POSTS WITH TAG: learning

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    You don't deal with terrorists without years of CIA field training. Unless you're the parent of a toddler, in which case, you stroll into a Homeland situation completely unprepared and hope for the best. Here are some of the most important lessons I've learned from negotiating with my little Abu Booboo.

    * Never negotiate with terrorists. Period. Like Saul Berenson from Homeland, only let them think you're negotiating.

    * Agree to whatever they want, then secretly plot your way out of it. You can also say "no" and listen to them cry for three hours. But this is equally effective and much quieter. (Example: "You can sleep with us tonight. We'll pick you up from your bedroom later." Later, of course, they'll be asleep.)

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    They may be all sorts of cute (most of the time) and innocent and all that good stuff, but let's face it -- toddlers are pretty darn gross sometimes.

    Granted, they also don't fully understand the concept of what is and what is not disgusting. I guess we really can't fault them for doing something most of us consider to be outrageous, inappropriate, or just downright un-freakin-believable.

    It seems that nothing is off-limits for little ones, based on these eight beyond repugnant things moms admit to having seen, heard, or caught their toddlers doing.

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    Plenty of parents let their toddlers watch a little TV here and there, but they're always careful to make sure they are viewing shows that are appropriate for their age level. What harm can a cute cartoon do?

    Well, one mom in the U.K. is outraged after she says her 2-year-old learned the "F" word by watching Peppa Pig.

    Natalie Cox couldn't believe her ears when her daughter, Kiannah, blurted out the words "f***ing gazelles" after watching the "Madame Gazelle's Leaving Party" episode from her Peppa Pig DVD collection.

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    A couple of my friends have had their children come out. This knocked them for a bit of a loop when it happened. No matter your politics, you always want the easiest road possible ahead for your kid.

    Not me. In fact, my wife and I are raising our daughter as a lesbian. We're religiously watching Ellen and sprinkling Ani DiFranco songs into our Spotify playlists. We encourage play dates with her female daycare classmates. And, as I revealed in a previous Stir blog, I walk around the house naked, which should forever put her off to the male form.

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    My two-year-old daughter might be what you call "high maintenance." She doesn't like to play by herself, talks a blue streak, and is constantly looking for attention. One of her favorite phrases is "Look at me," something she says before doing somersaults or splits or -- gasp -- diving off the couch because another one of her traits is absolute fearlessness. I've caught her staring at herself in the mirror and pretending to cry. She asks about a gazillion questions a day about everything. Ev-er-y-thing.

    The problem is her mom is also high maintenance. I made the decision this year to quit my full-time job and do something that would allow me to raise my daughter, but as a work-from-home parent, I require hours during the day when I can just stare at a computer screen. And I'd be lying if I said I didn't often wonder if a daycare worker would do a better job of "raising" my daughter than I am.

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    They may be a bit of a challenge to take care of and all, but have you ever taken a step back and thought about just how amazing your toddler really is?

    And I don't mean the fact that you created him and he's the spitting image of you or anything like that. I'm talking about the whole philosophy on life toddlers have -- which is so simple and pure, it's kind of a shame that kids have to lose it once they grow up.

    As crazy as it may sound, our lives would probably be much easier as adults if we all acted like little kids once in a while.

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    OMG. Have you ever been out in public with your toddler when all of a sudden something so outrageous comes out of his mouth that you don't know whether to die of embarrassment or roll on the floor with laughter in the hopes others will join in?

    I think it's pretty safe to say we've all been there. They may be sweet and innocent (most of the time), but little kids definitely don't understand the concept of thinking before they speak or act -- especially around people they don't know.

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    I recently read a fabulous article by Sherrie Campbell called "8 Guaranteed Ways to Emotionally F*ck Up Your Kids." Now, to be honest, I originally clicked on the article because I imagined it to be some mocking list filled with humorous fare, like, "When they're taking a bath, scream 'Shark' and run out of the room." Though the actual piece was a lot more astute, I'm pretty sure that would be totally scarring as well.

    In fact, one moment of creatively messing with your kiddos (for your own amusement) could potentially last a lifetime (see Jimmy Kimmel). So when I finished the piece, I still wanted to read the sarcastic version. Who was gonna write that?

    Since I've already written lists about the lies we tell our kids to stay sane and the Momisms we trick them with, I thought, why not me?

    That said, here it is: 13 Guaranteed Ways to F*ck Up Your Kids (WARNING: DO NOT TRY THESE AT HOME, IF YOU WANT YOUR CHILDREN TO TAKE CARE OF YOU WHEN YOU'RE OLD) ...

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    I've learned so much from my kids. My daughter, who is 4, is this bright light of happiness. She's vivacious and so full of life -- she shows enthusiasm for even the simplest things. She's like sunshine and joy and reminds me to enjoy everything. Just the other day she threw her a granola bar wrapper into the trash can like it was a basketball. She made it in and said "That was fun!" And she meant it. THAT was fun to her. As adults we forget. We take it all for granted. Something that simple should and can make us smile, appreciate. We spend too much time complaining and not enough time seeing the good, finding the happy, feeling the joy in all the other things.

    These are things I learned from my daughter's happy disposition.

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    My two-year-old daughter knows 10 letters of the alphabet and may be outpacing her own teachers in that regard. At left is a scan of the top portion of the progress report my wife and I received from our daughter's preschool last month, I poop you not. It indicates that she received a thorough introduction to "famouse artist and there paintings."

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