Four lessons in four years

Little boy putting his head into a potty seat

Unaltered image. Makelessnoise, Flickr. CC License.

My kids just turned 4 years old and honestly, some days, I feel like I’ve been in the trenches a lot longer. There are lessons learned that are just too important not to pass along to other parents. Some of these lessons might be “duh” moments for you, but others might actually be helpful.

Lesson 1
When your kids are old enough to use public restrooms, the handicapped stall might seem like a glorious place. But it’s not. On the surface it looks perfect: plenty of room for everyone and there’s somewhere to put your bag. If you also have to use the bathroom DON’T DO IT. See, your darlings will use the toilet and everything will go swimmingly. Until it’s your turn and they decide to open the stall door when you are your most vulnerable and the stall is so spacious you can’t reach to pull it shut.

Hello mall people!

Lesson 2
When a parent offers you a bag of hand-me-downs with the same look in their eye that a dog gets when you open a bag of treats, check the bag before you bring it in the house. It probably is carrying the most annoying/loud/battery-sucking toy in the world.

Lesson 3
“The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” Robert Burns said that. He was obviously a parent. No matter how prepared you are, how carefully plotted your next move, something unexpected will try to trip you up. Usually, it will be poop.

Lesson 4
You will get hurt. A lot. Kids are clumsy and they head butt. The bridge of your nose, your collar bone and your eyes are all prime targets. For the men reading this, you know you have a special target, too. Be careful out there.

That about wraps it up. You’d think I would’ve learned more by now, but those are the stand-out lessons for me. What are yours?

– Rebecca Calappi is a Publications Coordinator at Beaumont Health and adoptive parent of multiples.

4 Responses to “Four lessons in four years”


  1. 1 Anonymous January 5, 2016 at 9:44 am

    NICE! Can especially relate to number 3.

  2. 2 Nichole Enerson January 5, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    Love! All so true and all so funny 😉

  3. 3 Jen Carbary January 5, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    And if you don’t really know the person giving you a bag of clothes, leave it in the garage and sort it there. Otherwise, you end up with a family of mice running through your laundry room …..

  4. 4 Amanda January 5, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    I’ll add to the public restroom advice by saying: be prepared to be thoroughly embarrassed by what your child says out loud, either about you or about the person in the stall next to you, while using the public restroom 🙂


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