Lord, was that ever a tedious weekend. We were visiting family in Oregon for Easter, and there was way too much driving and not nearly enough sunshine. The kids have had the same cold for weeks and can’t stop coughing, JB got sick halfway through the trip, and I think I lost my patience somewhere on the side of I-5.

This is where photos come in handy. Because sometimes pictures are a lot better than the boring, complain-y story that accompanies them.

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In other news, Dylan has completely changed his eating habits, in that he used to eat and now he does not. Seriously, he used to devour anything and everything and now I swear to god he is living on graham crackers and milk. And you know how people say, oh, don’t worry about it, he’ll eat when he gets hungry? Well, that’s bullshit. Because here’s what happens when a child doesn’t eat enough: they get cranky and upset and eventually apoplectic with rage because they feel like hell and they DON’T KNOW WHY. In the meantime, you’re trying to get food in their system but they’re all pissed off and wailing and flinging their hands around and eventually you have to TRICK them by employing some bizarre form of peekaboo/here-comes-the-spoon-plane! game in the effort to get one single solitary fucking calorie in their scream-holes so they’ll calm down for the love of GOD.

Mealtimes have become a colossal pain in the ass and half the time I just spread random snack items around on accessible surfaces for him to hopefully grab while he’s bustling by on his way to find some pointy object to poke in his eye and if you’re wondering why there’s a piece of string cheese stuck to your ass it’s because every chair in my house now has food on it THAT’S WHY.

Also, as long as I’m ranting, here are some more bullshit sayings everyone needs to put a moratorium on:

Nap when the baby is napping. Yeah, because it’s so RESTFUL to try and fall asleep when you have no idea if you’ll be woken up in five minutes or two hours. See also: being woken up out of a drooling coma after five minutes, murderous feelings caused by.

Just wait until they’re teenagers. Okay, I get it, teenagers suck, but why does everyone say this? Maybe MY kids will be awesome teenagers. I mean, probably they won’t, but don’t go crapping in my future Wheaties just to share the misery, dammit.

I stay in shape by chasing my kids! Shut the fuck up, Hollywood. Unless you’re chasing your kids at a dead run around a track for 30 minutes a day five days a week I’m guessing that 8% body fat figure of yours has more to do with the no-carb diet and personal Pilates trainer.

This too shall pass. So will that spicy chicken burrito I ate last night, but it doesn’t mean it’s going to be pleasant.

What are your least favorite parenting platitudes?

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Jess in Nebraska
Jess in Nebraska
13 years ago

Seriously, I am LAUGHING MY HEAD OFF! Going through the same thing with the eating and my 15 month old. I think someone mentioned it already, but my doctor too recommended Carnation Instant Breakfast….totally chocolate milk…and he loves it. Has extra calories and vitamins too, maybe that will help. He seems to have snapped out of it after a couple weeks of being picky and is now eating everything again. My doctor said it could be teeth, or even a stomach ache…at this age is hard to tell!
Seriously, I CAN’T STAND the “just wait until their a teenager” comment….as if that helps when you’re going through a rough time with a toddler. It’s like, “Oh great! It’s only going to get harder!”
LOVE your blog Linda….WHEN you write a book, I’ll be the first in line.

Sharon
Sharon
13 years ago

I hate the one uppers. The people that when presented with a situation, any situation, will immediately tell you a story about their similar but much worse, or much better situation.

Your baby stroller fell over while he was strapped in it. Their baby fell down 3 flights of stairs strapped into an infant seat.

My baby is very loud when she’s happy. Their baby woke up the mayor six towns away.

Etc. Annoying.

Jill
Jill
13 years ago

Linda, Thanks I needed that. You are awesome. I hate all potty training “tips”. If I had a dollar for every time someone said don’t worry they don’t go to kindergarten in diapers…. I’m a teacher and IT HAPPENS. I think my son is trying to mess with me, because he is right on track to be THAT KID. Love the Oregon pics, I’m in So. Oregon, but still think the family should come to you.

Nancy
Nancy
13 years ago

@Pam — I have twins and get/got all the same lines you did. Plus “Oh, double trouble!” I can only imagine it’s annoying^3 with triplets though.

