2. For children aged 2 and up, who are exercising their independence and want to dress themselves, you must NEVER EVER even lay one finger on a piece of clothing you actually want them to wear. Don't even give any inkling as to which outfit you want them to wear. They could be just about to select something perfect from their drawer, but if they see you eyeballing it first they will NOT wear it, for fear of thinking they actually wore something you wanted them to.
3. For picky eaters, like mine...you must imply that whatever they don't eat will have to be supplied by a shot at the Doctor's office. "If you don't eat your chicken, you're going to have to get the protein poultry shot at the Doctor's office!" For added effect, say this as you pretend to dial the phone to make the appointment - and watch the chicken disappear!
4. Accept ketchup as a vegetable. Every mom secretly does anyway.
5. Never teach your child how to tell time and if some over-achieving ambitious teacher teaches them at school- then whatever you do, do not buy them a watch. I learned this the hard way, just this morning at the mall. Thinking I was buying an educational item that would also keep Ava busy for a few minutes, I bought her a watch at the Gap. HUGE MISTAKE. The rest of my shopping trip went something like this. "Mom, it's 11:37." "Mom, it's 11:40" "Mom, we've been in here for ten minutes." "Mom, 12 minutes have gone by." "Mom, it's almost 12:00" "Mom, it's 12:00" "Mom, it's 12:02" "Mom, it's 12:04" "Mom, we've been in here for 30 minutes." "Mom, it's 12:15" "Mom, it's 12:17".....NO JOKE, every 2 minutes I got an update until I said finally said something super-nurturing like, "AVA!!!! I DON'T CARE WHAT TIME IT IS!!!!!!!!! ENOUGH ALREADY!!!!"
6. For gift giving and receiving occasions, you must practice the appropriate responses with your children. Mine liked to say things like, "Awww, I already have this." Or,"I didn't really want this." Or my personal favorite, "Is that IT??" After opening 237 Christmas presents. So you must role-play this scenario with your children and teach them to just say thank-you even if they don't particularly like it or they already have it. It seems like the perfect plan until they open something at their birthday party, turn to you in front of everyone and say, "I smile and say thank you, even if I don't like it. Right Mommy?" (Ava, age 3)
7. Most importantly, don't feed them much or let them sleep. If you do, they'll grow-up - and who really wants that to happen?