Ten In the Tenth

9:59 PM

Reflection.  In teaching, reflection is a big part of what we do.  I was recently observed by my principal and he challenged me with reflection.  How can I SHOW that I reflect on my practices?  How can I PROVE that I am always thinking about what I can do better, and that I'm implementing strategies to make me better at what I do?

Parenting is like teaching in many ways.  After I put Jane and Emma to bed at night, I fill bottles for the next day and spend time with Hershey, but I'm always thinking about how I could have done something better for them.  How I could have BEEN better for them.

For the sake of reflection, I'd like to take a moment to reflect on the month of October, and give you the top 10 things that I learned about being a Mommy in the tenth month of the year.

10.  At some point, you have to start putting bibs on the kids AT ALL TIMES.  Unless you want to do their laundry 413 times a week or just start taking out stock in Old Navy Baby and burning their clothes.  Then go right ahead and live dangerously.

9.  Once they get a little bit of weight on them and start moving their heads around, THEY OWN YOU.

Remember when you used to take those pictures at the bar so seriously, placing yourself at the exact right angle, tilting your chin up just right, smiling with just the right amount of teeth to make the picture look like the most amazing version of you?  

Yeah.  Now that you have kids, just be happy if you don't look like Sasquatch in the pic.  No one is looking at you anymore, anyway, and that's a win, in my book.

(I mean, seriously, I look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame here.)

8.  Just quit buying them all of those expensive Sassy and Lamaze toys now.  They will inevitably find a ripped piece of cardboard or a dirty old blanket that they find more interesting.  Unless Lamaze starts making dirty gym socks, then RUN, don't walk, to the nearest BuyBuyBaby to pick one up (with your unexpired 20% coupon, of course)!

7.  When it is bedtime, you will rock them.  You will sing to them.  You will read them books.  You will do everything but tear your own hair out trying to get them to go to sleep, to which they will give you the finger and go on endlessly crying.  Until you want them to eat, or take a bath, or do just about ANYTHING but sleep.  Then, they will find the most inconvenient spot for YOU and conk out.  

(Take note of The Bib.)

6.  When it's time to start solid foods, invest in and use the following during every feeding:  a cloth bib (are we sensing a pattern here?), a plastic bib (yup, definitely a pattern!), a small, heat sensitive spoon, Corningware ramekins, a chair that they can sit straight up in, and a rain slicker (for you).  Proceed with extreme caution.

5.  When you want to sleep, they want to do this:

(Taken in the Big Girl Bed at the Ritz Carlton in Philadelphia at 6:07 a.m. on the morning of my sister-in-law's wedding...)

4.  Props are fun in pictures...

...but it took us 149 shots to get this one:

(This was shot #19.  It was all downhill from here.)

3.  Halloween can quickly become your favorite and most hated holiday of the year.

We spent way more time thinking about what to be for Halloween and how to dress the girls than any of us actually spent WEARING the costumes.

2.  Velvet is cute in theory, but is never a good idea.  No wonder Babies R Us was selling these costumes (ladybug and bumblebee) for half-off during the week of Halloween.  Next time, I'll take the hint...

And the #1 thing that I learned about being a Mommy in the month of October......

For the day of the party, AND especially the day after!

We're on the eve of a four day weekend here in NJ Teacher-land.  Hope you all have a great weekend!

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