@Amber — a friend of mine’s mother told her she should feed her (4 month old) daughter CARROTS (and she meant raw ones!) to bring her teeth in! The kid is 21 months old now and still only has 4 teeth — maybe she should have tried it back then?? ;-)

Swistle
13 years ago

I hate “Cherish every moment!” and “These are the best times of your life!”

Kelly
Kelly
13 years ago

That “babies only cry for a reason” ummm, Bullshit… sometimes they really DO cry for no reason at all.

Alyson
13 years ago

Some of my favorites……”Boys are so much easier to raise than boys.”

OR this one from my MIL “the twins don’t pick on Walker when I’m around.” Yeah, that’s why he cries at the thought of being left at your house with them!

Kari
Kari
13 years ago

I see many other people share my hate for “Just wait…”

Just wait for what? The second coming of Christ? Monkeys to fly out of my ass? Hell to freeze over? My screaming 2 year old’s head start to spin like Linda Blair’s?

At least you can kind of reason with a teen. You can’t reason with toddlers.

I especially hate the “They grow so fast – cherish every minute” when uttered by blue haired grannies who clearly don’t remember the joys of raising small uncivilized beings that act like monkeys on crack at every inopportune moment.

Don’t get me wrong – I love my kids, but man, it’s been a long week so far and it is only Tuesday…

Stella
13 years ago

Classic post!

The wrongest parental platitudes that have been inflicted on me:

‘You will forget the pain of childbirth.’ Three years on and I still regularly wake up screaming.

‘Children are the best thing that ever happened to me.’ Really??? What was wrong with your life before? You know, studies show that people derive about the same amount of pleasure from an act of parenting as they do from an act of housework. And this is the pinnacle of your achievement? Maybe you should take an evening class.

‘You mustn’t try and toilet train them until they are really ready.’ This one was clearly sponsored by Huggies. I have to say, I have really enjoyed the last twelve months of NOT changing nappies while the parents of Fizzy’s cohort are still up to their elbows in someone else’s faeces.

‘I don’t understand why people would have children if they’re only going to strand them in childcare all day.’ Um, because there’s only a limited window of fertility which tends to coincide with maximum mortgage debt, earning capacity and career building potential. Or because unforeseen circumstances arose after you’d already failed the pregnancy test. Or because children benefit from being socialised with other children in a kind, caring, supportive environment, instead of being stuck home with a bored, frustrated, climbing-the-walls mother who thought she had so much more to offer the world than finger painting and doing laundry. (Footnote: If you love staying home with your kids, by all means do it! But if you’d love to go to work – go to work! Either way, can we agree that we won’t tell each other how to parent? Thanks).

Incidentally, Fizzy is on hunger strike too. I think your randomly located snack idea is an excellent one, like an Easter hunt every single day. If I can just work out a way to keep the dog away from the snacks, we’ll be in business.

Suzanne
13 years ago

OMFG. That NAP thing totally pisses me off too.

You hit the big sayings I can think of (through my sleep-deprived dementia). The thing I detest are the one-uppers. The people who, I suppose in an empathy effort, tell you how their kid slept less than yours, walked sooner than yours, screamed louder than yours, laughed sooner etc.

Then again, if I judged my kid by the one-uppers my kid is the easiest child that was super behind on reaching key milestones ever. Yay!

Kristi
13 years ago

Oh god those are funny! My favorite – employed by my mother at every possible opportunity – is “Well, we never did/had _____________ and we turned out just fine.”

Whatever helps you sleep through the night mom! This from a woman who gave her kids canned milk and Karo syrup in their bottles! Oh, and don’t forget the smoking in an enclosed vehicle (with no seat belts). Gah!

kate
kate
13 years ago

Yeah, I despise the “we never/always _______ and turned out fine.” Because that’s super logical.

For some reason it really bugs me when people say “well he won’t go off to college _________” (with a bottle, sleeping with his parents, etc). Well okay, but these two years of not sleeping through the night still blow donkey nuts!

