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January 03, 2011


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Ironic Mom

I love this. And the image of you making a diaper made me spit out my low-life Cheerios late-night snack.

I have learned that laughing (even at my kids) is easier than crying.

I have learned that the best times I've had with my kids cost no money, only time.


Sweet, funny, touching, and wise...all at the same time. Loved this, MD. Thanks!


I completely agree with several of these. Since my oldest just turned 7 and my youngest is nearly the age and size her sister was when she came along, I'm trying to slow down, take it in and enjoy it, rather than just get through it. Even if I have a deadline, I'm trying to put the laptop away for tickles or silly dancing.


You're right that having more kids teaches you different lessons. I have three kids and the most important thing I've learned is that each of them is different in their own special way. What works for one doesn't necessarily work for the others. And each kid needs to be nurtured and treated differently. It's been an amazing lesson to learn and has taught me a lot about the differences among people in general.


I've learned if I don't tell my kids a song is a remake, they think I'm pretty fucking amazing because I know the lyrics to "their" music.

A 10 year old will ban you from choosing "Bust A Move" if you've beat him one too many times playing "Lips" on Xbox.

The answer "Y is a crooked letter" will buy you some time to figure out an answer to a "Why?" question.


"I've never seen my dad cry. My daughter has seen me cry. My dad never told me he loved me. Consequently I tell the Peanut I love her practically every other minute. The point is that maybe too much emotional display is just as bad as not enough but I've learned that I'll always lean towards the former."

This hits me harder than you can imagine. I couldn't express it any better and I'm glad I'm not the only one...


My mum has never said I love you but I can see that she does thru her actions. I am still in awe that I gave birth three times already and have one on the way. They say time flies by and they grow up so quickly so I try to enjoy every insane moment with my kids as much as I can. I've learnt that everyone thinks they're a better parent than you so just ignore their comments and keep on feeding your kids McDonalds.


Milk tastes better in red cups than blue ones...unless it's Thursday then it's gotta be the green one.

Awesome list.


The most important thing I've learned is that it's not enough to just go through the actions. Thanks for reminding me to always broaden my perspective.


I've learned to bite my lips rather than to share my negativity with my kids.

I've learned that sometimes just staying silent and listening carefully will earn me more information than asking outright.

I've learned that no matter how horrid my kids behave, and they can be REALLY horrid, they feel badly and will apologize if I give them the time and space they need.

Lastly, I've learned that when your daughter starts traveling overseas with her boyfriend, they really don't want to hear about your travel adventures when you were their age. Damn them!


My parents didn't lie to me about Sanata or the Tooth Fairy. Thanks for calling them assholes.


I've learned that when your kids ask you a question, what they really want to know is generally something very different than what they are asking. So it's worth it to talk to them occasionally.

Rachel E.

To always be fair with your children. Your kids might not always like the decisions you make concerning them, but if you're alway fair about it they will see that and respect you for it. It will give you credibility as a parent.


That if I actually spend time 1 on 1 with a baby, I can learn to enjoy their company!

That I can support the weight of 2 persons on my back while on all fours.

That 4-year-olds listen to me when I don't think they are listening. And, that they have no filter when it comes to repeating profanity.


I've learned that you're granted a greater margin of error with your kids than with most other people.

I've learned that no matter how much time you spend cleaning your house...its a totally useless.

I've learned to take quiet time when and where I can get it. The bathroom has become my zen sanctuary and I'm amazingly regular.

That NO...means NO! (most of the time)


I've been a step parent for almost 10 years now and I never imagined that I could love a child so much. This child is growing into a lovely woman and she single-handedly gives me hope for the future of this world.


Having a child with serious health issues, I've learned that there is nothing scarier than the thought of a parent outliving a child. Nothing.

Related: You never really understand the meaning of unconditional love until you have a kid. I would gladly give up my life for her.

DC Urban Dad

I have learned that your child's smile and laugh can wipe away any crap that happened to you that day.

And I have learned that parenting books are good, but your gut is better.

Steven P.

Don't buy a new sofa right until your youngest child is at least 8 years old.

Kids don't remember gifts as well as they do memories. Make lots of memories for them.

Bribery is an underrated parenting tool.

Michelle Ho

If you want to get a kid's perspective (both literally and figuratively speaking), let him or her have free reign of a compact camera. Viewing the photos my 3-year-old takes is an incredible way to forget I was ever annoyed at him, no matter how valid the reason - because I get to understand his point of view so much better.


I'll better be pushed away from a hugh than push my kid away when she wants one, and silly dancing is so much fun.
I love your post as always.

Karen from Chookooloonks

"Is your kid a picky eater? Don't worry about it too much. As my pediatrician once said, "No kid in Tribeca ever starved to death.""

Best. line. ever.

SciFi Dad

Diapered bladders are made of steel. Undiapered bladders are made of cheesecloth.


My ex-husband sure talks the talk but he damn sure never walks the walk.


