Saturday, May 15, 2010

DUGR #1

It didn't take much more than one or two weeks after our first child gained autonomous mobility that the inner workings of the first Dad U Golden Rule (DUGR) was falling into place:
  • DON'T CREATE WORK FOR YOURSELF
Not in the unhelpful/selfish kind of way, but in the "make sure its out of his reach now, before I have clean up the mess later" kind of proactive/self-preservation way. Note that anything is fair game at this stage of life, regardless of the fragility or price tag. An important principle of DUGR #1 is that work will likely have to be done up front, to ensure that 5 times as much work does not have to be done later. It's an approach that overlaps with the strategy of putting locks on all the kitchen cabinets, but has a different purpose. Jr is going to learn the hard way anyhow, so you might as well let them have access to the pots and pans. The only damage they can do with those are to dent the floor, doors or their head. DUGR #1 goes hand in hand with other strategies such as free access to a low drawer of Tupperware (not that I organized that, but it was always a big hit), and plenty of other "crawler-height" distractions/amusements (ie remove potential issues, and replace with workable options). I'd thought that over the years that DUGR #1 might be able to be pushed to the side lines as the kids got older. But its just followed them up through the age brackets, morphing along with them. eg "no swimming without goggles" is just as much about avoiding a 4 hr my-eyes-are-sore whining stint as it is about safety-paranoia.
I've found that DUGR #1 has remained more or less constantly in effect and has been one of the greatest time/hassle/objectionable-clean-up-duty savers I've come across.
Dad U
-be proactive

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