Princess Rosebud, from the Enchanted Seashells section of the blogosphere, has sent recent first time dad, the Jester, a letter “in honor of the newly born Prince:“
You’re probably still in the throes of the wonder of it all, right?
For sure you’re exhausted beyond what you ever anticipated, but I bet the very first smile is still fresh in your mind.
Here are a few tried and true tips — in other words, annoying and unsolicited advice — from the mother of Angel Boy, Aunt Princess Rosebud:
■ I never wanted our Angel Boy to sleep in a cold bed, so I’d warm up the sheets with a blow dryer (of course with him not in it at the time.) You could do the same thing with a hot water bottle, but I found the blow dryer did it very quickly.
■ In these early days, heat the towels after a bath. Not hot, but warm enough to be a loving embrace. It’ll feel so cozy. I love warm towels for me, too!
■ Don’t let anyone tell you you’re spoiling him. Loving is not spoiling. A loved child grows up to be a loving adult.
■ Not that you ever would, but just as a reminder, never ever ever leave your Prince alone in the car while you run into the store or the post office or anywhere for “just a minute”. Yes, I know it’s a hassle to take him in and out, but it just takes one time to become a tragedy.
■ We never let Angel Boy cry. Not ever. His dad and I didn’t believe in it. We picked him up at the first whimper. We felt that we didn’t bring him into this world to feel a single second of pain or hurt or fear.
■ Tell him you love him a billion times a day. And then one more time. It’s never enough.
■ If he wants to play a zillion games of Chutes and Ladders or Candyland or read the same book over and over again–do it. With a smile.
■ Every single time — EVERY SINGLE TIME — he says, “Dad, look at me! Dad, watch me!” DO IT. Immediately stop what you’re doing and give him 100% of your attention and all the unconditional attention and love he deserves. I still do it, I’m proud to say! If they don’t have enough positive attention from you, that’s when they turn to others for negative attention.
■ Children thrive with love. Love is free. If you run out of money, you’ll still have enough love to be a good dad.
■ Make learning fun. Encourage curiosity and imagination and experimentation every day, not just during school.
■ I’m prolly the only one who did this, but I told my son (and the school) that if he ever said he was sick or just wanted to come home, they needed to call me cos I’d always go and get him. I never wanted him to think of school as a prison he couldn’t be released from. He actually only called one or two times ever during his school years and I think the reverse psychology of it made him want to GO to school, not have fake stomach aches to stay away. It def worked for us. I didn’t care if he was sick or not, if he wanted to be with me, that was and still is way more important. I didn’t want him to lie and say he was sick if he wasn’t just to get out of school. He’s now a prof at Yale so I can’t say it didn’t work ha ha! (still managed to insert the obnoxiously proud mom plug)
One day your Prince will grow up and be off to college and you’ll have these lovely memories just like we do. It all goes by in the blink of any eye. Trust me.
Happy Parenting from annoying Aunt Princess Rosebud!
Thanks for the opportunity to guest post while you’re falling in love a thousand times a day with your precious baby. I’m usually kind of snarky and self absorbed (it IS my own enchanting little world, y’all!) but the birth of a new Prince has brought out my maternal instincts. I loved the letter to your son, and thought I’d pen a brief missive to you. Since you and my Angel Boy attended the same university and graduated the same year, I feel a connection — these are the same tips he’ll be annoyed with whenever he makes me a grandma.
Wow! Such great advice, and not really annoying at all… well, maybe a little… I don’t know anymore. I’m too tired to even remember what day of the week it is at this point. Just kidding. Or am I? I’m not sure of that either! Oh dear, maybe I should take a nap or something… I think I’ll just lie down here for awhile if you don’t mind. Hey it’s my kingdom! I can do as I please! … you mean it isn’t even my kingdom anymore?? Oh dear…
Anyway, enough of that rambling. Isn’t Aunt Princess Rosebud amazing?! Of course she is! And you want to read more of what she has to say, right? Of course you do. I suggest you start with these and then carry on from there: