“Oops, sorry . . . what’s your name again?”

11.  Accidentally addressing your child with an incorrect name. This is particularly lame if you call your child the family pet’s name, which I’ve done on more than one occasion. “Now you stay there for a moment, Karl [name of wily pooch] . . . I mean, Eloise.” “No, Ka—Eloise—you can’t climb onto the couch.” I’m not trying to compare, in my case, infants and pets; but let’s be honest—the watchful eye required to manage small children and unrelenting pets is sort of similar. To my defense, my dog predates my child, my marriage, and my first encounter with my husband by a few years, so it only seems natural that my instinct is to bellow the dog’s name when trying to halt havoc. Still, it’s worthy of a smidgen of shame, as the little lass is neither a wiry blond nor smelly. She can, however, partially deafen you with her high-pitched shrieks, which I believe may have been influenced by the dog’s insanely high-pitched barks. She also begs for food now that she can poke small snacks into her mouth all on her own.

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