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Instruction Manual

Kids should come with instruction manuals.

The doctor delivers the baby, smacks his or her little fanny and then says, “Ok, here you go. Here’s little Frankie’s manual.”

Kids are like snowflakes in that no two are exactly alike so each has to have their own special book. And it has to come with upgrades as they grow.

Anyone with kids will know that you think they will do, be, act a certain way at a certain age. Nope---got to have upgrades as they grow because what you think and what actually happens is not always gonna be the same.

They are born and are this beautiful, precious gift. And will be forever, don’t get me wrong. But then there is the mystery illness that has you calling your own mom at 4 am

“Oh my God, Mom, I didn’t know puke could go that far out of someone that small. And she did it three times!”

My mother laughed so hard I heard her snort over the line. After she composed herself she very calmly asked, “What did you eat today?”

“What?! I’m not barfing to beat the band. My little bundle of joy is.”

This time the laughter was smothered at bit. “Dear, you’re breast feeding. What you eat, she eats.”

Now it’s hard to try to remember what you ate all day when your baby gives you that innocent wide-eyed baby look. Awhh. So cute. And then urps on you while your husband peacefully snores next to the whole incident. Did I mention that it’s 4am? Yeah, he heard about it later, let me tell you.

But at last I remembered something out of the ordinary. Said husband had brought home a box of chocolate covered cherries, my favorite. It was close to Christmas so they were EVERYWHERE, teasing me with their goodness.

Apparently my daughter did not enjoy the tasty treat nearly as much as I had.

So after the expert parent made sure there was nothing else going on like fever, rash etc. and the baby was not actually sick, she instructed me to give her a little weak tea and the crisis was diverted.

If I had had that manual I would have known not to eat the chocolate covered cherries in the first place.

I have successfully reared the child and she has left the nest for college. The youngest one did not have a repeat of the cherry incident and is now happily doing her own thing in high school. I’ve gotten them this far, so far so good. Yay!

I will be honest and say that there are some parenting choices that if I had known then what I know now I would have done a bit different.

But if I had just had that stinkin’ manual I could have gotten it exactly right the first time.

Or would that take all the fun out of being a parent?

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