I've picked up a few hacks along this parenting journey, some better than others. I'd say these are my top five all-time favorites and ones I strongly suggest following:
1. Do Not Negotiate. I repeat, DO NOT NEGOTIATE. Negotiating with people your own age is oftentimes useless as it is. Toss someone under the age of 8 into the mix and it’s quite similar to negotiating with a terrorist. You shouldn’t do either.
2. Waterproof Mattress Cover. If you have a child who is still in diapers or a child who is transitioning over to big girl/boy underpants, allow me to let you in on the biggest hack of them all- - - A WATERPROOF MATTRESS COVER. Don’t trust me? I can send you my bank statements for the past 5 years to show you how much our family has spent on twin-sized mattresses. (Roughly the cost of a trip to outer space in a gold-plated spaceship.) My husband and I were beyond genius the last run around. We kept that sucker sealed in the actual plastic wrap the bed came in from the factory, wiped it down with a Clorox wipe, and tossed those overpriced Pottery Barn sheets right on top. Our little dumpling was none the wiser to her new, *crunchy* mattress.
3. Never tell your child the foods you dislike. I’ve never been a fan of raisins; I’ve hated raisins since I was a kid. I made the mistake of mentioning that in front of my daughter and guess what?! She hates raisins too! Imagine that! Turns out, she also dislikes stoplights, self-check out, and taxes! The only time I could’ve seen potential benefit to my verbal slips of things that drive me bonkers would have been Justin Bieber. Unfortunately, no matter how many things I say about Justin Bieber, my young one’s heart beats for him and him only because he is ‘sooooo handsome’.
4. Hide any and all things considered ‘permanent’ in your home. My daughter is of the age where cleaning supplies are no longer a worry. There is no need to lock them up; I could make an entire cleaning supply cabinet in her room and she’d not dust a speck. However, nail polish, nail polish remover, Sharpie markers, and acyclic paint are super fun! So much fun that she Sharpied a beard to her face with a black permanent Sharpie marker. Apparently, she had an educational lesson at school about Abraham Lincoln and really wanted to take things to the next level. Even more exciting, multiple areas of my home look like Jackson Pollock came back from the dead and stopped by my home to re-create a few masterpieces on my living room floor with an acrylic-based paint and glitter as his medium. Yes, glitter is considered ‘permanent’…take note.
5. Don’t ever let your child see you ask Siri a question on your iPhone. We’ve all went to Siri for directions when we were lost, asked her what the weather was going to be like the following day, etc. Seems harmless enough, right? WRONG. My child took the iPad and secretly asked Siri if it was possible for sharks to get into the bathtub while taking a bath. If you are not able to visualize what Siri and her brilliant computer brain led my child to, allow me to enlighten you: A video of some *genius* who actually put baby sharks in a bathtub. My child hasn’t taken a bath since.
And, there you have it! My top five parenting hacks. There may be a few more that I’ve forgotten to mention, but I can send them your way when I send you the copy of my bank statements with the astronomical amount my husband and I have spent on mattresses.
You Are Welcome!