Stupid Parent Tricks

we have no idea what we're doing but it works so far

Quick Tips

Bricks are dirt cheap and can usefully weigh down anything the kid can knock over.

  • Put some at the bottom of your trash can
  • Tape them to the base of lamp posts
  • Or standing coat racks in winter

Craigslist should be the first place you look for any baby stuff. Clothes, rockers, bouncers, etc. Babies need a ton of stuff, it's all very expensive new, and they outgrow it quickly, so it ends up on Craigslist. Buy it used and sell it on.

Baby sign language

I'll admit I didn't expect this to be at all useful. It's usually served up with a side of the same parental peer pressure as things like "BPA-free" and "organic," i.e. you can't possibly consider yourself a good parent unless your little snowflake is learning to sign as well as talk. Generally speaking this means you can disregard whatever it is entirely.

But then Ethan picked up some signage at day care, and it really helps, easily doubling the vocabulary he can use to communicate - quite a good thing. Call me a reluctant convert.

Here's a couple of useful signs, for the purpose of illustration:

circle/rubbing chest = please
Use: replaces the need to scream and point to get a request across. That still happens, of course, but only for the principle of the thing.

"All done!"
hands above head = all done
Use: do you actually want more food for eating, or are you full and you'll just throw it on the ground? And then stomp on it.

pointing at palm = again
Use: context dependent. Uses range from "storytime is done when I say it is, now turn that book over and keep reading" to "I find your antics intriguing, and wish to subscribe to your newsletter."

the sound of two hands clapping
Use: no actual use. He has never not wanted more milk.