Parenting Merit Badges

Since around the time Pearl turned one (i.e. hit the toddler stage), I have been awarding myself mental merit badges. Basically, when I do something as a parent that I feel a sense of accomplishment about, I give myself a merit badge to pin on my imaginary parenting sash. (I was never a Girl Guide so I have no idea how this actually works. Everything here is imaginary.) While this makes absolutely no real difference, it makes me feel good about myself. And isn’t that what parenting is all about? (Haha, no.)

Also, give yourself flowers. You've earned it.
Also, give yourself flowers. You’ve earned it.

Here are the merit badges I’ve earned so far:

  • Getting hard-soled, lace-up shoes on a toddler. (The first time Pearl wore these shoes, she lay on the floor, dragging her legs behind her, as if she’d suddenly lost the ability to walk. Which was hilarious and frustrating because it took me a long time to get those shoes on. For the next few weeks I skillfully shirked responsibility and let Peter put her shoes on but I  have now get the hang of it. Which means she’s almost outgrown these particular shoes.)
  • Putting sunscreen on a toddler. Less painful than shoes but still involves a sort of full-body hold using my legs while I smear sunscreen over any and all exposed skin and generally get it on both of our clothes.
Pearl brings me flowers because I'm such a good mom. (Don't worry, she's wearing sunscreen in this picture.)
Pearl brings me flowers because I’m such a good mom. (Don’t worry, she’s wearing sunscreen in this picture.)
  • Washing AND drying Pearl’s favourite Bear without her noticing.
She loves this bear so much.
She loves this bear so much.
  • Wrangling both a dog and a one-year-old out of the house and to the park. (Not my dog so I don’t have to do this all the time but the timing is always tricky. They both get very excited when they realize what’s about to happen.)
This is Bella’s guilty face because she knows she’s not supposed to be using the couch pillows as her own personal pillows.
  • Successfully strapping Pearl in to back-carry position in the Ergo all by myself. Bonus points because neither of us cried and I didn’t drop her!
  • Shifting (somewhat) painlessly from two naps a day to one nap a day and stretching that nap out past two hours.

What parenting merit badges have you earned? How do you reward yourself for a parenting job done to a mediocre standard?

7 thoughts on “Parenting Merit Badges”

  1. I laughed out loud at the imagery of Pearl dragging her feet!

    I gave myself a badge the first time I went grocery shopping when one kid had to walk. And a bonus one when that had to happen at Costco. I did not consider this when we decided to have kids close together.

    1. It was hilarious! One of the most overly dramatic moments I’ve ever witnessed.

      Grocery shopping with a child walking definitely earns a merit badge!

  2. Having a toddler sounds an awful lot like having a cat, especially when I’m trying to wipe away an eye boogie for her or get her harness on so she can go outside. I’m picturing similar wild wiggling and wrestling leg holds. Except I don’t feel bad when my cat is mad at me.

    1. Hahaha! I’ve never owned a cat but it does sound similar! My girl absolutely melts down when you wipe her nose. I don’t feel that bad when she gets mad since toddlers also have short memories and are easily distracted by looking outside or a shiny object. (Also like a cat.)

    1. I’m sure you have definitely earned some merit badges. “Survived First Day with Infant” should be one! I’ll have to check that podcast out.

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