Welcome, baby! 12 gifts that new moms want the most

baby sleeping

The greatest gift of all: a nap.

New baby gifts! Fun to receive, fun to give, almost impossible to get wrong.

The only truly unwelcome baby present I’ve ever gotten was tucked into the bottom of a “welcome, new baby!” basket from my church: it was a pamphlet titled something like, “So, Hear Me Out, Now. There’s This Thing Called NFP That You Might Maybe Want to Try. . . “. And yes, this was after I had literally written the book on NFP.

I really can’t complain, though. I’m horrible about giving baby gifts, myself. I almost always just bring a fuzzy wuzzy outfit or an adorable bonnet, because it’s fun to shop for those things. But I’ve been on the receiving end of dozens of much more thoughtful, memorable gifts over the years. Here are some of my favorite ideas, which new moms seem to universally appreciate:

1.The tried and true meal. I never manage to prepare freezer meals ahead of time, and I always think, “Oh, we can get by with chicken nuggets and pasta for a while.” But nothing beats having the whole thing taken care of by someone else — whether it’s something elaborate and gourmet, or just a bunch of sandwiches ready to eat.

Best practice is to contact the new mom first, find out when the best time would be to drop by, and don’t plan to stay long — or, if you’re friends and know this would work out, offer to come over with groceries and cook a meal at the new mom’s house (and do the dishes afterwards!). Always ask if there are any allergies or preferences in the family.

And be specific.”What would you guys like to eat?” is great; but to a fuzzy-minded postpartum zombie, even better is “Would you rather have Specific Meal X, Y, or Z?” If you are feeling super helpful, include disposable plates and utensils, and don’t put the food in containers that you need back.

A variation: a gift card for take-out delivery. No matter how well a day starts out, things are guaranteed to look pretty bleak by dinner time. It’s a happy mom who knows that all she’ll have to do at 6 PM is open the door, open a pizza box, and call it a day.

2.The gift from the heart: cash (or gift cards). Not every family needs money, of course, but paternity leave is rare and many moms are losing income while they recover. There are always extra expenses when a baby is born, and nothing eases stress and speeds recovery like knowing, “Oh, I can pay for that.”

Also welcome are gift cards for Amazon or other stores where the family can pick out what they really need, whether it’s a frilly newborn dress, diapers and wipes, toilet paper and dog food, or a treat for the rest of the family when everyone’s stressed out. A friend once gave me thirty dollars, and I still remember how fabulous it felt to go out and splurge on a de-frumping postpartum haircut.

3.The favor that lightens the load. At our school, there is a monthly lottery for “Rock Star Parking” right next to the door.  I will never, ever win this, because you get entered by being on time all month. But my punctual friend Angy did win, and she donated the spot to me (as did another friend, Patrick, last time I had a baby). It may not sound like much, but when it’s icy and muddy and I’m lugging a baby in her seat and dragging an unwilling toddler in snow boots and an Elsa dress, a good parking spot makes my life significantly easier five times a week. Score!

Other possibilities in this category: an offer to pick up and drop off other kids at school, or an offer to do the weekly shopping — or maybe an offer to be a shopping companion, on those first difficult trips out with a baby. Think back to when you had a new baby in the house. What did you really struggle with? Is there any way you can lighten that load for a new mom and dad?

4. Treats for other young kids. The non-newborn kids can feel a little lost and overlooked in the first weeks. How nice for them (and for an over-extended mom) to find a few little (non-messy!!!) activities to keep them busy. Sidewalk chalk, new crayons, coloring books, picture books, small stuffed animals or dolls, or a DVD (something you know the mom approves of) can cheer up siblings and give mom a needed respite.

5. Treats for mom (or dad). No matter how happy we are to welcome a new baby (and not be insanely pregnant anymore), it’s a bit of a shock to suddenly stop being the pampered patient, and suddenly start being the round-the-clock caretaker. Most moms appreciate a thoughtful little token present to make them feel pretty or cared-for. A bottle of wine or a box of tea, some fancy chocolates, or something pretty for her hair or skin — or maybe a gift certificate for a manicure or massage — is a nice gesture that says, “You’re more than a diaper-changing machine.”

Something nice for the new dad would probably be welcome, too. They’re often nearly as worn out as their wives, but nobody’s fussing over them.

