Happy family

1. Silence is not golden. Check your bathroom first.

2. Always shut your bathroom door.

3. And the bedroom door.

4. Invest in a king-sized bed. It’s not for you – it’s for your child

5. But also get a good bed for your child’s room. You never know, you might end up sleeping there some nights…

6. Never leave your phone with them, even for one second.

7. Install a password code for all electronic devices.

8. And make sure your child never see you key the codes in.

9. Keep all charging cables out of reach, especially if you’re charging your laptop. One little pull and…

10. Always have a pack of wet wipes in your bag, and in every room in the house. Trust me, you’ll need them till your kid is at least seven.

11. The same with tissue.

12. Keep a secret stash of snacks to be used as incentives (okay, bribes) when you really need your child to do something.

13. Keep a secret stash of treats for yourself to be enjoyed when your child finally settles down for that elusive nap.

14. All secret stashes should be kept out of your child’s arm’s reach.

15. When your child is sick, don’t google the symptoms. You won’t get any sleep that night…

16. Stock up on the basic medicines so you don’t have to lug a sick child to a 24 hour clinic or the hospital.

17. Always have a snack or two in your handbag. You never know when your child or you might need one.

18. Making beds is futile.

19. So is combing your child’s hair.

20. And organizing her clothes by colour…

21. Or his books by genre.

22. Never paint your child’s room walls white. Or any other wall in the house that he has access to.

23. Make sure all art materials are washable. This includes colour pencils, markers, crayons, paints and glue.

24. But still, never leave these items just lying around the house.

25. The same goes for anything sharp, like knives and scissors. Always, out of arm’s reach.

26. Avoid buying your child clothes with buttons or zips. If possible, every day should be tee-shirt and elastic shorts day!

27. Always check pockets before doing the laundry.

28. Don’t bother ironing his shirts.

29. Never buy in bulk. Kids grow really fast.

30. Always wait for the sales.

31. Give at least half his birthday presents away.

32. Remember to keep track of who gave him what though!

33. Always check the toilet seat before you use it.

34. Don’t leave your cosmetics, toothpaste or shaving cream next to the sink. Keep them safely out of reach.

35. Never promise something you can’t deliver.

36. Keep your word.

37. Kids love surprises! This way, they’ll never get disappointed or bored of waiting.

38. Always look for the “Yes” that you can say. (Eg. Yes, you can go to the playground – after your nap.)

39. Save your “No”s for what really matters.

40. Always ask your child to pee before you leave the house.

41. But still keep a few plastic bags or bottles in the car at all times. Just in case nature suddenly calls.

42. It’s perfectly normal that your toilet always smells funky. Invest in some good scents sprays.

43. Essential oils are overrated. If you do use them, make sure you keep them locked up, as they can cause skin burns and other complications if used indiscriminately.

44. Temper tantrums will pass eventually. Just breathe. And record at least one down for posterity’s sake.

45. Tantrums are not just for two year olds. There’s also the Terrible Threes, the Frightening Fours, the Foolish Fives and the Screaming Sixes to contend with.

46. Keep an extra set of clothes and diapers in the car. And at the grandparents’ place.

47. Always give yourself at least 15 minutes to get your family out of the house with their shoes on.

48. Velcro works best. Forget about fancy shoelaces or dainty straps.

49. Back up all your photos regularly.

50. Remember: It’s all worth it. Always.

By Dorothea Chow