My Grandmother has always been a firm believer that kids are like waffles. No matter how hard you try, you always have to throw the first one out. Before I had kids, a statement such as this would have led me to believe that she had lost her mind, but now that I have two little waffles of my own, I am starting to understand what she meant.
With our first, we were so nervous and overwhelmed by the idea that we would do something wrong, that we did everything we were told to without question. To that end, we overbought toys and gadgets, rushed too quickly to swoop in and save him and baby proofed the shit out of our house. I mean everything. Every outlet, every corner, every cupboard. We even safety locked the linen closet because, as we all know, there is nothing more dangerous to toddler than a fitted sheet.
It’s safe to say that with our daughter, we took a very different approach to parenting. In terms of baby proofing, we protected her from the obvious dangers; electricity, stairs, etc. but we were more relaxed when it came to things like cupboards and closets. We made sure that hazardous materials were out of reach but left all of the kitchen cupboards unlocked so that she could properly explore the pots, pans and Tupperware just like we did when we were kids. I can’t be sure what long-term impact this decision will have on our daughter or if the seemingly bad decisions we made for our son have ruined him, but I do know that I have learned from my mistakes and am a (relatively) better mother now, than I was five years ago.
So the question for today is this: What “mistakes” did you make with your first that you didn’t/wouldn’t repeat with your second?