6. Sincere, specific offers for cleaning, babysitting, or other practical help. “Let me know if there’s anything I can do!” is a pleasant thing to hear, but a thousand times better is, “I would like to donate my teenagers for a couple of hours, if you need help with laundry or cleaning the bathrooms and kitchen, or if you’d like me to take your other kids to the library so you can nap. We are available on the following dates, so let me know if you’re interested.” Or even, “I would love to offer you a couple of weeks of housecleaning service. Would that be helpful to you, or would that be weird?” (Some families are too private for this kind of gift.) Lawn care, snow shoveling, or some credit with a diaper service might also be welcome.

7.Handmade, personalized, or heirloom items (with no strings attached). Hands down, handmade gifts are my favorite in the long run, and older kids love knowing that someone made them just for them, back when they were just a baby. A few that stand out: two blankets made by my sister (one crocheted with intertwined trees and a lovely shell pattern, cherished by the now three-year-old, and one quilted with upcycled denim and flannel, complete with pockets that delighted my son when he got older), and a life-changing co-sleeper built by my brother-in-law and sweetly painted with dancing dandelions. We also love the patron saint icons and medals that various godparents have sent.

Just remember, even if you spent a lot of time and thought on a gift, the new parents are not obligated to display it on their wall or dress the baby in it at Easter time. A gift is a gift, so give it with love and then let it go!

8.Photography session. If you are good with a camera, a newborn or family photography session could make a lovely gift. Just be clear that it’s just an offer, and you won’t be offended if the new mom isn’t up to getting everyone brushed and dressed right away.

9.Used or new baby clothes or equipment IF the mom confirms she really needs and wants them. Mothers of big families may have more baby stuff than they know what to do with, so another bag to sort through may or may not be helpful. On the other hand, mothers of big families have often completely lost track of their stash, or rashly given it all away, so don’t assume that she already has what she needs! The key is to ask.  And be clear whether you’re offering a loan or a gift, and if you’d like any unwanted items back, or if she should just dispose of them however she likes.

Baby equipment I’ve found most useful, besides a carseat and stroller: a Boppy pillow,useful for nursing, for propping up a baby’s chest, and for supporting a wobbly baby who is learning to sit; a Bumbo floor seat is a clever, portable, washable seat that we’ve found to be very handy. An extra-large and soft receiving blanket is also very useful for swaddling, as a sun cover, or for some privacy while nursing.

10.Prayer and words of encouragement. A Mass card or enrollment makes a nice keepsake, but Catholic moms also appreciate prayers of any kind. “We’ll offer Mass for you this week” or “We’ll remember you in our family rosary” is a gift that anyone can offer. If you’re not a pray-er, words of encouragement or admiration can also make a huge difference in those first exhausting, sometimes isolating weeks.

11.Gift certificate for a restaurant or hotel — with no expiration date. Some couples are dying to get away, but some would rather hunker down at home until baby’s much older; but most parents like to know they at least have the option to do some non-infant-related activity together at some point.

12.And you don’t have to wait for the baby to arrive. For some women, the last few weeks or months of pregnancy are physically and emotionally harder than the postpartum time, so any of the ideas above would probably be gratefully welcomed by an exhausted preggo who is starting to feel like her baby will never, ever come.

What’s missing from this list? What’s the best baby gift you’ve ever gotten?

Dealing with busybodies: some practical tips

Morning_Gossip_NOLA

For a sociable or tender-hearted person, just saying, “None of your business. Buzz off!” isn’t a real option. So how do we handle busybodies with grace, tact, and peace of mind?

Read the rest at the Register.

Dear Simcha, Vol. 2

irene pie

Dear Mr. Pfischurr, if that is indeed your name,

I was thinking of sending a small I mean very very large sustaining donation to EWTN last year, but then this year I noticed that you’ve been writing for the Register for something like four years, and that certainly explains a thing or two in the downturn in quality that I have definitely noticed a lot; and my accountant, that I definitely have because I am a wealthy donor, feels the same way.  It’s stealth liberals like you who are responsible for at least 90% of the souls who have been lost since the Council of Trent. I don’t know how you sleep at night.

P.S. You have yellow teeth, ha ha, why don’t you get a real job?

In His Name Plus Lots of His Blood and His Mother and His Mother’s Blood,

Albigensius Maximus

Read the rest at the Register.

