Step One- Birth Child, Step Two- Chaos!


Kids should come with instruction manuals.

The doctor would deliver the baby, smack his or her little fanny and then say, “Okay, here you go. Here’s your baby and the manual.”

Kids are like snowflakes in that no two are exactly alike so each would have to have his or her own special book with supplemental upgrades as they grow. Lord knows that there are some parenting choices I would have carried out differently if I’d just had a good instruction book!

Anyone with kids will know that you think they will do, be, act a certain way at a certain screen-shot-2016-12-15-at-10-32-47-amage. Nope. They are born this beautiful, precious gift, and you will think of them that way. Until…you run into a mystery illness that has you calling your own mom at 4 a.m.

“Oh my God, Mom, I didn’t know puke could go that far out of someone that small. And she did it three times!” I wailed to my mother over the phone one EARLY morning.

She just laughed and asked if the baby had a fever or rash, then followed up by asking what I had eaten the night before. Could it be something I ate before breastfeeding?

Now it’s hard to think in the moment let alone about the former day’s menu when your baby gives you that innocent wide-eyed baby look and it’s an ungodly hour. Awww. So cute. Until…she urps on you while your husband peacefully snores throughout the whole incident.

Glaring at him in anger finally jogged my memory. I suddenly remembered the box of chocolate covered cherries he brought home. It was close to Christmas so they were EVERYWHERE, teasing me with their goodness, and indulge I did! Apparently, my daughter did not enjoy the tasty treat nearly as much as I had.

I’m sure “the manual” would have instructed me not to eat the chocolate covered cherries in the first place.

I have successfully reared said child and she has left the nest for college. By the time the second one came along, I had experience on my side and I knew better than to cause a repeat of “the cherry incident.”  She is now happily doing her thing in high school. I’ve gotten them this far. Yay!

But if I had just had that stinkin’ manual I could have gotten it exactly right the first time.

Or would that take all the fun out of being a parent?

Read more from Tamara Hartl!


3 thoughts on “Step One- Birth Child, Step Two- Chaos!

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