
13. Gyms don't build muscle; 20lb babies in 25lb car seats do.
14. Embarrassing moments make for great memories—and even better photos.
15. You can never take too many photos.
16. It takes a great deal of restraint not to body slam people who pluralize non-pluralizable words. (e.g., "Did you go pees?," "Is it time for sleepies?" "Are you dumbs?")
17. Ear infections come and go, then doctor bills come and money goes.
18. Standing isn't a skill, it's just a way to knock things off the coffee table.
19. "America's Funniest Home Videos" is dead wrong—getting kicked in the crotch by a child is not funny.
20. Vegetables are eaten for dinner. Baby feet are eaten for dessert.
21. If you kiss a baby on the lips one of two things will happen: 1. She'll smile or 2. She'll sneeze in your mouth.
22. Don't let a baby sneeze in your mouth.
23. Seriously, it sucks.
24. Scrabble and Boggle are put aside for much more entertaining games like "Peek-a-Boo," "Chase Me Around the Table" and, my personal favorite, "Who Farted?"
25. Clothes for a baby should always be laid out the night before—by Mom.
26. There is nothing to fear but fear itself … and sharp objects.
27. A little poop on your hand never hurt anybody.
28. The universe doesn't revolve around you; It revolves around Dora the Explorer and Bob the Builder. (Note: If the two had a love child, would she be a Rita the Realtor?)

And finally, the most important lesson I've learned as a parent:
29. Baby laughter cures everything.

Is there wisdom I missed? If you have any to add please do so in the comments section below so everyone can enjoy them or shoot me an e-mail at I love hearing from others about their own experiences.

The Life of Dad is updated every other Friday (barring the call of family duties). Thanks for stopping by and following my attempts to be a good dad, husband and co-ed softball player. I hope you visit again. -- Brian


michelle said...

I don't have much experience around babies but yes, baby laughter does cure a lot. Thanks for sharing!

jennieb said...

Never stick your finger anywhere near a teething child's mouth!

Kevin said...

30. First birthday presents should be limited to wrapping paper and an empty box. That's all they play with anyway.

Maria said...

The sweetest words to hear from your child are: "I love you."

Brian A. Klems said...

"Hugging a baby is better therapy than a million dollars spent talking to a therapist."
--Dale S.

ShannanB aka Mommy Bits said...

Great list. If you discover a way to make #1 come true, I will pay you for it. My youngest cannot sleep past 6 am no matter what time I put him to bed. It's torture.

Shannon said...

Keep writing mr. Dad.. It's been a while and I love your blog. lol...

The Diaper Diva said...

You crack me up. And you are soooo on the money. I just read this and was laughing out loud and didn't realize no one else in my office was in on the joke. ;)

31. Toilets for babies are like bars for alcoholics ... they know they shouldn't, but they just gotta' get a taste. ;)

Mary said...

Great list! I love your blog. In a few years you can visit mine- Kindergarten Today. Here is my all time best advice: Never tell a child a "secret"! LOL Believe me, they will tell their teacher.