Dear Simcha, Vol. 1

Happy Thanksgiving!  I know that many of you are very busy and/or really depressed today.  Some of you are alone, and many, many more of you desperately wish that you were.  So, rather than tax you with a challenging or insightful essay, I thought I’d take this opportunity to clean up my inbox and answer a few of the questions that people have asked me recently.

***

Dear Simcha,

By this time of day, I’m supposed to be basting the turkey for the fifth or sixth time so it will be golden and delicious in time for our Thanksgiving feast.  But I haven’t even defrosted it yet, because I spent all of yesterday watching Benny Hill and drinking the rum I bought to make rum raisin bread pudding.  (I also ate all the raisins, which is a separate problem.)  So now I have eleven guests coming in a matter of hours, and all I have to offer them is 22 pounds of solid turkey ice.  I can’t even get the bag off.  I think I may still actually be drunk.  I’m so ashamed.  What can I do?

Signed, Filled With Regret

Dear Filled With Regret,

Lucky for you, I’m an avid historian, so I can save your sorry hide with my expertise!  It’s a little known fact that turkeys aren’t even an authentic Thanksgiving main course, so it’s actually quite acceptable to serve something else.  Forget that boring old bird.  Instead, call yourself a purist and dish up what the original Pilgrims probably had for their main course:  a couple of juicy wild eagles.  If no eagles are available, swan is an acceptable substitute.  Just don’t forget the traditional eel-and-poopberry compote for a side dish.  And they drank hot tar from wooden cups.  Hope this helps, and bon appétit!  Or should I say (since French had not yet been invented in Pilgrim times), Huzzah!

***

Dear Simcha,

I’m eleven months old.  My mother is fairly useful, and I’ve gotten accustomed to her smell.  She can even be kind of funny sometimes, like with that noise she makes when I grab her lips and twist them around. But she has one really bad habit, and I don’t know if I can tolerate it anymore.

Sometimes, when I’m awake, she puts me down.  On the floor.  For minutes at a time.  She does this even though she knows perfectly well that the floor is a completely inappropriate and demeaning location for someone of my social standing (I basically run the household).  Also, it’s harder to bite her nose when she’s not holding me.  I’m at my wit’s end.  What do you suggest?

P.S.   Also, she sometimes tries to put socks on me.  Socks, in November!  How am I supposed to deal with this level of idiocy?

Signed, Benedicta

Dear Benedicta,

The main thing you need to keep in mind is that your mother really loves you and is trying her best, but that, because of the demands of her current schedule, she has the physical prowess and mental acuity of a damp Kleenex.  She knows, deep in her heart, that putting you down is the wrong thing to do, but she feels that she can’t help herself.

What she needs is someone to help snap her out of her pathetic, self-pitying state.  Have you tried screaming?  If that doesn’t work, have you tried screaming more?  I really think you should try screaming, followed by some more screaming.  Good luck!

P.S.  Don’t forget that thing you do, where you put your little head down and then look up with your big, brown eyes.  Once she reassembles herself from the puddle she instantly becomes when she meets your gaze, she will want to pick you up, because you are a cutie wootie wootie, oh yes you are, and Mama loves you very much, oh yes she does.

***

Dear Simcha,

We’re having relatives over for Thanksgiving.  We are polar opposites on just about every issue, and every other year, the feast quickly devolved into a screaming match, and everyone went home furious.  Grandmama has convinced us to patch things up and get together again this year.  We’ve already agreed not to talk about politics, but there are so many other divisive topics of conversation.  How can I be sure that we will have a peaceful and pleasant day?

Signed,
William Makepeace Crackery

Dear Bill,

Don’t underestimate the healing properties of just the right menu.  Here are a few recipes that might just do the trick, and will give you the happy, quiet holiday your battered soul needs.

***

Hey –

Leaving the office in a few minutes.  Will meet you at Mom’s.  Thanks for making all eleven kinds of pie.  It’s so much easier to choose which one I want when I can actually see them, you know?  Oh, some guy was selling puppies out of his trunk, so I picked up a few.  You’re so good with words — you can name the one with bowel problems.  See you soon!

love, D

Dear D,

>>The following address has permanent fatal errors:  simchafisher@gmail.com
(reason: 540 OY-001 (FEH0-GRR4-FU23)
In order to avoid being placed on a permanent block list, please reconfigure your message so that it includes no puppies, and more gin.

