it seems i cannot walk into any barnes and noble, half price books, borders without seeing an entire section devoted to "parenting." i've read some of those books and i am not sure those people even have kids. and if they do, i know for sure they don't have my kids. i have four kids of my own and people are always asking me, "how do you do it?" and saying, "y'know you should really write a book!" no, i'm totally kidding there. no one asks me anything when they see me out with my motley crew. in fact, they back away slowly and carefully and I am sure more than a few have asked themselves, is she nuts? or catholic? (and i answer "yes" to both). but, even though no one asks me - i am ready to give some sage advice on parenting to that sector out there who is ready to hear the truth. that is, the truth that they don't sell at barnes and noble.
there is no way i can give you all of my advice in one blog post, so i am going to just give you a few gems now and possibly a few gems later. we'll see if you can handle the truth. today the two topics will be: 1. projectile vomiting and 2. talk like your own mother/father
we will start with projectile vomiting. mainly because that seems like a fine place to start. where most parenting books start with conception, i prefer to hand you something that will really help you handle the situation when it arises. and if it has already arisen i hope that you will concur with my advice and rest assured that you have handled it successfully.
the ins and outs of projectile vomiting
a. what is it? it is scary, nasty, linda blair vomit that FLIES out of your possessed infant/child's mouth as if being propelled out by satan himself. if you think i am exaggerating - you have not experienced it. projectile vomiting usually occurs suddenly with little to no warning (possibly a strange look in older kids that could be mistaken for gas). and it most often occurs at night, in the car, at a busy restaurant, when you are all dressed up on your way to some place fancy, or at grandma's house when she has company.
b. what should you do if your child starts this vile behavior? GET HER/HIM TO A NONCARPETED AREA AS QUICKLY AS YOU CAN IF NOT FASTER. this is critical unless you want to be smelling this vile nastiness well into next week.
c. divide and conquer the following tasks with whoever is the closest unfortunate soul. COVER YOUR FACES with a bandana, scarf, gas mask or whatever you have handy so that you do not begin to projectile vomit yourself (believe me one person vomiting is fun enough for everyone). the tasks that must be accomplished (depending on the age of the afflicted child): bathe the child thoroughly (ears, hair, and other crevices are places vomit loves to hide to be discovered later when you are trying to comfort said child), disinfect (like with powder or something else that successfully masks nasty smells just in case some is still hiding somewhere) and change the child, make sure they are in a washable area and not crying anymore (they will then need to be left so that you can attend to the other tasks), strip all bedding, wash the affected walls, wash the dog or cat if they were so unlucky, take the mini-van to get detailed, apologize to grandma's horrified friends, write a check to the restaurant for damages, re-do the kid's bed and line with something that can be easily washed, spread a shower curtain liner under the crib/bed, and finally place the sickie snuggly in their new rubbermaid bed.
d. keep saying to yourself, "i love this kid."
e. repeat steps b. through d. for the next 24 hours because it never happens just once or conveniently in the bathroom.
f. know that what goes IN will come OUT again. so make sure it's something you can stomach seeing and smelling again soon. i recommend - water, clear gatorade, water, pedialyte, and water.
so simple. if someone had told me this eight years ago it would have avoided a lot of heart ache. much more useful than "how to tell if your two month old is gifted."
okay. topic 2. talk like your own mother/father
remember when you were young - all those things you said you would NEVER say when you were a mom or a dad? well, believe it or not when good parenting fails - there is a time for these phrases. there are so many that my own mom used and so many that my friends' parents used that i couldn't possibly relate all of them. so, i will just bring up a few in list form. they each are effective at their own times. with more frequent use you will quickly learn these phrases effects on your own kids. experiment and have fun!
1. my all time favorite (in response to the question, "but, why?") - BECAUSE I SAID SO. love this. use it liberally and your kids will learn it so that they can say it to their kids and you will live posthumously.
2. CLOSE THE DOOR! DO YOU THINK WE ARE TRYING TO AIR CONDITION THE WHOLE NEIGHBORHOOD???
3. you are this close (fingers indicating a very small area) to being in this much trouble (hand indicating a very large area).
4. a stitch in time saves nine.
i like to use little gems like this with kids who play DS's and sit in front of the TV all day long. i like to do it when they are being especially cranky and difficult because they have no earthly idea what i am talking about. they will invariably stop, cock their heads to the side like a dog, look at me like i am plumb crazy, and forget what they were ranting and raving about just one second ago.
5. start a "well, when i was a kid................................." story. kids HATE those. nothing will lull disruptive kids into quiet stupor faster than a story about the eight blocks of snow you had to walk through when you were a kid.............with no boots.
6. while you are at it - do something your mom or dad would have done back in the day. one of my personal favorites is public shows of affection when my eight year old boy is misbehaving. nothing like a kiss on the cheek to rein him in QUICK.
well, folks. that's all i got for now. i hope that you have been brave in handling the truth. and i hope that this has been useful and that you can examine the real side of parenting. if you are not brave enough, well...........i know where to find you. ;o)