Really, this could go for anybody, but I mean it especially for my sister, since I know her and everything. If you were a logger, I’d have a different set of advice for you, probably. I’d say something like, “Don’t cut logs while the baby is sleeping. You may wake the baby up.” or “Don’t let your baby play with the saws that you use to cut the logs.” Stuff like that.
So, sister, this is for you and for people that are like you, which is to say people that are not involved in criminal activity and have homes that are crime- and mostly-pest free. (You did have that incident with the bat flying around your living room until it hit the fan. I can write a different set of advice if you think that bats will become a regular feature at your house.)
Take it how you will.
1. Don’t pay attention to most advice.
2. Everyone wants to give advice. Someday you will probably give baby advice.
3. All mothers started out as first-time mothers that didn’t listen to unsolicited advice and 97% of those ladies never had their babies taken away. So, those are good odds.
4. You won’t remember most advice anyway.
5. What advice do I remember from when I was about to have my first baby THAT I USED? No clue. If I have no clue, you probably won’t, although, in general, you have more clues than I do.
6. Loving your baby and always having his best interest in mind is probably all the advice I need to give to you. You already do that, so you are already winning.
7. If you were to FORCE me to give advice, I’d just say… Oh, man, I don’t know if I want to do it.
8. You know I’ll be over all the time giving you advice, anyway, but I won’t realize I’m doing it. Then, you’ll remember this post where I said to not pay attention to advice, but I won’t remember I wrote it. You’ll ignore what I’m saying and then I’ll get annoyed that you aren’t listening to me. Can you print this out and carry it around or something?
8. Oh! I thought of one! Let me hold him all the time?
9. Okay, that made me think of one. Don’t be a Nap Nazi like I was… I mean, I was something to be reckoned with when anyone wanted to pick up my baby from the middle of a nap.
10. Seriously, though, naps are really, really important for his mood and for your sanity, so scratch #10. Be a Nap Nazi. Well, be more of a Nap Nurturer. You are all about facilitating the naps but you won’t bust a blood vessel if one gets disrupted. You must not be as uptight as I was about the naps and everything first baby-related. I was a meanie deluxe.
11. You might want to tell Benedicto to tone it down. Benedicto is going to come and cut your grass when you don’t want him to, which is basically never and all the time. You want him to come over because he is probably one of the nicest people on the planet (SO glad you introduced me to Benedicto) and he is helping you all out by cutting the grass, but, sakes alive, he’s going to wake your baby up a lot with the blower.
12. Go easy on Benedicto.
13. Oh!!! I thought of another one! Don’t give up on breastfeeding. I know we’ve talked about this and I know you are super committed to seeing it through. It’s just going to be TOUGH STUFF for a while, but it is so worth it. It’s different for everyone, but if you can make it happen, you’ll be happy you did. Free baby food, free baby drinks, a weight loss aid (in some cases) and no need for a microwave.
14. If you can’t breastfeed, though, don’t worry. We weren’t breastfed and look how awesome we turned out, huh???
15. Okay, how awesome you turned out.
16. I really, really love your changing table (cutest one yet!), but once baby dude starts crawling and walking and running off, you’ll pretty much have to pin him down as soon as you can to rid him of the toxic waste sitting in his diaper.