I have plenty of adult resolutions, too ... lose 10 pounds, actually go to the gym (or, uh, sign up for a gym), read more books and play less Words With Friends. But I also have a separate little spiral-bound notebook filled with parenting resolutions and ideas. I'm trying to make them simple enough to actually stick (I think it's a bit too late to teach Andy baby sign-language, sadly). I came up with 10, and hopefully I'll actually do 'em. Wish me luck. And happy new year!! Remember, if your kids are acting up, champagne tastes just as elegant in a sippy cup.
10. Make interesting meals. Or just make meals, period. On Sunday nights, I start out with the best of intentions, but by Wednesday it's Gerber puree and takeout. I have dreams of cooking from this vintage Winnie the Pooh cookbook, which came out in 1969. The recipes might not be the healthiest (spoiler alert: there's a lot of honey), but now that Andy has his very own kitchen, I think he'll enjoy "baking" alongside me. On weekends, anyway.
9. Go to bed earlier and get up earlier. Not quite sure what happened here. For the first 12 months of Andy's life, I kept the hours of a grandfather: In bed at 8, up at 5:30. Lately, though, I've been staying up later and later ... and then languishing in bed. When Andy whimpers from his crib, I'm not exactly perky and delighted to see him. I'd love to wake up earlier, if only so I don't greet him each morning looking like Edward Scissorhands.
8. Go on more "field trips." Museums and things. Andy used to be a regular at our neighborhood playground, but now that it's freezing outside, our scenic jaunts consist of trips to Market Basket. My parents live close to the Acton Discovery Museums, so maybe we'll check that out. I'd love other suggestions, too!
7. Discriminate and eliminate: toys, that is. Andrew's bedroom resembles a Toys R Us storage warehouse. Currently on his floor: Plastic stacking toys of indiscriminate origin, infant teethers, weird felt shapes with tags sticking off them, blocks that are probably a choking hazard, and an enormous frilly quill pen (was he hosting the Continental Congress in his bedroom?). Some of the infant toys will go to the basement, some will go to charity, and some are going to my favorite place: the trash!
6. Establish a better bedtime routine. When Andrew was born, my mom bought me a nice rocking chair. Ostensibly, I'd rock Andy to sleep after reading him tales of Paddington Bear and Corduroy. Right now, his chair is home to three identical quilts and a stuffed dog my friend won at a carnival. Andy's bedtime "routine" consists of dumping his milk on the coffee table, painting with it like a juice-riddled Jackson Pollack, screeching, asking to see my belly button, screeching again, and throwing Dr. Seuss's classic "Foot Book" to the floor. We usually render him comatose by giving him a pacifier. Then he drifts off to sleep on Brian's lap, the dulcet tones of "SportsCenter" ringing in his little ears.
5. Buy a new diaper bag. Any recommendations? Mine is disgusting. I bought it second-hand at a consignment shop on the Cape before Andrew was born. It started out light blue and brown ... and now it's mostly brown. It also has no pockets or sections, so everything's thrown in together. The thing is pretty much a time capsule tracing his last six or so months. Yesterday I found a bottle filled with something resembling cottage cheese, a size two diaper (clean, thank god), and pants that fit last July.
4. Spend less time on my iPhone and laptop. I'm not sure if I think Facebook will blow up or the world will end if I actually shut off my electronic devices for a few hours, but I do know that I always have my laptop open and that I break into hives when my iPhone isn't in reach. I'm secretly dreading the day when Andy walks up to my laptop and asks it for breakfast. Time to stop.
3. Actually keep up with a keepsake book. My friend Brooke got me an adorable Winnie the Pooh memory book for Andrew when he was born. Judging by the book, Andrew was just born. Like, last month. I can't wait til he rolls over on his own and sleeps through the night ...
2. Stop yelling. Brian has been on vacation all week, and my schedule has been much more flexible, too. This means we're rested, and we speak to one another like actual human beings instead of stressed-out monsters. All too often, we bicker in front of Andrew. Nothing major, but we talk to one another like annoyances, not spouses, and sometimes voices are raised. (Brian leaves his disgusting, deteriorating "sneakers" in the doorway for the 100th time; I neglect to recycle our milk cartons.)
1. More music, less TV. Santa just brought me Janis Joplin's newly remastered box set as well as the Beach Boys' remastered Smile, all on vinyl, for my record player. Andy loves the record player. He jigs in front of it each morning, wagging his hands and buckling his knees. Instead of flicking on the television when we get in each night, I'll turn on the record player. Janis is much easier to dance to than the Real Housewives.
If you have any parenting resolutions, feel free to share 'em. Hopefully these last beyond January!
Oh, and I just thought of one more thing: Stop letting Andy eat crackers and other assorted crumbs off the floor. He's a lot cheaper than a Dyson, but I'm also fairly sure he's harboring a science experiment in his gut.
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