3 Things They Should Teach in Prenatal Classes

posted in: Kids, Parenting | 58

Bathing baby. Infant CPR. Car seat safety. Sure, those are all important things to know when becoming a parent for the first time. But now that I don’t have babies anymore, I’m starting to realize how short-sighted prenatal classes really are in preparing us for the grand scheme of parenting. You know the saying, “no one ever tells you THAT about having kids.” Well, here are my suggestions for a few things those classes should cover for long-term parental success…beyond the baby years…when no one seems to care if you are prepared or not.

kids clothes1. Clothing Negotiation Skills 
Your little one has begun forming opinions, and the first thing she decides to feel passionately about is wearing the exact same Disney-character-of-the-moment pajama shirt with a chocolate milk-stained skirt and a pair of sparkly leggings with a giant hole in the knee everywhere you go. Even to Great Aunt Ginny’s funeral. And when you try to at least swap out the holey sparkly leggings for the non-holey polka dot pair, she has a melt down, saying the polka dots are itchy. Not the leggings. The polka dots themselves. Because that’s what polka dots do. Itch people. And sparkles give relaxing mini leg massages. But the most messed up thing about this whole struggle is that in a few years, she will actually make you wish she did still want to wear the pajama-shirt-stained-skirt-holey-legging ensemble when she decides booty shorts and backless halter tops are appropriate attire for a prepubescent. That’s some pretty sick torture. My recommendation: this will clearly require a CTU-trained negotiator to teach this lesson. I don’t think Jack Bauer is doing much these days. Maybe call him.

2. School Handout Organization
No parent wants to feel the wrath that is unleashed when you pick up your child at school, only to find out it was Pretzel Day. And you never filled out the order form because it is somewhere at the bottom of one of four different piles scattered throughout your house. If your kid doesn’t get a pretzel on Pretzel Day, he may as well just run away and join the circus, because you obviously don’t care about him. In fact, you must actively and intentionally hate him to subject him to watching everyone else in school devour a warm, soft twist of carbohydrates, all because you didn’t detach a little sheet of paper and pop it in an envelope with a dollar by last Thursday. And don’t be fooled…even if it is discovered that said order form never actually made it out of your child’s backpack and into one of your four piles, it is still your fault. Therefore, a subcategory of this lesson would be Strategies for Remembering to Check Your Child’s Backpack Everyday For Important Things Like Pretzel Day Order Forms.

3. A Crash Review In Fractions
…Because those little f%*kers pop out of nowhere sometime around fourth grade. And your kid is going to expect you to help her figure out whether 5/6 or 7/8 is bigger. And if you can’t do it, you’re just going to end up looking like a dumb ass. And if you look like a dumb ass, then she’s going to start the whole “if you don’t know fractions and did okay, why do I have to learn them” thing. And if she thinks she doesn’t need to know fractions, then she’s going to start questioning the whole purpose of elementary school. And if she questions the purpose of elementary school, you’ll try to tell her she has to go so she can get into college one day. And if you tell her she’s going to college one day, she’ll decide she’d rather just work at the mall for the rest of her life so she doesn’t have to learn fractions. And if she works at the mall, she will probably get fired when she won’t know how to ring up a sweater that is on sale for 1/2 off, because, you know, fractions. And if she gets fired from the mall, she’ll probably end up as a jobless teen mom with no education. And if she becomes a teen mom, she won’t get a crash review in fractions in her prenatal class. And when those little f%*kers pop up again when her kid is in fourth grade, she won’t know how to help. And if she doesn’t know how to help, her kid is going to wonder why she needs to know fractions…

See? Learning how to swaddle doesn’t seem so necessary anymore, does it?

*Author’s Note: My husband suggested I end the post with the line, “By the way, 7/8 is bigger.” I asked him if it really was. He said, “I don’t know.” 

Boom.

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58 Responses

  1. My husband and I just had a long conversation about converting fractions. It’s 7:00am, my brain can’t handle it. My genius husband says 7/8 too. Watch out hubbies!! I think you just volunteered for homework duty.

    • I think they absolutely did!! Now if my husband could just get home in time to actually help with that homework, we’d be okay 🙂 Funny story. I WAS actually helping my daughter with her fractions homework last week. At first, I thought it was hopeless, and told her she might have to wait until her dad got home. But then miraculously, not only did I figure it out, but I made HER understand it. We were both frankly astonished by this. And the first thing my daughter said to my husband when he got home was, “Guess what? MOM helped me with fractions!!” 🙂

  2. Hilarious! My daughter’s fourth grade ambition was to plant flowers at the rectory, so obviously she had no need for math!

