(May Work, May Not)

One important skill when working with children is to be able to manufacture and sell The Next Best Thing when The Actual First Best Thing has gone terribly wrong.

One year, the Actual First Best Thing was a field trip to go skating.  Clearly, ditching any tests to get on a bus and slip and slide around all morning on some ice was a great plan.  Unfortunately, when the mechanisms that create the frozen wonderland of slipping and sliding malfunctioned the morning of the planned trip, Actual First Best Thing melted into a sad puddle of disappointment.

Think, think!  I told myself when I got the news from the rink.  I cannot break this to a class full of expectant would-be ice skaters by saying, "Actual First Best Thing is not happening, children.  We have been let down.  Now take out your vocabulary books."  I must quickly manufacture a Next Best Thing and then sell the heck out of it as the replacement. 

Fortunately, sock skating around the gym was a cost-free, set-up free, materials-free, miracle of a  Next Best Thing.  Phew!

This skill is no less important with blog readers.  I'm afraid I have let you down with the Actual First Best Thing that one tunes into a blog for.  You know, um, blogging.  Yep, that is precisely what I haven't done in far too long, but how about the Next Best Thing--sock blogging!  Or maybe that was just a situation-specific Next Best Thing trick....

The Next Best Thing to having kept up with posts sharing funny kid stories over the past two months is that I'm back with a new post every week for the next two months!  Yep--tune in every Monday throughout July and August for new kid stories and quotes.  I've got a stockpile! 

On with the typing of things onto the computer!  At least, I think that's how I remember this whole blogging thing working.  After all of this ado, we're now getting to the actual post within this extended post.

(May Work, May Not)
Recently, I've taken a couple of measures to generate some pretty excellent blog material.  Measure # 1: Get pregnant.  Measure # 2: Tell third graders I am pregnant.  Measure # 3: Give third graders survey to ask for their advice about babies.  It's all for you, readers, and has paid off pretty well.

Third graders keep extensive stores of advice on hand for really any situation you could think of, just waiting for someone to ask them.  Over the years, I've had the opportunity to benefit from eight-year-olds' advice about love, Parent Night furniture arrangement, nutrition, travel, and marriage.

The subject of babies is no exception to the list of topics about which kids will liberally advise.  Most of the baby advice I received was heavily focused around diapers and crying (as my life will surely be as of October....).

Caden, though, was adamant that the most important thing to know about a new baby is what job she will do.  To accompany this advice, he illustrated an extremely complicated picture of, well, it is unclear.  However, after much analysis I have determined from at least one section of the illustration that Caden's fear is that if I don't choose a career path for the baby immediately, she will end up with a trash can on her head playing football.   You know--the profession of that.

Ammari alone provided as much advice as the entire rest of the class combined, and I am determined to follow all of it.
  • Always celebrate birthdays for more fun.
 Yes--I am definitely going to celebrate the baby's birthday.  I mean, who doesn't like more fun?

  • Have good times with the new person in the family for life.  
There is a certain resigned tone to this one.  "This kid is going to be around for a looong time whether you like it or not, so you better have some good times with her."  But at any rate, I will plan for good times.
  • To stop a baby from crying, turn on the vacuum cleaner (may work may not).  
I appreciate the disclaimer on that one.  Ammari is under no illusions that these tips will reveal any magic solutions for a crying baby, and wanted to prepare me for the possibility of failure.  But with all the good times and more fun, there will surely be hardly any crying anyway.

This is perhaps the best advice of all.  None of my baby advice books (by supposed professionals!) ever made this suggestion, which I feel is a definite oversight on their part.  I am making it my mission to indeed have a small baby.  Surely they have got to be easier to take care of, and I can only imagine how pleased I will be with Ammari's advice and my decision to follow it once labor rolls around.

See you next Monday!

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