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Tracy Frank, Published November 07 2013

5 things I never thought I'd hear myself saying until I had chldren

FARGO – No matter how many books you read or experts you listen to, when it comes to parenting, there is no way to be fully prepared for the challenges you’ll encounter.

My 3-year-old son, Breckin, is curious about everything and he likes pushing boundaries to see how much he can get away with. Over the course of his young life, I’ve found myself uttering statements I never thought I’d make.

Here are five things I never thought I’d say until I became a parent:

“Please do NOT lick the toilet.”

I don’t know what it is so alluring about condensation on the toilet bowl, but I’ve actually had to tell my child not to lick it.

“If you poop in the toilet, I’ll give you a lollipop.”

I’ve read all the expert warnings that you should not bribe kids with treats to use the toilet, especially food. But while my son pottied in the toilet with no problem, for some reason “No. 2” was harder to master. After a few weeks of using lollipops as encouragement, he mastered the skill and no longer needed to be bribed.

“Underwear goes under your pants. You have to put your underwear on first.”

As my son is learning to become more independent, we’re teaching him useful skills like getting himself dressed. Apparently this is a trickier concept than I realized.

“No, you cannot eat that. We don’t eat random things we find on the floor.”

Ever curious, my son still likes to put things in his mouth. And for some reason, when he finds mysterious crumbs that may or may not be food, he thinks he should eat them. I have also had to tell him that, no, he cannot eat the dog’s or cats’ food and just because the chickens eat morning glories doesn’t mean he can.

“Please be quiet. People don’t like to have conversations when they’re in the bathroom.”

Children are often social creatures. Unfortunately, that extends into public restrooms. My son will often say “hi” to the woman in the stall next to us and if he gets a response, he’ll continue the conversation, sometimes asking what she’s doing or telling her that he just pottied in the toilet.

Thankfully, most people on the other side of the wall just laugh.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tracy Frank at (701) 241-5526