Rookie Roster

September 27, 2010 at 6:48 am | Posted in Bun, Giggles, Lollipop | 51 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Not long ago, we took Lollipop and Giggles to their first baseball game. As I tried not to obsess about nitrates in the hot dogs, I began to realize something. Mothering and baseball, they’re not all that different.

We’ve all got years of experience — both home runs and strikeouts — to pass along to our teammates. And we’ve all made errors. Rookie mistakes. Like these.

1. It’s just a quick errand. I can leave the diaper bag at home.
No. Take it. Take. It. Explosive poops always happen, always, when you are woefully unprepared.

2. My kid slept through the night. I survived sleep deprivation!
It doesn’t end. It never ends. If your baby no longer needs to eat in the middle of the night, he will soon need to pee or get a drink of water or be comforted after a nightmare or find his other shoe for preschool tomorrow. It’s the price we pay for dimples and giggles and bear hugs. It’s worth it.

3. I’m just going to grab a clean diaper …
Leave your baby naked on the changing table and there will be pee when you return. It’s as reliable as any law of physics.

4. He ate carrots! He’ll eat them tomorrow, too.
Alas, What Will My Toddler Eat is a game with ever-changing rules. Just when you figure them out, they no longer apply. Good luck.

5. Look at this adorable outfit I found for baby’s photo shoot …
It is cute. That’s why you should absolutely, positively not put it on your child until the last possible moment. Did you get that? Last. Possible. Moment. And even still, bring an equally cute spare.

6. She wants the can of soup with noodles shaped like Disney princesses? Sure, why not?
Spontaneously buy your kid something she spots at the store, and soon, you’ll be doing it every time. Your house will runneth over with officially licensed foodstuffs, officially licensed stickers, cheap plastic, straws in every color, and junk that glitters.

7. Guess where we’re going tomorrow?!
Promise your child a playdate or a trip to the ice-cream parlor and you can guarantee someone will come down with strep or the FDA will start recalling tainted heavy cream.

8. The applesauce has stayed down. So long, stomach bug!
Applesauce is a wonder food, no doubt. But just when you think the party in your kid’s tummy is winding down, some frisky germ will break out the piñata. If you don’t believe me, just ask my couch.

9. She’s asking “why”! My child is curious about the world!
Yes, yes she is. But answer at your own risk. Because she’s also curious about how long your psyche can hold up under an intense, incessant barrage of why, why, why, why, why. She’s like a tiny CIA operative doing mind-control experiments. Don’t let the pigtails fool you.

10. They’ll never find those cookies …
Oh, but they will. They will sniff them out with the same discerning noses they turn up at broccoli. If you want any for yourself, be ever vigilant. Hide and re-hide them. Then do it again. And enjoy your cookies. But don’t crunch too loud.

What’s your biggest rookie-mom mistake? Your best mothering grand slam? What advice do you have for rookie moms at any stage of child-rearing? (I could especially use some coaching on the teen years!)



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  1. Perfect. I nodded along to every single one. Number 9 particularly made me smile because I have two children in the ‘why’ stage and I found myself saying ‘I don’t know’ a lot (lazy, I know, but there were just so many why’s I couldn’t stand it, until Max piped up with “why does… actually, don’t worry Mum, I’ll ask Dad, his answers are better than yours.” Needless to say I am now the most crteative Why? answerer in the world!!! x

  2. Great post!

    I’ve made so many mistakes over the years, especially the “guess where we’re going tomorrow?” one. Finally figured that one out 🙂

    One thing that I learned after the third baby: the best thing a mom can do is relax and just love on her babies. The world will not end if your kids ingest food not purchased in the organic section of the market. Nor will it end when your child is teased by another, or when your child is the one doing the teasing. Motherhood is a journey, one that requires a lot of help from the people in our lives. As a mom, you may do it “better”, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t do it right. I had a hard time accepting help with my first baby, and even my second. By the third, I knew that if I didn’t accept help, not only would I suffer, but so would my entire family. So I started letting my husband load the dishwasher the “wrong” way, grateful that he was loading it at all. I let the kids spend the night with their grandma, knowing that they would be allowed to stay up late and eat whatever they asked for, but getting a much-needed night alone with my husband.

    I’m with you on needing the advice for the teenaged years…they are right around the corner at our house (like, 8 months around the corner…). I’ll hold your hand if you hold mine 🙂

  3. This is brilliant. You are so right about all of it!

  4. I like #9–don’t buy the chit chat sometimes!

    It never ends–Friday I celebrated raving mid-term reports and reviews of my girs’ exemplary 1st grade and 5th grade behavior. So, Sunday, I said “sure” to them cleaning their rooms instead of napping. (Wanting to demonstrate my confidence and appreciation. Wanting to reward their maturity.) Two hours later, just before we had to go somewhere, and trusting in their assurances their rooms met my standards, I found that they had moved furniture to redesign their rooms. The worst? They had pooped out before putting everything back in its place because they were TIRED. AHHHHHHHHHHHH! I do admit to throwing a box…

  5. Oooh, love these. How is that my child can take a huge bite of spaghetti that includes lots of plain tomato sauce, some meat chunks, and noodles … yet somehow only taste that teeny-tiny little centimeter of yellow pepper? That’s a serious palate!