NellaBean
NellaBean
13 years ago

Amen Sister. I have long hated the phrase “nap when they’re napping”. Both my sons have a sixth sense for when I’ve just fallen asleep (WAAAAA!) or just sat down to eat (WAAAA!). It’s truly amazing how little sleep will get me through (ahem, note I did not say ‘functioning at high efficiency’) a workday and how little nourishment still manages to keep me chunky.

When I was pregnant with my first, I hated HATED the phrase “Children will change your life.” Gee, ya think?

Anonymous
Anonymous
13 years ago

Thank you Sharon for mentioning general one upping. Very annoying in all aspects of life. Something that drives me nuts is when a newish mom shares something about the motherhood experience she is having NOW and then some late fifties broad in the room starts regaling people with stories about her brood back in the seventies. Don’t care! I want to hear about the Hell/Joy someone is going through NOW, not the c section/ broken condom telling the husband story you’ve been spewing for the last thirty years lady!

Helen
13 years ago

As a mother of 6 I cannot stand ” Don’t you know what causes that?” and of course the “You’ve got your hands full”
When I had #4, #s 1, 2 and 3 were 16, 14 and 12….how I laughed when 26152437 people told me what a help those big kids must be! ( because they were so THRILLED their old mother was still disgusting enough to be having S.E.X. EWWWWWWW!)

Heather-in-Australia
Heather-in-Australia
13 years ago

This isn’t really a platitude but it annoys the merry fuck out of me: when people ask if Josephine is a “good baby”. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know what they really mean & all that, but Ian & I took very quickly to answering, “No, we’re pretty sure she’s inherently evil” nonetheless :).

wn
wn
13 years ago

Eeegads, my son who is about 3 weeks younger than Dylan is ALSO going through this “nothing is good enough to put in my mouth” phase….WTF?

Raisins seem somehow to be ecxluded from the equation…but can a kid REALLY live on milk and raisins?

Kim
Kim
13 years ago

It started with the ever-present “When are you all going to have kids?” that’s lasted the entire ten years of our marriage.
Now that we’re undergoing fertility treatments, the most common is “Just relax and it’ll happen,” with a healthy smattering of “Just wait; you’ll never be able to read/nap/watch TV/travel ever again.” Looking forward to all the unsolicited advice that’s sure to come should I happen to actually catch pregnant.

Jean
Jean
13 years ago

I have the same food issues with my 3 year old daughter. It is so exhausting to try to get that one bit of chicken nugget in her mouth that I’ve all but given up. I cannot wait until she eats like a normal human. And yeah, I cannot wait until she is a teenager, you know why? Cause she will sleep in, and then I can sleep in, and she will EAT FOOD, and she will want me to leave her alone instead of crawling up my ass all day. These things are very appealing to me right now.

bouncy
bouncy
13 years ago

Everytime I look at your pictures I am telling myself I have to go visit the west coast.

And – the whole “nap when your baby is napping” is bullsh*t! My baby would sleep only 20 minutes at a time and I was glad I could sit by myself in the bathroom without anyone grabbing my boobs or shove some food down my throat. Those 20 minutes were the fastest in my life.

melissa
13 years ago

When anyone tries to figure out who my girls look like. I HATE it. They look like themselves, they are unique and beautiful girls, with their own styles and personalities. Why do they have to look like anyone?

oh and when the mother in law says “what are you doing to my baby?” after i’ve refused to let her eat dog food.

Michelle
13 years ago

“Mind over matter” – wait, that was what people said to me when I had morning sickness. Screw you, people.

erin
13 years ago

I heard most of those when my two were younger. I’m still waiting for the “I can’t wait until you have a daughter just like you” from my mom. She told me that when I was a teenager, but haven’t heard it yet since I became a mama.

And my 3yr old is getting better at eating, but she stopped eating around 15mos and I didn’t know what to do. Her doc said let her eat what she wants (within reason–I mean, don’t let her eat chocolate all day long) and give her Carnation Instant Breakfast every day. We have been giving her that stuff every day for the past 1 1/2 years and she is slowly gaining weight, but she’s also eating more. Crackers are a staple in our house. And peanut butter.

Sandra
Sandra
13 years ago

So funny. I hate all platitudes. My most hated comment came from the in law. I was having trouble getting the newborn to fall asleep at her house (kid # 3). She made some lame comment about it so I asked her what she did when she had little ones (she had 5 kids). She responds with the biggest lie known to man: I never had any problems with them! Sure lady, way to make me feel better! And yeah, the “nap when they nap” bit? A LIE!!!

