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Sometimes I wonder who is raising whom. Just when I thought I knew at least a few of the answers, he goes and teaches me something new. Without even trying he is shaping me as I am trying to shape him and I love it.

This list is growing but here is the start:

1. Don’t give a damn about what others think.

2. Learn to negotiate.

Him: I am full.
Me: Just a few more bites.
Him: How many?
Me: How about 3?
Him: No. How about four because I am four?
Me: Okay. Four.

3. If you want it, take it, claim it as yours, and put up a fight when someone tries to take it away.

Him: Mom this is my dog, right? (a stuffed dog that was a gift to his brother at graduation.)
Me: No, that is your brother’s.
Him: No it is not. It is in my room and he didn’t have it when I was born.

4. A popsicle is a cure for just about everything.

5. Profess your love all day every day.

I would have never thought it possible to get tired of hearing “I love you”, but sometimes I do. The Boy loves me and let’s me know it when he first wakes, when he is on the toilet, when is eating, before he goes outside, when he takes a break to come inside to tell me, when he is playing with his friends, when he is watching tv, when he is on the toilet again, when he rides in the car, when he is in the shower, when he gets out of the shower, when he is on the toilet again, when he gets in the bed, when I walk out of the room, right before he falls asleep. And at the end of the day, when he has finally fallen asleep I hope that he never stops loving me…thinking it and saying it.

6. Be persistent but whining is really rather annoying.

7. Screaming, kicking and hollering does make you feel better.
We all need to be allowed a tantrum every now and then.

8. Sometimes crying helps.

9. Claim the mistake and give a heartfelt apology.

10. We all need reminders.

I don’t know a parent who has not said, “How many times do I have to tell you…”

The other day it dawned on me that it is unfair for me to expect my children to do something after only being told one or two times when I, myself, am not capable of such discipline. Every morning I get a cup of coffee or chai tea from Starbucks and every morning before I can even finish half of the drink, my stomach is in knots and I am rushing to the bathroom. Every morning. After one week of torture, as I was finding relief in the bathroom, I thought to myself, “how many times does my body have to tell me to stop having the coffee/tea?”