    The CIA operative is cracking me up.

  6. Cute post!

  7. Great, great list! Sucked me right in with the baseball pic and reference, and then proceeded to spell out exactly what it was like raising my son! Thank you for a fun read!

  8. Haha, loved this! Congrats on getting Freshly Pressed!

  9. This made me giggle.

    Thanks for making me laugh. I remember asking those incessant ‘Why questions’ as a child. Partly inquisitive, but mainly seeing how far I could take it before I got the slightly snappy response ‘BECAUSE IT JUST IS, OKAY?’

    Keep it up!

  10. This is hilarious. I laughed and nodded and laughed some more. I don’t believe I’ve ever made any mistakes, I’m the perfect mom. Naturally.

    : )

  11. Ah, this is really good and brings back so many memories. Thanks for posting!

  12. So so funny. Even as a devoted non-mother, I find these truly hilarious. Thanks for sharing your wise advice…

  13. I asked my dad ‘Why’ questions. I was probably the only 5 year old in my kindergarden who could explain photosynthesis. (I wanted to know why the leaves were green and the bark was brown) I was also probably the only kindergardener with a solid understaning of the cloud/water cycle. (I wanted to know why the sky was blue and the clouds were white and from whence those clouds came) I stopped asking my dad ‘Why’ questions. The plus side is that I was ahead of the game by the time we hit those topics between 5th and 7th grades.

  14. It’s true, I’ve already had my fair share of strike-outs and home runs. I loved the bit about the “why” and Lollipop as a tiny CIA operative! Too funny!

  15. Great Post! The list is just brilliant, I completely agree with your list.

  16. This is so funny…and I’m not even a parent! I think that you have the flair to write a comedic parenting book…you know, with all the spare time I’m sure you have. 🙂

    Thank you for the post!

  17. Ahhh, yes the baby years, just when they are so cute, adorable and playful.

    Then comes the teen years with three letter responses to the questions like:
    “Pleae clean the kitchen”
    “WTF, that’s not my job”

    “Come on, let’s go, you’re gonna be late for school”
    “BTW, I need 12 breakfast tacos for the team meeting this morning

    “What time is the party over”
    “IDK, I’ll call you when it’s over”.

    Or, my personal favorite

    “You’re grounded”
    “I hate you!”

    Ahhh, yes cherish those baby years and all their tiresome ways because once you enter the teen years you will soon see those grays!!!!

  18. Excellent blog. Oh, I so can relate to every single thing on your list. My biggest mistake? Thinking naive things like “OH, not to worry! Once the newborn/terrible twos/trying threes/fearsome fours stage is over, it’ll GET EASIER!” A friend (who has teens now) laughed and said “Oh, it doesn’t. It changes, but it never gets any easier.”

  19. What a great desription of motherhood!!!

  20. I can’t wait to be a parent and experience all of those things.
    Great post!!! 😀

  21. I connected with so much of your post. All of it is so true, especially the diaper bag and the cute outfit.

  22. Great post. Parenting is not perfection, which is hard to accept, we all want to do it so well because it matters so much. I hope my daughter will look back on some of the “strike-outs” and be able to laugh at them with me.

  23. Ha Ha. Funny stuff! I only have one and I have loved it even though it is the most challenging thing I have ever done. If I knew I had such strength, such stamina, the ability to perform without sleep – well I could have become President!

  24. My aunt used to say I love to ask “why” ALL the time 😉 She seemed to handle the questions quite well. But, with my stepson his questions made me wonder if i had a low IQ. Good thing there is the internet which allows us to find out answers of his most bizarre “why’s”. Great list and congrats on Freshly Pressed! LB

  25. Awesome list! One more came to my mind:

    11. The last airplane/car trip was a breeze! I’ll just bring a book and some cheerios.

  26. I’m a super rookie (only nine months on the team), so I have a laundry list of mistakes! Thank you for giving me some more pointers and congrats on being freshly pressed 🙂

  27. Awesome post! Congrats on FP!

  28. Your list of rookie mistakes rings true for me, for sure. Of course, three kids later I’m still making most of the mistakes on this list, but that’s okay!

    I will add this one: Your kids are sleeping. You’d like to eat and maybe even sit down and chill for ten minutes “just as soon as you clean up a bit.” You know what happens the minute you finish cleaning up and sit down with that snack . . .

  29. My entire blog is filled with stories of my parenting mistakes, and my kids are 12 & 13. It never ends!

    The worst mistakes are the ones you find yourself doing over and over again.

    (There are also home-runs and, so far, I like my batting average!)

