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the crib sheet

My greatest lesson as a parent

Brooke Nalle

is not a lesson rather it is a list of what I am not good at.  I'll be honest; I am good at sleep, really good at sleep.  Almost to a fault, I know when they should go to bed and what should not happen before they go to bed.  Take the crazy game of peek-a-boo with a giant llbean box right before Loewy's bedtime last week.... NOT a good idea.  I found her jumping in her crib with her shirt off screaming, "belly, belly, belly," 20 minutes after she went to bed.  Or perhaps letting my son watch the first Harry Potter movie just so I could eat dinner with my parents and not be disturbed.  He ended up freaked out and in my bed.  Once he was alseep though, I watched True Blood on my ipad - luckily he didn't wake up during.  That would have really freaked him out.   

Now on to what I am not good at.  By the way, this list became especially evident the last few weeks as I 'vacation' with my children and extended family in Rhode Island.  It is also very vacation-centric, and I am confident that my at home 'not good at' list would be long too and parallel much of what is revealed here.  Finally, before I get to the list, can we parents just make it clear that a vacation with young children is not a vacation in the old, pre-kids sense of the word, at least in my world, it is simply a trip.  Anyway, on to the list:

1. Putting on sun screen evenly.  Alistair is very tan, and Clara has kind of a tie-dye look to her back.  Loewy is just working the farmer's tan.  I just scheduled a trip to a new dermatologist to pay my dues in the fall.  At least my kids didn't get burned.

2.  Quiet, calm, gastronomically interesting meals.  Even after farm camp, Clara thinks that eggplants deliver eggs.  If I do stray from the usual, I get wild protest and screams and cries of indignation.  When we do eat, we are loud, messy, barbaric and speak mostly about three subjects ... 1)bribes to eat veggies or something new, 2)threats to eat veggies or something new, and finally 3)bathroom stories and the like.

3.  Being loving and open to mess.  Even as my husband plays cards or backgammon with the children, all I can think about is picking the cards/game up and putting it away.

4.  Choosing appropriate music - too much to say on this one - let's just say that Loewy screams for Beiber and Ke$ha (did I spell that right), and Clara dances, ummm, movingly to Katy Perry.

5. Cleaning the sand of my children before they get in the bath.  I deserve future plumbing problems, I really do.  

6.  Rainy days, we have handled them with trips to the Providence Children's museum, yet somehow we can get there and back and have lunch at Loui's (a nod to our college days) all before 12:30 pm.  Not Fair!

7.  Keeping track of my children - Alistair has been roving our small beach town, and so far he has made it home every time, but I don't always know where he is, and he is 7.

I'll stop here.  And remind myself that my clients have children that are sleeping, finally, and that is a beautiful and magical thing!