Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Nobody every tells you that your vocabulary will change, once you become a parent.
Beyond the obvious "Clean up your language!" if you're a cusser, or "Enunciate more" if you slur your words, new parents don't really get much advice on what to say or what not to say around their children.
There are, however, a few rules regarding toddlers and speech I'd like to share with you:
1. Assume anything you say at home will be broadcast to complete strangers in the grocery. Usually altered in some socially awkward way.
2. There are no social taboos for toddlers regarding the discussion of "poop." It's a fascinating subject, and the more you tell them not to, the more they want to discuss it. Loudly. In church.
3. The one time you let slip and say an excrement-related cuss word, that's the one time they're listening intently. It's also the one word they will become fascinated with and repeat over and over again. Loudly. Often, in church.
4. Explanations must be dumbed-down exponentially in proportion with how frustrated the child is getting. "No you can't have a cookie because you haven't eaten your breakfast yet and you have to have a meal before dessert" quickly evolves into "BECAUSE I SAID SO!"
5. Singing tag lines from shows on PBS Kids will become part of your parenting arsenal. "When you get so mad that you want to roar. Take a deep breath and count to four" is brilliant. (Although it gets you funny looks in the grocery store, I warn you.)
6. There will be a point when you have to stop referring to said toddler as "The Baby," usually because you can use "Big Boy" as an incentive to behave and do more grown-up things. However, he will self-identify as "The Baby" when he wants to cuddle or play with "Baby" toys. Or when he feels he has been wronged, in some way, by your parenting skills.
7. Philosophical conversations change. Instead of pondering "Why are we here?" or "What's my purpose in life?" you will find yourself asking the same three questions on a daily basis: What's in your mouth? Where are your socks? and Why are you all wet?
On that note, Little Bear and I are walking again, even though it's FREEZING still. We bundle up and head out because I know I need the exercise, and I'm afraid he'll get stir-crazy from staying inside too long. He didn't mind the cold yesterday, but did threaten to fall asleep in his stroller.
I have now realized that there are two things I need to remember in winter:
1. Track all your food because it's SOOO easy to slip
2. Get some kind of exercise inside because you aren't gonna walk!
At least I know these two things now, and I won't gain weight back over next winter.