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5 things I should have learned by now
5 things I should have learned by now
Scott Dunlop
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Hello again!

Do you ever find yourself with a creeping sense of déjà vu? You’ll be doing something around the house, or saying something to your kids and it’ll hit you. Donk. “I’ve been here before…” We all know about being condemned to repeating the past if we don’t learn from it, but the first part of that paraphrased quote from George Santayana includes this statement: “infancy is perpetual”. We grow up by learning.

Here are some lessons I haven’t learned yet- wisdom from my infantile incompetence, I guess:

1. White shirts are made from magnetic fibres. Anything a child could possibly be holding, from beetroot to mud, will be drawn to your white shirt and will leave the most permanent of stains. Lesson 1.2: the severity of the stain is in direct proportion to the importance of needing a clean shirt.
2. All toys come with a “choking hazard” warning (even, mystifyingly, giant toys that wouldn’t fit in a crocodile’s mouth) but none of them have a “standing-on-in-dark-hazard” warning. Yes, I get that small toys could be dangerous if kids chew them, but they’re pretty lethal on the floor in the dark, too. The neatest child will never manage to pick up every single one.
3. Don’t wear hard shoes when going to the supermarket. Because that one item you meant to buy you WILL forget. And then you’ll kick yourself. (It’ll most likely be the sticky tape you needed for that school project due tomorrow. Tomorrow. The teacher commissioned the project in 2013, but your kid hasn't touched it yet, and it’s due TOMORROW).
4. Having more than one child makes it almost impossible to get a good family photo. One will be sulking, one doing bunny ears and the other exploring his nostril. All the cheese-ing in the world won’t help. You’d be better off simply cutting and pasting three separate pictures together like a photographic kidnap note.
5. Joy is unexpected. In case you were starting to think it’s all doom and gloom, this is one thing that makes the frustration, impatience and (occasional) anger all worth it. You can feel as down and out as possible, and the right word or gesture from your child can make you feel that all’s right with the world. You can’t plan for those moments, but they’ll teach you more about love than anything else.

What kinds of things do your kids “teach” you? Why not send an email to chatback@parent24.com and tell us all about it so that even if you haven’t learned from your errors, we can know what to watch out for.

Have a great time climbing that learning curve!

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