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Recently I found myself at Target in the midst of a power struggle with my strong-willed 1 year old…

As Jack is squawking loudly, arching his back, and throwing his body back; I calmly explain to him why he has to be buckled into the cart. Like he cares or can even understand what I’m saying. As I firmly plant his butt down for the 50th time, a woman comes up to us and addresses Jack…

“That’s right! You need to be buckled in because if you’re not you will fall out on your head like my son did!” My eyes widen as Jack silences. She looks at me and explains, “Luckily it was winter and he was wearing a full body snow suit!” We both laugh. “Well as a Mother of 6 grown children..” she continues…

And I swear to you, she didn’t stop for at least 15 minutes. As she was talking, I thought 2 things: 1) I can’t believe this is the first stranger that has given me unsolicited parenting advice and 2) I should probably listen to her, she has 6 kids!

So here was her hilarious advice that day in the Target aisle…

On boys: Boys need 2 things: home cooked meals and wide open spaces.

Getting them to eat their veggies: First you make a steaming bowl full of every veggie you can think of. Then at dinner time, you put it in front of yourself and no one else. When the kids say “Mama, can I have some?” You say “No this is special, only for Mommies.” The next night you do the same thing only this time, you give them a taste. Then repeat! Works like a charm.

Teething: Those teething rings are useless. Wet a wash cloth, roll it up and stick it in the freezer overnight.

Power of silence: When you really want to scare them, all you have to do is be silent. “Uh oh, now look what you did, Mom’s REALLY mad now!”

Settling fights: “That’s it, I’m taking you both to a wide open hill and you can beat each other and settle it once and for all.” They were so scared they stopped fighting.

Esther: That Esther was a smart lady. She didn’t bombard her man as soon as he walked in the door. No, she made a feast, waited until he was full and happy, and then made her request. “What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be granted.”

I jokingly suggested I get her number. “507-28…” And so her number is now safely in my phone. And honestly one of these days I might actually call Sheri. I mean I think we can all appreciate those who have been there, done that. So next time instead of your rolling eyes when strangers offer advice… it might serve some good to listen. You never know what you might learn (or be entertained by)! 😉

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I'm Kelly, a UX designer at IBM Interactive, brand designer, and blogger. I live in Minnesota with my husband and our 2 little guys.




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