Friday, April 04, 2008

Parenting For Dummies

To close off our discussion of politics, VE suggests that we waterboard all the candidates to see if they have outstanding library fines. Not a bad idea...such a process could avoid an expensive special counsel investigation down the road - you know, Librarygate...

But my specialty is parenting, not politics. So let's get back to what I know best, okay? No one needs my opinion on the presidential race when I could be dispensing valuable advice on how to ignore one's children (hmmm, maybe next week's list?). Incidentally, I've put all my advice lists on the sidebar to the left there, under "Parenting for Dummies." See? Now no one has to waste good money on books by child psychologists and other novices - you can just look up an answer here on my blog. Questions about childrearing? Send them to me - I may not know the answer, but I can always make something up. Heck, that's what I do with my own kids, and they're all right. Sort of...

We had the boys' and girls' clubs here this afternoon; and one of the mothers mentioned how important it is to know your child's love language. I thought she was kidding and I started to laugh; so now she thinks I'm a monster. But, really, what parent needs a book to tell them that their kid needs a hug, or some praise, or maybe some one-on-one time with Mom or Dad? Parenting is more common sense than rocket science.

Make that, common sense and endurance...eighteen-plus years of teeth-grinding endurance...

I escaped from the house again this evening, because Theo had a job interview at a local supermarket. For some reason it took almost 2 hours. What's up with that? I mean, the kid is applying to be a cashier, not president of produce or anything. I had forgotten my knitting, so I convinced my best friend to meet me at the nearby Barnes and Noble (that's why she's my best friend, 'cuz she'll do that) and we ate banana-chocolate-chip pound cake (low fat!) and discussed the similarities between teenagers and dementors. Then we read magazines together and I tried to figure out how to answer my cellphone.

And I wonder why my teens think my life is boring....


  1. I would have been laughing right along with you.

    I had a friend who sent her kids to a progressive school where the parents were taught to send their kids "messages" about their behavior.

    One day I had enough. I told her daughter, "Alicia, I'm sending you a message. You're being a brat. Stop it!"

    We're still friends.

  2. Actually, I've heard good things about that "Love Language" approach. Maybe I should read the book. On the plane, with Trooper-Racer on the way to Florida tomorrow. (My husband suggests I call the airline and try to separate our seats.)

    I love B&N coffee...much better than Starbucks' burnt-tasting sludge. (I know, I'm the ONLY PERSON in the country who doesn't like Starbucks...a fact that is just begging to be made into a blog post.)

  3. B&N and poundcake? That's a rockin' night, in my book.

    By the way, that book is not about love language.

    No way could I have kept a straight face, either.


    Teenagers and dementors. Librarygate. Love language (I would have suppressed giggles too).

  5. Endurance is key to parenting. Definitely. I'm tempted to chuck in the towel all the time, especially with all these newfound tween-attitudes. Driving.Me.Crazy.


  6. Amen on "endurance". My baby is 18. My oldest turns 30 this year. How can I be the mother of an on-the-cusp-of-middle-age person? I'm only 16 myself!

  7. A friend who will show up at the last minute like that to hang out at the bookstore? Aw, man! I need me one of those! Does she not have kids or something?

  8. that is one helluva night out on the town girl? don't worry, in thirty years your kids will be BEGGING for a night like that!

  9. I'll be happy to learn my son's "love language" once he gets a handle on my "spanking language."

    In my group in FL there was a mom who subscribed to a very hands-off approach to parenting. She believed in letting a child do whatever they want, without correction of any kind, so they can learn their own lessons. She had only one child.

    I watched at a birthday party as she allowed her son to smash the birthday cake (not her son's birthday btw) before everyone had a piece. The birthday boy's mom was too shocked to begin to know how to respond.

    This mom is now having her second baby, due any day now, and I'm dying to know what happens the first time her son steps on the baby.

  10. Your child's love language? Coffee came out of my nose because i thought you made that up and I was so impressed by you.
    Glad you were able to make the best of your "free time" last night:)

  11. Gee, no-one calls me for escape and pound cake. :need a pouting smiley here: As for the Love Language book - the one for adults is pretty good. DH has come to realize that all his acts of service are really nice, but they don't say "I love you" the way he thinks they should. :D Don't forget to hit up your borders this weekend, too, for your educator's discount!

  12. Glad to know someone else laughed out loud at the idea of Love Language. The first time I heard the title, I think I spewed coffee out my nose. Must our world dissect EVERYthing?


  13. If one of the criteria was library fines, I'd never be elected to anything.

  14. yeah I agree, what parent would need a book to know her kid needs a hug or a kiss. my step-daughter's mother, stop kissing her goodnight when she was 5! and she never hugs her or kisses her, even when she has been at my house all summer.....cold hearted I think is the word for her.

  15. erin - You're on the hook now for next time...

    marie - I was almost that stupid with my first. Thank goodness I had more and wised up.

    madmad - Of course she has kids...4 of them, in fact...that's why she was so eager to get out.

    kalynne - Don't read it, just take away ST's car keys. That's a language any teen can understand.

    jenn - Yup, you definitely speak my language.

  16. I totally would have laughed. And probably rolled my eyes.

  17. How do you manage to have six kids AND actually get to spend two hours by yourself? I have 1 + 1 husband, and I never, ever get a minute to myself anymore.

  18. Ummm. My love language? Don't do anything that makes me want to kill you. Simple - do that and you'll get all the affection you need. Works for hubbies too. Oh, that and feed me red wine and chocolate.

    Great Post.

  19. Oh my word - the love language comment truly made me laugh; been there.

  20. You are just too funny! I've barely been on a computer for the last couple weeks but suddenly had the calling to come read your blog! I'm glad I did because now I've already gotten a good chuckle! :) Did you figure out how to answer the cell phone? Don't bother cause then everyone knows they can get ahold of you wherever you are and the phone calls don't stop!!!

  21. Can I borrow your friend? Mine moved out of state and I'm desperate. I guess that means I need to get off the computer and go out and meet people. I love waiting for my dementor's, unless there's other dementors with me in the car. Sometimes it's the only time I have to read without interuption. Now if I could just live without the cell phone, then I could have total peace.



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