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June 4th, 2005:

Parenting 101

Those of you who are parents can read what Julia has written and nod your heads. Those of you who aren’t but plan to be can read and learn (and you should). Those of you who plan to remain child-free can read and feel smug or relieved, your choice.

Two things to comment on:

It’s hard. It’s really, really hard. It’s really, really hard not because the work itself is all that difficult, but because you don’t get to go home from it and it’s not on a schedule you control.

Though establishing a schedule is not realistic, you can establish a routine. Routine is your friend. Watch Supernanny and see how installing a routine is often her top priority. There are more parallels than one might sometimes like to admit between having a baby and having a dog, and one of them is that both respond well to routine. Trust me on this.

Right now, you’re probably wobbling from lack of sleep, you haven’t had this little personal space since you were in diapers and you’re probably wondering what in hell you were thinking. It’s understandable. Certainly nobody told you about most of this before you were plunged in it.

There are lots of things they don’t tell you about. My personal tote sheet includes ringworm, the constant need to trim baby fingernails (and the extreme reluctance of the baby to let you), and the endless list of things that one can learn to do one-handed if one is sufficiently in need. They also don’t tell you just how much fun it can be. That can be hard to remember sometimes, but you’ll get plenty of reminders at other times.

Olivia turns one year old on Monday, meaning she’s just entering the toddler stage that Julia writes about. I expect I’ll be reviewing this post again soon and often.

Strayhorn certifies the budget

Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn has certified the state’s budget as balanced, meaning it can go to Governor Perry without further intervention from the Lege. In 2003, Strayhorn initially refused to give her seal of approval, and that action, which came after months of Perry-baiting by Strayhorn about the budget cuts, was seen as strong evidence of her eventual intent to run for Governor herself. This year, the budget was mostly noncontroversial – hell, compared to the fights over HB2 and HB3, it was practically an afterthought – and Strayhorn has mostly been in the background as speculation swirls around Senator Hutchison. And speaking of KBH:

Referring to the legislative session that ended Monday, the senator said during a brief interview, “I was disappointed like every Texan that the key issue facing our state, which is school reform and a way to fund it that takes the burden off property owners, was not dealt with.”

“We have a situation in which the courts may be making the decision,” Hutchison said. “I think elected representatives should be making those decisions.”


Pressed on a timetable for her to announce whether she will challenge Perry, run for re-election or perhaps retire, a smiling Hutchison said only, “I will not be making an announcement today.”

I imagine KBH’s rebukes will become more pointed after that annoucement has been made. As for Strayhorn, I expect she’ll keep us on our toes as usual.