BECAUSE SOMEONE ASKED
Everything I do as a parent is improv and half-assed and accidental, and I would like to type something here like “and yet it all works out” but I guess time will have to be the judge of that. Heres hoping, either despite or because of my mothering, that Nora a stays off the pole, b does not turn out to be a self-important little shit however, a S.-I.L.S. Free Pass is given for the ages of 15 through 23, inclusive, and c figures out which people and what work make her happy and obtains a hefty dose of both.
So I dont have a “philosophy” about my mommy thing, but I do have plenty of hacks. I realized the other day that my number-one hack, the only thing that works every time just like Colt 45 is Making It Talk. Seriously, all I have to do to get Nora to calm down, chill out, stay on task, pay attention to me, or get shit done is make it talk. Doing a crazy dance instead of stepping into the underwear? The underwear says, “Hey, over here I need to be on your butt” Dinner not going in mouth? Sometimes it screams, “Dont eat me” Nora delights in ignoring the piteous screams of doomed vegetables. Our shoes want to be worn, the hairdryer asks to be turned on, my two fingers walk around and discuss current events. We act out the days schedule with pieces of cereal—Mommy and Daddy Wheat Chex head off to work, Nora Wheat Chex to school look at all the peer-group Wheat Chexes saying hello, here comes the babysitter Wheat Chex picking you up and making your lunch, etc. It never ceases to amaze me how Nora will instantly focus on and interact with the inanimate talking object, and how quickly she will respond to its exhortations.
Make It Talk. Also known as Puppets Are Fucking Magic. There you go, a free kid-wrangling tip for the day. Hopefully it will work for your similarly-aged sprog. If not, dont tell me, because my hamster-brain can very quickly turn an observation like “hmm, my child has a larger-than-normal tolerance for fantastical talking objects” into OH GOD SHELL BE TWENTY-SIX AND GREETING HER OFFICE SUPPLIES EACH MORNING. Although, if she made up a backstory for each item and drew a little mini-comic about it, maybe it would be okay in that case? Yes. Yes it would. Oh my priorities are so warped.
Also, if I ever wrote a parenting book, my “discipline” or “gentle guidance” or whatever-you-want-to-name-it chapter would have a section called “Stop Asking: How To Learn To Quit Saying Okay? At The End Of Directives To Your Kid” man, that one took me forever, and “Waiting For The Bus: Im Not Mad, Im Not Nagging, But Nothing Else Happens Until This Happens, Missy, So Get It Done And Lets Move On.”
For instance, if I were kidnapped at gunpoint and handcuffed to a laptop, with daily beatings until I produced such a tome. Because god forbid. If there is anything the printed-matter universe does NOT need, it is more parenting books.
mimi smartypants is still my hero
By Rob | Published: April 19, 2007