Jenn
Jenn
13 years ago

Oh, to get pregnant all I have to do is RELAX?! Stupid me, trying medical treatment for my premature ovarian failure. Fuck you – go relax your cancer away.

Ang
Ang
13 years ago

Are you allowed to put Slim Fast or A.N.Other nutrient-containing-milkshake-type-substance in a baby’s bottle, or is that considered a “Bad Thing”?
No, I don’t have any kids. Why do you ask?
;-)

heidi
heidi
13 years ago

Love this post… We are trying to decide if we want a 3rd and the few people that I have talked to are useless in this decision! I have gotten the “after 2 a 3rd is easy” and “if you are going to have 3 you mine as well have 4” WHAT??? How is adding one more child to the already crazyness that is 2 considered easy?? All of the sudden they will wipe their own ass, not make my nipples bleed, take care of themselfs ALL NIGHT and oh yeah, they won’t cost you a cent because they will be able to get a job straight of of the hole that I PUSH THEM OUT OF!!! (that part must be easier too.) And while your at it, add a 4th. By 4, they will even pay for their own education right?? People are fucking idiots. With that said, I really DO love my little screamers… :)

Lori O
13 years ago

1) I’ve set it several times: I love your photos. Especially how different the scenery is than compared to my Midwest. When I read the Twilight saga, I felt like I KNEW the scenery; the greenness & the rocky beaches, all b/c of your photos!

2) I needed your rant today, b/c I’ve been living it in several degrees with my own toddler. Especially the “nap when she’s napping” thing. I gotta nap with the monitor on in case she wakes up, so I’m on edge listening for her, in the meantime while the annoying neighbor dogs that bark outside her window our now barking in my ear via low-quality radio waves.

Valria
13 years ago

I have no parenting platitudes to share as I chose to not expel children from my womb.

However just had to say I loved the blog and the comments.

Also….um if you were in OR for the weekend and clearly had to drive by my house….why did you not drop off Dog??? :)

Nicole
13 years ago

Not so much a platitude as astoundingly hypocritical “motherly” advice… before I had a baby and when I was still trying to decide if I ever in fact wanted one, my mom would often tell me… wait for it… “You should definitely have a baby because people without children are much more selfish than those with children.” This from a woman who regularly says now, “I don’t remember ever having issues with sleeping and schedules – I just took you with me wherever I needed to go. I was busy and had a life to live. My life didn’t revolve around you kids.” And, “I don’t understand why you let him crawl all over the house. I just put you in a playpen and you’d play by yourself for hours.” And the frequently remarked, “Do you have to entertain him all of the time?” Yes, mother because I actually ENJOY playing with my baby… Imagine that. And I’m pretty sure that doesn’t make me a contender for the Nobel Peace Prize.

And just for the record, for those of you who have politely declined a one way ticket on the parenthood express… My best friend is happily childless and is hands down, one of the most nurturing and unselfish people I know! And I know a lot of people with children who are complete assholes…

melanie
13 years ago

I’m with PP Denese about getting enraged at people predicting my childs future. “Oh look, she is standing on her tiptoes (like ALL BABIES!) so she is going to be a ballerina.” But the MOST annoying thing for us is that everytime she does something that makes her look smart (for a 1-year old?) people say, “Oh, she is going to be a genius like her Dad, you are going to have your hands full!” And yes, her Dad is a freaking genius but that is mostly just annoying & why do people want their children to be “geniuses” anyway? As far as I can tell (being married to one) it just makes you a weird child who has a hard time fitting into society – and you can’t be a genius at everything so while someone in our family may have a PhD in physics he also has to have his shirts checked to make sure they are clean before he leaves the house b/c his mind is elsewhere.

Gaby
Gaby
13 years ago

I love this so much.

Also, Heather-in-Australia? I love you and Ian, too.