[This post originally ran at the National Catholic Register in 2012.]

At the Register: When Your Child Has Problems

Bouncing off Jen Fitz’s advice for Christian parents of transgendered children, I have a few things to say about children in general:

When a child begins to exhibit some behavior that is worrisome, it’s easy to panic, to jump to conclusions, to apply adult-style significance to juvenile behavior, or to assume that we can make a diagnosis based on a single symptom or habit.

Here’s the basic idea, whether we’re talking about a child who is actually fine, and just going through a phase, or a child who actually needs professional help:  remember that we’re talking about a person, not a problem.

Read the rest at the Register.

At the Register: A Few Tips for Making Hard Choices

BECAUSE I LOVE TO GIVE ADVICE! And my life is not a complete and utter catastrophe, so I must know something, right?

At the Register: True Suffering Isn’t Photogenic

Don’t add pain to pain by expecting it to “hurt so good.”

PIC emo tears and mascara

Advice for mom who is unexpectedly expecting?

A reader writes:

Dear Simcha, do you have any reading material suggestions (in print or online) for me?  I have an adorable 8 month old and just found out I am unexpectedly expecting another one!  I intellectually know this is a blessing but yet could use some encouragement about how to overcome the panic?

My answer:

First of all, congratulations on your pregnancy, AND don’t feel like you have to Feel the Right Thing right away. I always figure it takes nine months to get used to the idea of being pregnant; and it’s possible, even normal, to be welcoming of a new baby and horrified at being pregnant, all at the same time.

I just got a book called Tiny Blue Lines: Reclaiming Your Life, Preparing for Your Baby, and Moving Foward with Faith in an Unplanned Pregnancy. I haven’t read it yet – not even the first page – but it’s getting good reviews, and sounds kinda like exactly what you are looking for, so I’m taking a chance and passing the name along.
It’s a really, really good idea to find other people who will understand what you are going through. I used to belong to this message board for people who use NFP. It’s grown a lot since my day, but there are many, many women (and a few men!) there who will understand exactly what you are dealing with, and will be your real (online) friend.
Other than that, make sure you are praying with your husband every day – even just a quick thing. There is no substitute for being united and at peace with your spouse with the help of the Holy Spirit.  If at all possible, an hour a week at adoration can make a huge difference.
Hang in there! I know it’s to feel at peace about it, especially as you look forward and wonder what the next few decades might hold. I had my first two kids fourteen months apart, and the second and third kids fifteen months apart.  It’s hard, but definitely not impossible, and very often a joyful life, especially when you’re young.  And remember that you are giving your child a magnificent, irreplaceable gift in a sibling.
Readers, any other suggestions?

7 Quick Takes: “Fair’s Fair” Edition

Don’t worry, it’s not another scholarly fisk of the cultural significance of Billy Jean.  I’m talking about the county fair!  The fair!  Who doesn’t love the fair?

