Everybody knows that kids arent born with instruction manuals. But if someone ever writes one, I hope it will include some of these parental dilemmas:
How to help your child with sixth-grade algebra without using your fingers to count, complaining about new math or having a panic attack and crying.
Meal ideas for picky eaters that dont involve the top three staples (chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese and frozen pizza). Bonus points if the meals involve a slow cooker and are something that picky eaters will actually eat.
School science fair ideas with more sizzle and less fizzle. (In related news, nearly a dozen jars containing what appear to be some of the worlds slowestgrowing giant crystals were almost dumped out recently and replaced with a last-minute chocolate melting experiment. Fortunately, around Day 7, when we feared the experiment was completely botched, I held one of the jars up in the sunshine and saw the tiniest sparkle. I was so excited it was like I had discovered a rare gem. More crystals appeared the next day.)
Potty training revisited: Teaching them where to go only takes a few days or weeks. But thats followed with years of reminders to close doors, wipe seats, flush toilets, wash hands and keep colorful descriptions of bathroom business to themselves, or at least away from the dinner table.
How to comfort a child who says hes crying because he misses a pet that died even though the pet died before said child was born.
Shedding baby weight with ease especially when the baby is 6 and you technically already lost those pregnancy-related pounds a few years ago but then you gained them back, plus a few.
How to keep your house clean after the kids get up.
Talking about terrifying news events with your children without scaring them. Ive noticed that its often difficult for parents to handle sad or scary news stories, especially if they involve children who are the same age as their kids.
Making friends with other parents, and keeping those relationships drama-free.
How to tell if your child puked because A. he ate too much sugar at the birthday party, B. was carsick, C. has a stomach bug or D. needs to stay home from school even though he doesnt have a fever.
Covering your childrens college fund with a budget thats over extended with bills, groceries, child care, gas money and incidentals such as baseball photos and school field trips.
How to get your child to leave you alone while youre talking on the phone, using the restroom or playing the last life you have on Candy Crush Saga.
Enjoying date night with your spouse without spending the night talking about the kids, missing the kids or constantly checking in with the baby sitter.
Head bumps, possible ear infections and tummy aches: Determining if its worth a threehour wait in the emergency room, a call to grandma, or just a hug and a heating pad or ice pack. It seems counter intuitive, but the older my kids get, the more likely I am to overreact to their injuries. I think thats because Ive seen more kids with serious injuries. I know three kids who have had concussions in the past couple of months.
How to spend that gift card you got for your birthday on something for you, and not for your kids.
Restaurant Survival 101: How to enjoy a meal that involves four trips to the restroom, kids playing under the table and wet clothing from a spilled glass of water.
Lisa Pemberton is busier than ever with three young children. Contact her at 360-754-5433 or firstname.lastname@example.org .