Since around the time Pearl turned one (i.e. hit the toddler stage), I have been awarding myself mental merit badges. Basically, when I do something as a parent that I feel a sense of accomplishment about, I give myself a merit badge to pin on my imaginary parenting sash. (I was never a Girl Guide so I have no idea how this actually works. Everything here is imaginary.) While this makes absolutely no real difference, it makes me feel good about myself. And isn’t that what parenting is all about? (Haha, no.)
Here are the merit badges I’ve earned so far:
- Getting hard-soled, lace-up shoes on a toddler. (The first time Pearl wore these shoes, she lay on the floor, dragging her legs behind her, as if she’d suddenly lost the ability to walk. Which was hilarious and frustrating because it took me a long time to get those shoes on. For the next few weeks I skillfully shirked responsibility and let Peter put her shoes on but I have now get the hang of it. Which means she’s almost outgrown these particular shoes.)
- Putting sunscreen on a toddler. Less painful than shoes but still involves a sort of full-body hold using my legs while I smear sunscreen over any and all exposed skin and generally get it on both of our clothes.
- Washing AND drying Pearl’s favourite Bear without her noticing.
- Wrangling both a dog and a one-year-old out of the house and to the park. (Not my dog so I don’t have to do this all the time but the timing is always tricky. They both get very excited when they realize what’s about to happen.)
- Successfully strapping Pearl in to back-carry position in the Ergo all by myself. Bonus points because neither of us cried and I didn’t drop her!
- Shifting (somewhat) painlessly from two naps a day to one nap a day and stretching that nap out past two hours.
What parenting merit badges have you earned? How do you reward yourself for a parenting job done to a mediocre standard?