If you’re taking your kids to the fair for the first time, you are going to hate it.
It will be, second only to the birth itself, the most miserable, sticky, disappointing, and ludicrously expensive day of your life as parents.  You will go home wondering why you just paid hundreds of dollars to make your kids this dirty and unhappy.
Also, you’re fairly sure you had eight children when you left the house, and now you only have six.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.  We kept trying and failing to have fun at the fair, and eventually we worked out some guidelines.  And this year, it finally happened:  we actually had a good time! All of us, even the wimp, the show-off,  the escape artist, the malcontent, the spoilsport, the worrier, and everyone.
Well, the baby actually hated it, but she kind of hates everything right now.
So here is how we managed:
–1–
MONEY
Start saving money last year.  I’m serious — this is an expensive day.  You have to just accept that it costs what it costs, and there is really no point in making the effort if you’re not going to go whole hog.  Be prepared to shell out for admission (and possibly parking), ride tickets or passes, food, souvenirs, and possibly for special rides or shows — plus emergency cash for something unexpected, like bug spray or a bail bond.
And do some research.  There are usually a few cheaper days and a few expensive days, so work out exactly how much it will cost to do everything you want to do.   I recommend going on an unlimited pass or bracelet day.  We tried individual tickets, and it was not only more expensive, but made us very anxious, because we had to pace ourselves and conserve tickets.
–2–
WEATHER
Check the weather report! A wonderful day can be ruined by  clothes that are too hot or too cold.  Once we went on a rainy day, and lost a whole hour off our unlimited ride time.  And once we went on such a hot day, everyone just wanted to sit on a bench and suck down lemonade.  Which we could have done at home for much cheaper, with slightly less of that nauseating barnyard smell.
Bring sunblock and lots and lots of drinks.  The screaming, walking around, and the general excitement will make your kids even thirstier than they normally would be after a day outdoors.  There will be drinks for sale, but they will be EXPENSIVE.   Have I mentioned this?  It’s not because I’m a cheapskate; it’s because I don’t want you to have to tell a weeping 7-year-old girl, “I know I said you could ride the pony, but Mama spent her last $6 on your fourth lemonade!”
–3–
GETTING LOST
Make sure your kids know what to do if they get lost.    We tell them to first yell and yell (in case the rest of the family is right around the corner) and then they can go to a policeman,  someone behind a counter, or someone who looks like a nice mother, and say, “I’m lost – can you help me find my parents?”
Make sure your kids know their parents’ actual names (a surprising number assume Daddy’s name is “Daddy”), and what their parents are wearing (my daughter once described me as “the one with the haircut”). Dress your kids in distinctive clothing and write down descriptions of everyone (“black sweatpants, a Jack Kemp T-shirt, and a homemade haircut”) in case you need other people to help you find them, and are too flustered to remember what they look like.
The earlier in the day you go, the smaller the crowds will be.  Know which kids are likely to bolt or wander away, and give them a special lecture beforehand.  (We didn’t need one of these until kid #7 could walk, and then we needed it desperately.)
–4–
PACING
Plan for variety, especially if you need to stretch your money.  Do something thrilling, then something where you sit down, then something where you wander around, then a snack, then something for the older kids, then something for the younger kids, etc.  Save something primo for last, so when it’s almost time to go, you can say, “Okay, the fair is over . . . but not before we do such-and-such!”  Makes your exit much happier.
Bring the roomiest stroller you have.  The fair is completely exhausting for little ones, so kids who’ve outgrown the stroller might need a ride.  Also, it’s helpful to have somewhere to stash all those drinks.
–5–
FOOD
In order to make the effort and expense worthwhile, you will want to be there for several hours  — which means you will be there during a meal time.  I recommend packing a picnic for the meal, and spending your money on snacks, instead.  Kids don’t appreciate an $8 steak sub, but they will always remember getting a cloud of cotton candy or a caramel apple with rainbow sprinkles.
What we do is arrive at lunch time, but then go on rides right away before eating.  The kids would have been too excited to eat at first, and would have just pecked at the meal, and then begged for snacks later.  After a few rides, they were happy to take a break for sandwiches and chips.
–6–
STICKINESS
Succumb to the stickiness.  Your kids will be just disgusting by the end of the day:  sweaty, sugary, dusty, and, yes, possibly throw-uppy (although that never happened to us, miraculously).  It’s a good idea to have them wear clothes you don’t care about. Be smart about timing:  they can ride the Neck Snapper, but not right after eating one of Doody’s Famous Fried Pickles.
Bring a change of clothes for the youngest kids, and plastic bags.  Trust me on this.  Sooner or later, you will be stuck holding something that desperately needs to be wrapped up in a plastic bag.
–7–
EXPECTATIONS
Discuss expectations ahead of time.   Before you even enter the grounds, let them know what they will be doing, and what they will not — and stick to it.  How many rides can they expect to go on?   Will you be playing games, buying a meal, buying snacks, buying balloons, buying toys, riding the pony, seeing a show, seeing the animals?   Especially if you have lots of kids with various desires, just winging it will lead to someone feeling disappointed.  (We skip the games of chance altogether, and just let them pick out a souvenir.  Not as exciting, but cheaper, and less heartache.)
My husband and I discuss our expectations, too:  we remind each other that our #1 goal is to give the kids a super fun day, and that we will both try our hardest to be patient and generous, and do our best to give the kids what they want (within reason). A day of fun is no time to teach lessons. It’s okay to be over-indulgent once in a while, as long as you’re doing a good job on most other days.
Also, this may sound silly, but unless you’re getting home late at night, it’s a good idea to have some mild treat waiting for them at home — lollipops or a special movie.  Kids are tricky, especially if they’ve been looking forward to something for weeks– and now it’s over.  You will expect them to be grateful and satisfied, but they will likely feel exhausted, let down, and cranky.
So go easy on them.  Tomorrow, you can go back to the old routine, but it’s nice to do whatever you need to do to keep things pleasant today.  And once the kiddies are in bed, you can have a nice little drink and put your feet up.
And for goodness’ sake, take better pictures than I did.  Never before have so many knees, ears, and backs of heads been captured for posterity.
Oh, before I forget:  check out the other 7 Quick Takes hosted by Jen at  Conversion Diary, and leave a link of your own!  Or, wait, it’s actually at Betty Beguiles this week, I forgot!