We have three boys, ages 8, 6 and 2. We chose to tell them that Santa isn't a real person (but is based on St. Nicholas, who was real) because I grew up in a house full of lies. My parents lied to me about so many things, and to this day I can't trust anything they tell me.

I felt really strongly about telling our kids the truth about everything, and that includes Santa, but we're very clear that they aren't to ruin it for other kids, and they haven't. I hope that this one things doesn't define who I am at heart for all other people ... I definitely consider myself to be a good person, but I was shaped by parents who for whatever reason didn't respect me enough to tell me the truth about many things, and that has shaped who I am as a parent to my own children. I'm just trying to do better by them.


The one thing I've learned about being a mother is that I enjoy it far more than I ever could have dreamed of.


I am shocked to see how wise you've become in 6 short years. It has taken me 20 and I'm still learning.
Two things that helped me, especially in those dastardly teen years are:
1. When they're the least loveable, love them even more.
2. Never, ever, ever give up!


I have been at this parenting thing for 19 years. My youngest is 11. One thing I know is that I gladly endure sleepless nights trying to help them live their dreams and if I could spare them ugliness, I would.

I think we all learn to be resourceful and unselfish in so many ways to show them what unconditional love is. I have enjoyed the road, but I miss the kid who has started living her life more than I ever thought possible. She will never be with me again for any length of time than before she went off to Michigan. Ouch.

The other thing I learned...My mother was the most selfless person on the planet and I never had a clue until my kids came along.

Craig N.

I've learned that my children will always continue to surprise me. Mostly in good ways.

You have to teach them everything you know but you have to let them figure out for themselves that you were right.

Parenting is not a static skill. You get better as the years go by.

The truest parenting adage is the old saying "the days are long but the years are short."


Add enough ketchup and I'LL eat just about anything!

Tony B

I'm the dad of twins and I've learned that the best thing to spend on your kids is your time.


I've learned two important things. Be yourself. Let your children be themselves. Both of these go a long way.

Janet C

Being a parent, I've learned my own parents actually knew what they were doing. Quite humbling!


That was great man.

I have no kids but I think i will have one one day. I hope it changes me for the better. I'm a grade A asshole but fight this everyday.


I learned that once they are old enough to close the gargage door, they leave for college and you have to buy an automatic gargage door opener.


It's all ages and stages. In the midst of a stage it can seem never-ending. Years later, I find myself pining for those times,


When my kids were young, I was starting a new business and I didn't get to spend as much time with them as I wanted. Although I was working hard for our family, I sometimes regret not having taken a regular 9-5 job.

Would I have done things differently? I'm not entirely sure.

But now that they're both off to college, I can't help but think that I wished I had spent more time with them. I'll never get those years back. I guess that's what I've learned.


I learned...

Nobody can prepares you for this
Not to germ phobic
Child birth will change your pain scale drastically
They are always listening, especially when you don't want them to
Poop size not relative to their size or what they ate
You better have an explanation when you coat resembles a cat
Children are 100%  love
It's ok not to be perfect, because I am a parent
Subway/cab germ  will build their immune system 
Understanding of  loving somebody more than yourself

Thanks for this article, MD.


Don't be their best friend. Be their parent.


"Baby poop defies all laws of physics and nature." I love it! Great post!


Good post. I like to read your posts. well written. thank you.

Soo Young

I love that you've cried in front of your daughter. I didn't know Korean (or Korean-American) men were biologically capable of doing so. There's a sad joke in our family about how our dad must have been born without tear ducts. Kudos, MD.


What my husband says (quoting Aimee Mann): it's not going to stop ...

Leslie K.

I love your honesty and perspective. I don't have kids yet but I'm addicted to your blog. Please write more!!!


I have learned that some of the advise I give my daughter would help me too.

Happy new year!


"My love for my child is the only love I've ever had that keeps getting stronger over time. Maybe that says more about me than it does about my relationship with my daughter."

I have learned what love truly is and more importantly, what the emotion feels like. Does it say more about me than it does my relationship with my 6 yr old son? Absolutely. But without that relationship, I would never have been able to tap into and experience those emotions.

Raised in a semi-Asian family (I'm half Asian), my mother condemned any displays of emotion. So it should come as no surprise that I buried my feelings my whole life. Then along came the little guy. For someone that never cried, (and I mean I never, ever cried) I sit here today sobbing like an idiot writing about my son. Damn you emotions!!

Great post MD, and thanks.


I'm new to the game, so I'll let you know more once Coraline starts talking. :)

Thanks for the great -- and hilarious -- post.


I've got a boy (age 4) and two twin girls (age 2.) What have I learned? Sleep whenever/wherever you can. And buy wine by the boxload.


Raise your kids to be people you like to be around. And then be around them as much as possible, because they grow up too darn fast.


The best teacher may be the 70 year old neighbor.
Sense of accomplishment, just for the sake of accomplishment.
Manners, and not just the said words, but truly understanding those words.
Talking with, not at.
Listening more.

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