  30. Lollipop and Giggles, such cute nicknames! hahaha 🙂

    I can’t imagine what kind of rookie mom mistakes I’ll be having when I become a mother. I bet it’s a real hard job!

  31. Fabulous! Every single one applies. Congrats on FP!

    My biggest rookie mistake: Forgetting the tooth fairy and getting busted for it at 5am.

    “Go back to sleep, it’s not light out yet, give her chance to come.”

    All I had was a $5, and that was all she wrote.

    The teeth just kept getting more expensive from there on out–all those baby teeth and 2 sets of braces and retainers later, it’s lookin’ like student loans for college. : )

  32. What? Freshly Pressed AGAIN?? You go girl!
    In your Amen corner on this great list. Can’t think of anything else to add. Gonna share these with my daughter who has a three-week-old. She’ll need them.

    As far as the teen thing goes, a lot these can be re-worked to fit teen years..
    Like — don’t bother to ask a teenager why, why, why? It’s always the same answer — “I dunno”

    I will warn you that how they are as toddlers tells you a lot about how they’ll be as teens… learn to pick your battles and stand your ground.

    mee 😉

  33. I’m new to the mommy thing! In fact, I’m not officially a mommy until three more weeks. But this was helpful! I know what I’m in for now!!

  34. Very cute! I gotta say, I’m glad I’m over that. Good luck to you in the future, it just gets more and more fun…

  35. Thanks for this post, reminded of funny childhood memories 🙂

  36. Hey, wise lady. Where were you two years ago? 🙂
    I have a bad habit of making the mistakes I KNOW I shouldn’t when it’s convenient. Like when Jack threw a fit in a flea market and I bought him a bulldozer. His dad asked where he got it, and Jack said: “I cried, so my mommy bought it for me.”
    Which is longhand for UH-OH.

  37. Very witty fluffy bunnies.

    Humorous yet true.

    Indeed motherhood is sometimes a game of choice and chances. But we keep on learning from these rookie-mom mistakes just to see our kids become champions in their own way.

  38. Hilarious. I’d better memorize this before I have kids of my own 🙂

  39. From a dad’s perspective, a rookie mistake was our well-intended but completely unrealistic expectation for combating “germs.” Take for instance the pacifier. With our first-born, we would pull on our haz mat suits and sterilize his “ninny” every time it hit the floor. When #2 came along, a quick cursory rinse under the faucet. #3? Pick off the big chunks and hand it back over. And we couldn’t even get to #4’s before one of the other kids would pick it up, give it a couple quick cleansing slurps for him, and then cram it back in his mouth.

    Fun post and nice tie in with baseball. Really liked the pacing of your list and the voice. I’ll be back for more. And congrats on Pressed (warning: it comes with a wicked hangover).

    Chase McFadden

    “Some Species Eat Their Young”

  40. Oh honey, this is funny. So funny. And sadly, all of it true. The lives we lead.

  41. That’s a great list you’ve compiled there. I especially like the ones involving Murphy’s Law and irony.

    Hopefully you’ll still be blogging when your children enter their next decade of life. I’d love to see what you’ve come up with regarding spending the night at friends’ houses, being a passenger in friends’ cars, and whether or not to allow or prohibit space for mild rebellion via wardrobe or risk more severe manifestations of authority-defiance via misdemeanors.

  42. I think my head’s about to fall off from all the nodding I’ve been doing. Rookie mom mistakes indeed – except do we ever really learn the second/third time around? I guess I’ll find out 😉

  43. Everything on this list is true. Love it!

  44. I don’t have kids yet & do tend to freak out when I try to mentally prepare myself on having kids, so this is a good list to keep in mind. Reading all the comments made me laugh & feel better too, I guess it’s all about learning as you go. Thanks for the great post 🙂

  45. So true!

  46. Love it! So funny. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  47. Yup, yup yup. Love # 9. A tiny CIA operative indeed!

  48. So on board with all of this. Great list Stacia!

  49. Pretty spot on, babe.

    Also, don’t use the phrase “you can’t drink this, it’s alcohol.” too often, otherwise your 4 year old will repeat it in front of everyone, all the time, no matter where you are or what the situation is.

  50. haha this is cute! i can relate with #s 1,2,3,9 & 10! 🙂

  51. Great post! Sorry I am posting late (am just catching up on reading this week). I really think you’ve covered them all 😉 and really hit everything on the button. My mistake (actually my husband’s) was introducing sugar – specifically, chocolate milk – at an early age. Now my son will not drink anything that’s not sweet except water (and he does so reluctantly). My biggest older-kid mistake? Overscheduling. I am learning the hard way that I’ve overdone it. Root cause: overestimating my son’s energy level. Just because he refuses to go to bed doesn’t mean he’s not tired or doesn’t desperately need the rest. The more energetic he seemed, the more I gave him to do. He might have more energy than many, but if I had to do it again I would have watched more closely and simply restricted his activities.

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