I don’t have kids yet, and I hate with the burning power of a thousand suns the idea that I will “understand when I have kids.”Oh, really? I’ll understand why it’s ok to allow your kids to be self-absorbed, entitled brats? Because that’s the issue that I’m having a problem with, your children’s and your behavior, and apparently the wisdom on this issue comes with having had an inhabitant emerge from my uterus. Interesting.

jenB
13 years ago

“it’s a phase”

Charlotte survives on “wind pudding” and “fried ice”. I have no idea how she walks upright or plays in the playground. She eats NOTHING and yes, we were all “she was SUCH A GOOD EATER” when she started solids. Her eating habits are one of the biggest stressors of my parenting live.

Spring
13 years ago

My most hated and kind of hilarious advice is from my MIL (who generally is great, but is a teacher and somehow thinks that means that she an expert about ALL child related issues) who has many times told me that she doesn’t understand why I babyproof my house because she says “I never babyproofed anything–I just watched my kids carefully all the time.” Ummm, I’m glad my future husband survived, but personally, I’m pretty happy I can go to the bathroom or take a quick shower without worrying my kids are going to poison themselves, fall down the stairs, electrocute themselves, etc.

Molly
Molly
13 years ago

I needed this post today – I’m very obviously pregnant (8.5 months) and today was the day that EVERYONE decided to share their pregnancy/parenting opinions with me. Right now I especially hate the birth horror stories. Seriously, what pregnant woman wants to hear about life-threatening situations and 56 hours of labor?!

Also, new baby advice from relatives who haven’t had a baby in 30+ years – Um, yeah things have changed a wee bit, I think I’ll follow my doctors advice instead, kthx.

Kristin H
Kristin H
13 years ago

The nap thing? Yes. If it wasn’t the baby that woke me up, it was the doorbell. Or the phone. Every SINGLE time, I swear.

I don’t really have any platitudes, but I do SO hate when my future step-mother calls my two-year-old son and another two-year-old boyfriend and girlfriend. Puh-LEEZE. Can we give that shit a rest for maybe 15 years? They are TWO for chrissakes. Thank you.

H
H
13 years ago

Nap when the baby sleeps. I hate that one because even though I may be dog tired, I can’t sleep on demand or under pressure. I simply can’t fall asleep RIGHT NOW because the kid decided to sleep. I just don’t work that way.

We didn’t need/do this/that 20 years ago and our kid(s) turned out fine. News flash: the world is different now! The challenges we face are different and generally (we hope) we’re smarter now. Why not take advantage of the tools/wisdom we have available now?!

Karl
Karl
13 years ago

@heidi – don’t know if you’ll see this, but we had 4. (Married one, had one, acquired one, had one, all in under 4 years.) We got the “If you have 3 you might as well have 4” thing as well. (From some ex-friends.)

It is the BIGGEST FUCKING LIE in the whole universe, excuse my screaming.

I can’t advise you on going from 2 to 3, there are too many variables and pros and cons. But in our experience, 3 to 4 was a monumental difference, only to be compared with going from 0 to 1. What happens at 4 kids is that you never get a break. Laundry is continuous, someone will ALWAYS hate what’s for dinner (even if that one loved it last week), someone is always bleeding, someone is always crying, or pissed off, or has a project due tomorrow, etc etc.

I love my now-grown kids and I am reasonably sure that I’d do it all over again, even if I were forewarned. Probably. But don’t go to 4 based on what you experience with 3, because there’s no comparison.

telegirl
telegirl
13 years ago

No platitudes that haven’t been covered but I have to tell you that when hubby’s family met our son after he was born? They droned on and on about how *anything* our son did or any physical trait he had was a “Ward Family Trait”. Seriously. E. Very. Thing. I was about to explode… like I was just a fucking surrogate and had absolutely NOTHING ELSE TO DO WITH IT?!

annabelle
annabelle
13 years ago

the worst for me:
“Oh, my little angel has slept through the night since he was 2.5 months old!”

Blink. Blink. If I wanted to hear that lady, I’d have called you up between 3 and 5:30 am last night when the party was ON at my house.

beach
beach
13 years ago

i have a 19 and 16 year old….my oldest went to college for a semester and majored in….ummm, partying….. and basically flunked every subject..he decided it wasn’t for him, so is working full time for a while …my MIL is driving me nuts….she is acting like we have given up on him, and every single time i see her she just asks…how’s sean….and sighs heavily…..and i Want To kick her in the head…..does that make me a bad daughter in law…..and really, i don’t care….

