Things I vowed I wouldn't do but now do:
Snap my fingers. My mom always did this to get our attention when she was on the phone or we were out in public. It drove me crazy. Now I do it. It's handy, not too loud or obnoxious to those not targeted, and gives me a brief moment in which to gather my thoughts enough to figure out what words to use.
Say, "We don't do X." I always thought this was quite false, although my actual memories of it date from it being applied to younger siblings. Maybe Mom didn't do X, but clearly the child did or why would it be an issue? Now I realize that it's more a way of communicating that the prohibition of X is a law of general moral or practical applicability (We don't bite, whine, play in the toilet water) rather than regulations limited to a specific time, place, or age (You may have only one cookie). Of course, my own childhood experience ought to demonstrate that it doesn't really communicate that, so perhaps I need a different phrase. Maybe "We shouldn't do X."
Things I still vow I won't do:
Say, "You're being a bad example." Now, I concede that occasionally, pulling an older child with a strong personality aside and briefly pointing out their potent influence on the younger and more impressionable children in a group can be productive. I'm not talking about that, but rather about the promiscuous use of this phrase in front of other people of every age and condition. I've heard it used in the grocery store. I've heard it used on children not yet two. I've even heard it used when I, as an adult, was the only other person present. Clearly in these cases the parent was not trying to develop latent leadership abilities. I was completely puzzled as to what they were trying to do, when I finally realized the unspoken end of the sentence: "You're being a bad example . . . of my parenting skills." Too bad. Children don't exist to exhibit your parenting abilities, and they're not going to be moved by your embarrassment. Nor should they be.
Take my children out in their pajamas. (Except possibly to very early morning church services.) On the other hand, I have not the slightest qualms about putting them to bed in their clothes; in fact, I nearly always do, since cotton play clothes are cheap and readily available, while cotton pajamas, past 12 m size, are rare and expensive.
Things I refuse to feel guilty about not doing:
Daily baths. D1 at least got them every other day when she was a baby, and she had terrible diaper rashes. D2 gets baths about once a week, but yesterday he got two hot ones in a row in an effort to soak an infected scratch on his leg. This morning, for no other apparent reason, he had his first-ever nasty diaper rash. I'm going to subscribe to the theory that frequent bathing washes away natural protective oils. Fortunately his scratch is about healed.
Baby signing. This is the thing to do these days if you're an involved and concerned parent. We tried a few with D1, and she picked them up, but she usually learned to say the word about the same time. I'm trying to convince D2 to learn "more," but he prefers his own invented sign, which is banging both hands on the tray and hollering at the top of his lungs. He would seldom have cause to use "all done." And I don't know enough other signs to really teach him much. Sure, baby signs are supposed to help stimulate verbal development and improve communication skills. But I bet Demosthenes, Cicero, and Patrick Henry never had such advantages. So I don't think I'll permanently stunt my children if I never get around to teaching them.
DOB: I love the smell of Crayola crayons. Basically for the same reason you like the smell of your grandpa's cigarettes.
QOC: Your grandpa smoked crayons?
If you have a baby who is learning to pull himself up, you should either always wear long, sturdy pants in his presence or shave your legs.