I am constantly amazed by how much of my mother's parenting style I've adopted in parenting my own two children: emphasizing experiences (craft projects, outings, cultural events) over toys and gadgets; making dinners a sit-down, family affair every night; even leaving trails of jelly beans across the floor on Easter morning and telling my daughters it's Easter Bunny poop. (My mother is kind of silly -- and so am I.)
But there are some things I've learned not to do, thanks to my mom:
1. If your daughter asks if you can make her a puppet that looks like a real puppet -- like from The Muppets -- don't even try, no matter how well you sew. Because it will end up looking all worm-like and weird, without a neck, and your daughter will cry. And then she'll feel bad about crying, because she knows how hard you worked on it, and cry some more.
2. If you get on a health food kick, that's great, but just keep in mind: the words "carob chip" basically cancel out the word "cookie," and all the joy inherent therein. Also, sugar-free lollipops are not lollipops. They're -- I don't know what they are. Just... don't.
3. Don't make your daughter wear a wool cable-knit sweater and a plaid skirt with a gold kilt pin in it for any dress-up occasion, ever. It is so itchy, and nobody else wears these stupid things and I look like an old lady and PLEASE LET ME JUST WEAR A DRESS, MOM!!
4. Don't let your daughter talk you into letting her getting a perm in seventh grade. It will look bad. Like, really, really bad. And she'll cry.
5. Don't let your daughter "sleep over at a friend's house" the night after her high school graduation, unless you're OK with the fact that she's actually going to be camping out in a field behind some random guy's house with all her friends, getting it on in the grass with her boyfriend and drinking peach wine coolers all night. (Note: this is a purely hypothetical situation, and I'm sure it would never, ever actually happen.)
I love you, Mom. Thanks for the love, trust and carob.
This post is part of HuffPost Parents' Mother's Day series, exploring the lessons our moms taught us about parenting.
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