The Key to Successful Child-Rearing

My favoritest neighbor ever gave me some very wise advice the other day. As many of you are also in the midst of trying your best to successfully raise a child or two or ten, I think it would be prudent for me to share this sage advice.

First, you should know that this particular neighbor and I have a bit of history. It all started the very first time we spent more than ten minutes in the house we currently occupy. This little abode came complete with really bad carpeting, nasty (and boring) pastel-colored paints, and some of the worst wallpaper borders of all time. So we gave ourselves a month to get the place up to snuff before moving in. On the day that the neighbor and I became good friends, I was upstairs in what is now Alexis' room, painting away. As I attempted to rid us of the pukey peach, I kept hearing a noise outside. It sounded like a car honking and honking and honking it's horn nearby. A few minutes after it finally subsided, I heard a knock on the door. I gathered up the barking Jasmine and headed to the front door.

As I opened the door with a maniacal Lhasa Apso in one hand and a paint roller in the other, I was greeted by a rather tall, odd-looking fellow. He proceeded to welcome me to the neighborhood and continued on with several niceties. Then, suddenly, he asked "Didn't you hear me honking?" My head spun round and round with confusion as I told him I had heard a horn honking but didn't really understand why he was asking. He proceeded to inform me that I was parked in his parking space and needed to move.

Time out for a moment: The parking space to which he was referring is part of our driveway. I know for a fact that we own it because we pay taxes on it every single quarter. Definitely our property.

The conversation continued in a very confusing way that is still, to this day, not something that I can say I understand. At one point I believe I said we would talk to the Homeowners Association and request some clarification. When the conversation started to get a bit louder, I decided I was tired of trying to hold on to a snarling, barking, clearly smart enough to realize the guy needed bit dog and a wet paint roller and called Daddy to deal with it. I don't really know how the conversation went from there, but I do know that my favoritest neighbor promptly filed a complaint against us with the Homeowners Association. For parking on our own property. They told him he was out of line, so he proceeded to go before the Board with his complaint. He reasoned that he had seniority in the neighborhood (he's lived here since the complex was built), so he should be able to park on our property. I wasn't there to see it, but I've been told much laughter was heard at the Board meeting that evening.

Since that time, I have limited my interactions with my favorite neighbor. Actually, I've just completely ignored him. Little did I know, he has many wise thoughts and theories about child-rearing. Such as the little nugget he shared with me the other day as Alexis ran fast-as-fast can be, up the sidewalk and out into the street. As I chased her and scooped her up, he approached and said . . . are you ready for it? . . . do you have your pen and paper ready? . . . I bet you didn't know this:

"You shouldn't let your baby run in the street"

Clearly, the man is a genius.


Overheard in the Burgh Baby's House

Alexis: I'm hungry.
Me: Do you want a snack?
Alexis: Yes.
Me: Do you want strawberries, grapes, cheese, or crackers?
Alexis: Grapes, please.
Me: Here you go.
Alexis: Thank you.
Me: You're welcome.

Pretty mundane, right? That's what I thought at the time. But a few minutes later, while our 18-month old sat in her chair in the living room eating her grapes, I realized something. That was like an actual conversation, complete with good manners. It's almost like Alexis is a real human being or something. A polite human being. A year ago at this time she still wasn't crawling, and now she's nearly human. Amazing!


Random is Fun!

1. I have graduated to Mummy status. It's not quite Mommy, but I've still decided to start allowing olives again. I am the nicest Mummy of all time, I know.

2. When I put Alexis to bed, she's all "I would like to go to sleep now, please." When Daddy tries to put her to bed, it's "Well the $#%^ do you think you're doing? Hold me! Where's Mommy? I HATE YOU! Where's Mommy?" I had a work event this evening, and I'm still trying to pick up the pieces from the calamity that is Alexis + Daddy alone at bedtime.

3. A certain little narcissitic one-year old was looking at pictures and videos of herself on the computer earlier today and came across this oldie. There are about ten more animals in that book (whose pages she didn't land on that day) and she knows the sign for every single one. I'm not proud or anything.