  3. Ugh. Yes!!! All of this. I needed clothing negotiation skills this morning. My kid will be the only punk rocker in the kindergarten program because I had no fight in me at 7am. And I always forget the damn pretzel, ice cream, book fair money, omg. My oldest is first grade and that math stumps me — can’t even think about fractions. Great post!

    • I’m telling you. Nationwide school uniforms. It would make every parent so happy. I only have to argue with my daughter outside of school hours.

      And don’t feel bad about the first grade math. I got stumped then as well. In fact, I think I wrote a blog post about it a few years ago. So sad.

  4. My 4 year old has been wearing an Elsa nightgown every day for weeks (she switches to another Elsa dress when the nightgown is in the wash). She frequently mixes stripes and plaids, orange and red and when I make suggestions she replies, “These are my clothes and I can wear whatever I want.” I love that she has a mind of her own but I would’ve liked a little warning. At least now I know about the fractions!

    • Yes, start studying up. And I do love that my kids have their own “style.” I just wish they were better about forgoing it for certain occasions. I really don’t ask all that much.

  5. Love this!! But I think they need to be warned about phonics in addition to the fractions!! Both girls’ teachers know that if she sends phonics homework home big sister is helping little sister because Momma don’t play that game! 🙂

  6. Fonda Richards

    Reading this bought a smile to my face. Thanks for reminding me why God doesn’t let older folks have children. Something’s you just do not want to relive. I want to remind you that you have not seen any thing yet. Teen drama is waiting for you.

  7. LOL!!! I’m not there yet on some of these, but my daughter is sooooo the crazy outfit girl! She came by it honestly, though. My mom would rock some pretty out there attire, but she was so confident that it somehow usually worked for her. I’m a lot more patient with it than I might’ve been otherwise, because I am glad to see a completely random personality trait from my mom in my little girl who never met her. If someone doesn’t like her outfit with the pink sparkly shirt, blue leggings and purple & black tutu….well, it’s their loss. 😉

  8. Oh, the clothing thing. The twins still try to wear pants to school that have paint stains on them. “But they’re comfortable!” they whine. Sigh…

  9. Hahaha, 7/8 is totally bigger!! The whole cross multiplying thing or whatever is one of the few things I remember from fraction classes. Aren’t kids just the worst? Geez, you miss one breakfast for lunch or wear your pajamas day because you forget to fill the account with money or didn’t see the damn form among the hundreds of other pieces of paper and you have to hear about it forever.

  10. This is great! I believe I’ve said to my husband on many occasions “How would I know what to do here? You act like they taught us how to handle irrational 6 year olds in parenting class!”
    Thanks for the laugh this morning.

  11. OK at the Wal-Mart deli counter the other day I asked for 3/4 a pound of some buffalo chicken lunch meat for my teenager. The lady there gave me 0.34 pounds of the chicken, not enough for half a sandwich in my son’s book. And the lady looked quite proud of herself for getting the pound thing exactly at 0.34. I didn’t have the heart to correct her 4th grade math error. Please tell your lovely daughter to stick with the math or someday her teenage son will go hungry. 5/6 = 20/24 and 7/8 = 21/24. Hate to say it but hubby was correct. I only know this because I have survived through four fourth graders at this point.

  12. Well Dustin’s the brains, I’m the beauty, so Dustin will help with homework while I…..go to the mall and the spa with them I guess. That makes sense, right?

  13. Clothing i stopped fighting over as long as it met dress code. I also found out that I wasn’t the only parent who gave up that fight, so I didn’t worry about being looked down on for that.

    I was upset (no, not really) that the school went to electronic handouts for all of their standard forms during M’s senior year. Some people will never know the pain of filling out the same contact/pickup/medical information year to year. Everything else was already computerized so they were almost completely paper-free for classwork too.

    • Filling out those same forms every year does suck. You would think they could just send something that says, “Check here is everything is the same from last year.” The same with doctor’s offices. But I guess then they run the risk of people being lazy and/or forgetful and not updating things.

  14. #2…….ALL the time! Why don’t they warn you when you have kids how much paper comes home each day?! It is rather overwhelming and not only is hard to keep track of pretzel day forms, but equally as tough to find places to hang all the lovely artwork, or should I say put some in the recycle bin with out someone seeing it. I’m all for hanging and displaying work to show how proud I am, but there is no possible way that can happen. I feel like I need a separate room for all the papers sometimes.

