Thursday, February 14, 2008

February 14, 2008

Ten years of raising child brings insight and revelation

by Amy Cornell Community columnist |
February 14, 2008

Print-friendly My husband and I celebrate an auspicious anniversary in a few days. This Sunday, we mark 10 years of raising a child on this planet. Ten years ago, they wheeled my very pregnant body into an operating room and pulled my unsuspecting child out of my belly. He wailed, and I promptly fell asleep for 24 hours.

I have acquired a store of insight on parenting, and in honor of keeping my son alive and more or less happy for these 10 years, I thought I would share with you some highlights and wisdom.

Mom’s proudest moment: Potty training. Hands down, the memory of the day the kid learned to pull down his pants and use the toilet still makes me smile.

Dad’s proudest moment: Teaching him to ride a two-wheeled bike.

Best reason to remove TV privileges: For all his skill at using the toilet, he has not mastered the art of putting the seat up and down to accommodate female users.

Hardest habit to break: I tiptoe into my son’s bedroom every night to check on him. I place my ear close to his nose to make sure he is still breathing. I cannot stop doing this.

Worst method of discipline: Throwing a glass of cold water in your toddler’s face to get him to shut up. (Don’t try it. It doesn’t work.)

Most insane behavior-tracking device at our cooperative daycare: The biting chart.

Best metaphorical invention: Mommy Jail. I invented Mommy Jail to explain everything to him that was too complicated to do otherwise. It works like this:

“Mommy, why can’t I ride on the roof of the car?”

I reply, “If I let you do that I would get sent to Mommy Jail.”

Primary reason he is going to military school when he hits puberty:

I say, “Put your coat on; it’s time to leave for school.”

He ignores me for a game he is playing in his cereal bowl.

I say, “Put your coat on; it’s time to leave for school.”

He watches the cereal bowl Olympics.

I say, with a little more volume, “Put your coat on; it’s time to leave for school.”

The bowl fascinates him.


He looks up at me calmly and says, “OK, you don’t have to yell.”

Person who is going to hell: The person who invented Po-Ke-Mon cards. As far as I can tell, there are no logical rules to this game and each set of cards sets you back further then baseball cards ever did.

Enough is enough: Cartoon movies. I hope to never see another animated frog family or talking carrot.

Best reason to reconsider purchasing a Wii: Dollar for dollar, the kid got more enjoyment out of big rolls of scotch tape and cardboard tubes from empty wrapping paper rolls.

Best family dinner ritual: Highs and lows. We all go around the table and say the best and worst parts of our day.

Worst family dinner ritual: My son says, “Mom, what’s for dinner?”

I say, “Chicken.”

My son says, “I hate chicken. I don’t want chicken.”

We have this same conversation no matter what I tell him I am making for dinner.

Most embarrassing moment: An African-American friend who came over to babysit happens to be a large and tall man. When he arrived, my son greeted him with this question, “Hey, do you want to watch Fat Albert with me?”

To the best of my knowledge, my husband and I have never forgotten to pick him up from anywhere or left him alone in a car while we watched a movie.

We’ve managed to feed him, bathe him and get him to sleep every day for 3,652 days. If that’s not cause for celebration, I don’t know what is.

Amy Cornell’s column appears every other Thursday in The Herald-Times. You can reach her at

1 comment:

Steph said...

Happy Birthday to that charming young man, and congratulations to Mom & Dad!