Free Advice

We used to get lots of advice about our son. Lately it’s kind of tapered off, although there was the 19-year-old bagger at the grocery store who told me, “You think it’s tough now? Wait until he’s six!”

Instead, these days I find myself inclined to give advice to those younger and/or less experienced than I am. I manage to restrain myself, for the most part, because free advice is worth what you pay for it. So, if you don’t want my advice, stop reading now!

  • New parents: at the hospital they’ll make you watch a video about not shaking your baby. (And you shouldn’t.) They won’t, however, show you any practical stuff, like that it’s ok for your kid to sleep in a car seat or propped up a little if they need it. (And if you were the kind of parent who would shake a baby, him crying all night because he has reflux might be a reason you’d do so.)
  • Parents: anytime you’re worried about something and ask the doctor about it, they’ll give you a patronizing look and tell you it’s no big deal. Try to resolve whatever the issue (not walking yet, still using a pacifier, etc.) is before the next appointment because it will become a major problem by then, just when you’ve accepted that you’re just an over-anxious parent, and you’ll probably have to go see a specialist, and at the specialist the whole cycle will start all over again.
  • Little kids at daycare: stop fighting those naps! The day will come when you wish your daily schedule included a nap after lunch.

I’ve got a lot more, but I like to dole it out a little at a time. Plus I hear a cat screaming somewhere. Wish somebody had told me they’re not very good babysitters.


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