 

7 Quick Takes: HTH

Hope This Helps Edition

In which I solve seven common problems

 

–1–

Did you spill soy sauce all over the place?   Need a mother’s day present?  Or just a crapload of squares?  Try this amazing new product.

–2–

Are you a really, really good mother who somehow understandably forgot to brush your daughter’s hair for a week, and as a result did not catch her major head lice infestation until a well-meaning relative, who probably mostly just wanted everyone to realize that the BBQ was dragging on a little too long, saw fit to do a “Hey, everybody,guess who has HIGH ANXIETY?”

to let you (and everyone within a forty mile radius) know that your daughter has a major lice infestation?  Well, you should try this fairly new system of blow-drying Cetaphil.  It Actually Works (although our kids needed four weeks of treatment, not three), and you don’t have to wash everything you own and spend a million hours picking nits, which isn’t as much fun as it sounds like.

–3–

Are you ready to leave the beach, but are miles away from home with a miserable baby whose fat, fat leg folds are coated with gritty sand?  I am all for packing lightly for the beach (three rules:  no food unless it’s a major birthday;  if you want a toy, you have to wait till a non-resident beach goer is looking the other way; and I don’t want to hear about your towel), but one thing we always bring is baby powder.  Sprinkle it generously on the baby (or anyone else, koff koff, whose fat legs make them cranky), and the wet sand comes right off, and you won’t feel like such a monster strapping an uncomfortable little one into her car seat.

–4–

Are you craving chips and salsa, but looking for a healthier alternative?  Try pretzelsand salsa.  It’s less fatty, and tastes just as good as pretzels and salsa.

–5–

Were you absent during grades K-12?  Here is a handy reference to all you need to know:

  • The Indians helped the Colonists by showing them you can put a dead fish on corn
  • Eli Whitney
  • Suffragettes (1912-1913)
  • Typing

Bonus College Quick Reference:

  • When something drops a horrible, rotten dead fish in your yard, you should consult an oracle to see what this means for the future of the republic.  If no oracle is available, just get your husband to throw it in the bushes.

There, now you are all caught up.

–6–

Thinking of home schooling?  Here is the single greatest  piece of advice I’ve heard (and I just gave the book away, and can’t come up with the author’s name).  I was immediately drawn to this book because, unlike most home schooling books, the cover didn’t look anything like this:

source

Which is a lovely picture, but discouraging.  Look at that posture!  And the kid is wearing white, and her face, while solemn, is not tear-stained!  And the curtains don’t appear to have any poop on them!  So instead, on the cover of this book was picture of a girl wearing a bathing suit and cowboy boots, doing her math on the floor under the kitchen table.   Now, add someone smearing Spaghettios on the wall and calling it art, and another kid deliberately ripping the first kid’s math work and calling it justice, and that would be a good day in our home school.  So the piece of advice was this:  whatever kind of mother you are

source

that’s the kind of home schooler you will be.

This sounds terribly obvious, but every year I fell into the trap of hoping that home schooling would, among other things, fix my defects as a mother.  It would force me to become organized, encourage me to be patient, ensure that I would follow through on projects, motivate me to go out and meet other people, etc. etc.   Now, I did improve in all of these things.  But I did not become transformed.  I was just me, home schooling.  This should not discourage you from deciding to home school; it’s just something you ought to know.

–7–

I don’t know exactly what this is good for, but it seems like it might come in handy.

Well, I hope that answers all your questions.  See Jen at Conversion Diary to leave a link to your own Seven Quick Takes, and don’t forget to link back to Jen!  Have a lovely weekend, everyone, and remember, it’s important to throw a firecracker when you light it, but NOT AT DADDY.