8 things you'll get right with the next kid.
1. Your next kid is going to respect the half-hour limit on screen time. The only person you have to blame for your current kid's tendency to scream bloody murder anytime you reach for the iPad is yourself. You're the one who didn't set and enforce strict rules limiting screen time from the get-go. Your next kid will respect that he or she only has 30 minutes per day to watch PBS, play educational video games, or text with pre-approved friends (Shauna Burton, yes; Sarah Lapkus, absolutely not). In fact, your next kid will love having more time to read the classics, play outside, or just be alone with their thoughts of someday acing the SATs. Your next kid is never even going to use the words Frozen and "soundtrack" in the same sentence.
2. Your next kid is going to be an excellent student. Your next kid isn't going to tell you the night before that he or she hasn't even started a research project on Tecumseh that was supposed to take months. That's because you're going to be more engaged with your next kid's academic life. You're going to be more like Dean Tufaro, who somehow chaperones all the field trips even though he works full-time. You're going to know when your kid has a spelling test. And you're going to go to Back-to-School Night even if it conflicts with the season premiere of The Good Wife. Your next kid is going to be like those Putman kids, who according to legend, come home after school every day and do their homework right away.
3. Your next kid is going to have great personal hygiene, a reasonable fitness level, and a strong body image. Your next kid isn't going to sit on the couch for hours, eating Oreos by the sleeve, because your next kid is going to be reasonably athletic—the kind of kid who gets picked for the team somewhere in the middle. Not first—let's be realistic—but not last, either. Your next kid isn't going to wander off in the middle of the soccer game to pick his nose on the sidelines, and then get left there by the coach because frankly he's most useful to the team in that position. And that's because you're going to set a good example for the next kid. You're not going to moan and groan about having to go to the gym, because you're going to get really into Zumba or something and talk at length about how great it feels to get up and move the body God gave you. Your next kid will pick up on that.
4. Your next kid is going to love the outdoors. The only reason your current kid thinks walking from the car to the entrance of Target counts as a hike is because you were too lazy to take her camping when she was younger. This is definitely something you can fix with kid number two, who will never, ever say that "dirt" is gross, the sun is "dumb," and the giant redwoods of Sequoia National Park are "gay." Sure, napping in the guest bedroom on a Saturday afternoon is about ten thousand times more appealing than dealing with the aftermath of your child peeing into a patch of poison ivy, but a little effort goes a long way. You have definitely learned your lesson with this first kid, right?
5. Your next kid isn't going to have such horrible-smelling farts. Seriously, if you didn't know your current kid's father passed gas that could take down a small airplane, you'd think there was something wrong with his bowels. No beans, broccoli, or cheese for the next kid. And maybe you'll invest in those carbon-filter underwear that neutralize odors. They're expensive, but with the next kid, you're going to do things right!
6. Your next kid is going to think of you as a friend. You get that it's perfectly normal for your kid to find you embarrassing and only refer to you as "stop talking to me." But you think you can do better with the next kid. Yes, you're going to cultivate a persona as the approachable parent by never asking prying questions, but always being ready with an honest answer. You're aren't going to dumb things down for your next kid; you're going to tell it like it is. When your next kid is ready to talk to someone about puberty, your next kid is going to come to you first, not some freaking 12-year-old named Lizzie Cozzarelli, who will try to convince your little girl that her period means she's dying.
7. Your next kid will have two parents who give a shit. It's time to admit that you rushed into things with Drew. Sure, he's an excellent provider, but when was the last time he cooked dinner, or put his own socks in the washing machine, or read your current kid a goddamn book? It takes two! And as for you, you're no Parent of the Year either. Your next kid is going to be much happier with his or her new family, and you're definitely going to go through the paperwork from the adoption agency and pick out the perfect caregivers as soon as you're done watching the 23 new movie trailers that came out on iTunes since you last checked.
8. Your next kid is going to be born with blue eyes, an even temper, and natural brilliance. Because you are going to use whatever science can offer in the fields of embryology and genetic manipulation to get the ideal kid from the get-go. Yep, your next kid is going to be just perfect.
(by Shira Rachel Danan)