    Oh, and now you have me very scared for 4 the grade and fractions. That is going to need to be Ryan’s job! Sorry, Mr. Stein!;)

    • OH god yes, the artwork. I have become pretty good at hiding it in the recycle bin.

      • Yeah….me too! Kate’s ginormous paintings on butcher paper are quite the challenge though. Sometimes they have to go straight down to the recycle can in the garage?

  15. I’m convinced the school is trying to give me a stroke with all the paperwork they send home. But on the plus side, I totally love fractions.

    • A writer who loves fractions? You are a rare beast, my friend. I thought your kind was only mythological. I swore we who are good at writing were banned from enjoying math.

  16. This is so great! My oldest has started clothing negotiations too. Glad to see what I have to look forward to 🙂 thanks for sharing!!!

  17. Reblogged this on My Random Thoughts and commented:
    I wanted to share this because I absolutely loved reading it and ai thought someone else might also ☺

  18. I absolutely love this and it’s so true! I will keep this in mind when I hold my next parent craft class for expectant mums!

  19. You have just confirmed all my fears that I’m wasting precious complaint karma (yes, it’s a thing. I just made it up) whining about potty training. Fractions are coming. ::shivers::

  20. […] easier and that my timing is, well, often completely and utterly arbitrary. Today, my friend Kelly posted a funny take on some of the things about parenthood that she wishes were included in prenatal classes. Before […]

  21. Uh oh, we have all this to come…. Thanks for the heads up! 🙂

  22. True dat: EVERY. WORD! But fractions is just the beginning… who knew you had to remember your times tables, for like… 30 years?! 😉

  23. My eldest started kindergarten this year. They haven’t gotten into fractions yet but I’m having a difficult time helping him with 3+2=5.

    Our state (Florida) has switched over to to a teaching method called Common Core. I believe many other states have also. Common Core is a fundamentally different strategy to teaching math. I won’t get into the debate about it being better or not. But it is very different and has all different terms than I learned when I was in school.

    He came home the first day and his math sheet said: how many markers would you place in the five frame to model a way to make 5? He was looking to me for help. I just stared at his sheet and couldn’t even understand what the question was asking for.

    I went scrambling to google to figure out what all those term meant. Long story short, I would have understood the problem to look more like this: 3+__=5 But they had diagrams I’d never seen and term I’d never heard of.

    Once I learned the terms it wasn’t so bad. I never thought I’d have to re-teach myself kindergarten level math. I can’t wait to see what crazy new way they teach fractions now!

    • We know about Common Core here as well. Thankfully, my kids go to a parochial school, so their curriculum isn’t impacted in quite the same way. But I see pieces of it here and there, and it is crazy how things have been reworded. In all fairness though, I probably would still struggle with the fractions even if they were still taught the same way 🙂

  24. I don’t even know what led me here, must have been Facebook, and I have been entertained by your humor. My kids are all grown. They, unfortunately, remember everything I did wrong including 25 cent pickle days (yes, there was such a fundraiser for that 2nd grader’s trip to SeaWorld). Thankfully, I remember the approximate 3 things I did right. One of them was that they got to decide what to wear most of the time, but I had complete control of Sunday mornings and special occasions…enter a repeated phrase “It’s Mommy’s turn. That’s the rule. End of story!” Now, what were the other two things I did right…? I should quick write them down before my memory goes.

    • Ha!! It’s ALWAYS the school fundraisers that bite us in the butt, isn’t it? And you make a great point about the clothing. Pick your battles, right? I typically do let me kids make clothing choices, which is getting harder and harder to stomach with my 9 year old daughter, who is figuring out her own fashion sense. It’s one thing when a five year old is wearing mismatched clothes and odd accessories…most find it adorable. It’s another thing when a kid who is almost as tall as me does 🙂 Still, I try to give her enough breathing room, especially when it doesn’t matter. It has been a good lesson in compromise for both of us!

    • Oh, and whatever led you here, I’m glad it did!

  25. […] #8 3 Things They Should Teach in Prenatal Classes  […]

  26. Thanks for making me laugh this morning Kelly… Been there done that… got all the t- shirts. But a few things… the engineer didn’t know which was bigger? I would have googled it! And about the art work – guess we need to go back to ugly metal kitchen cabinets!

  27. Be glad she is still interacting with you. Soon, she will only roll her eyes and walk away. Sigh. Good news is that they turn away for away, but, when they come back, they are a joy! My 21 yo makes my day so often it’s almost criminal.

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