Sarah @ BecomingSarah.com

I love this post!! I don’t have any least favorites yet since I’ve not popped the baby out yet lol, but when I do, I’ll let you know.

My least favorite pregnancy one has been “Get your sleep now, before the baby comes!” Please. The baby is destroying my bladder. There is no sleeping now.

Nicki
Nicki
13 years ago

Put me down for any variation of “you poor thing…” with regards to having 3 boys. I like having 3 boys, thank you very much (the food stuck to the ceiling and paper glued to the walls not so much, mind you)!

As far as the eating goes, my 6-year-old has despised meat/vegetables/fresh fruit since he started solids. At least 10 attempts to introduce it and they will eat it my backside. Anyway, he has survived thus far and the doctors don’t seem too worried as he hasn’t passed out from lack of food, so just roll with it I guess. Maybe your little guy will be one of the normal ones who eventually starts eating again.

Oh, and it could be worse. No, really. My 2-1/2-year-old (who has a peanut allergy no less) will not eat eggs because they are “disgusting” but I have caught him eating a rotten apple that he dug out of the mulch under the tree. See, graham crackers and string cheese on the chair are looking pretty good right about now. :) Hang in there.

Michelle Whitehurst
13 years ago

Oh my God! I SO agree with all of those. Thanks for getting it out there! You made my day!

Violet
Violet
13 years ago

Oh, I hate them all! “You think the terrible twos are bad, wait until she’s three!”. Thanks for dashing my hopes. “You can’t wait for them to talk, then you just want them to stop talking”. Ok, I could do without the constant “mommy, mommy, JUICE MOMMY!”, but I love listening to her songs, and telling me that tigers go RRRWWWWRRRR. And the eating! “I just cook whatever I cook, and they just eat it – I don’t baby them and give them a choice. That’s how you do it.” Um.. yeah. I’m just being too soft. If I was a REAL parent, my kids would just fall in line and do what I want. Thanks, so good to know.

victoria
victoria
13 years ago

Oh, god. The entitlement of in laws who think they can command us Seattle wives to drive ALL THE WAY TO EUGENE for the damn weekend.

Heather-in-Australia
Heather-in-Australia
13 years ago

::: Smiles at Gaby :) :::

KJ
KJ
13 years ago

Worst platitude in history: Smile, it could be worse!
This makes me feel stabby, and usually renders unto the speaker a stream of red-faced STFU’s alongside some particularly colorful gesticulation.
Not that I have an anger problem or anything…

t.cup
t.cup
13 years ago

‘i don’t believe in moving things, they just need to lern the meaning of the word no’ (said by my gramma as i pulled my 11 month old off her plant for the 12th time in an hour)

dude, they KNOW the meaning of the word no. they just don’t CARE. so don’t bitch to me when your precious whatever gets wrecked because you refused to move it after i recommended you do so because, babies, you know, NOT KNOWN FOR THEIR AWESOME LOGIC SKILLS.

melanie
melanie
13 years ago

OMG i’m loving this entry and the comments!
some of the things i get told about my 7 month old: “oh she’ll be crawling soon” – um duh i know that… I LOOK AFTER HER 24 HOURS A DAY! i DO notice her developments. “why can’t she have hot chips, it’s just potato?” – BECAUSE IT’S FREAKING DEEP FRIED AND SHE’S 7 MONTHS FOR PETES SAKE… she does not need it – while i wrestle it out of her MOUTH!!! “maybe it’s time you weaned her, i did it once my kids got teeth” – well honey, thats you! i’ll breastfeed for however long i damn well wish to thank you very much. “is she a good baby?” – this drives me up the wall! as if people say they’re baby is a ‘bad’ baby. argh! “why can’t she eat….. ***insert unhealthy option here*** she’ll like it, it’s good for her” – she’ll eat what i say she can eat… she is MY child remember????? “oh look she’s crawling” – as they force her into all fours position and push on her back legs…. STOP IT!!
ok, i better stop at that or i’ll go on forever! sorry.