Having been inspired by Jenn’s attempt at out thinking her daughter, I would like to share some of Dawn’s top “Don’t’s”, in the realm of parenting.
Yes, Yes, we all know now about the dangers of throwing Bitty Baby shoes in your child’s direction. But these are some lesser know, but equally hazardous moments in my parenting career.
At this point I would specifically like to make a professional disclaimer. As an early childhood guru, many of these things I would have never suggested or done with the children in my care. I mean, I was getting PAID to rear these other children. No, these fuck ups were entirely with my own child.
1. When your child is 3 weeks old and can’t possibly roll over, do not try to simulate your body with pillows next to her on the bed. You will do this in an attempt to move away from her, while she is sleeping so you can – I don’t know – Pee without holding her. Perhaps you will even attempt to seek nourishment. You will be sitting on the couch and hear a distant, but distinct noise. You will be chewing a food item. You will think “Hmm, that is an odd sound”, as you chew quickly. You will hear the sound again and think, “No, really, that IS odd”. You will trip over the coffee table as you realize that this is the muffled sound of you baby – screaming. She is muffled, cause she has rolled, face first into the pillow. Cause 3-week-old babies never roll. But yours does.
2.In an attempt to “teach your child who is boss” you will attempt to Ferber her over the course of the week. You will find that your 11 month old has far more will power than you, as she is perfectly happy to scream bloody murder for six hours, without falling to sleep. She can sleep all day. She has nowhere to go at 7 a.m. But you do, you sorry Mo-fo.
As you walk in to her bedroom at the prescribed increasing 5 minutes intervals, your child will look at you with bottomless hatred and disgust. At 5 a.m. on day 4 of this marathon, you will pick her up and pop a boob in her mouth and fall asleep. Cause this Ferber dude must not have slept in the same house with his kids. And he sucks.
3.Because you are the Director of the child care, your child will become a brutal biter, with many, many victims. These victims’ parents will address you – Director- and say things such as “I don’t know what is wrong with that Biter’s parents. I mean, they must not be doing a very good job at parenting”
4.After watching Marie Osmond give advice on some talk show (cause before she went all crazy, she was an Uber mom), you will think it a good idea to snip the ends off of your child’s binkies. Cause Marie says that the baby will lose the pleasure of sucking the binky when the end is nipped. Your baby is 2 and needs to give up her binky…Right? Everyone says so.
So you do this. You present the modified binky to child, who loses her shit and begins to wail “YUCKY MINE! YUCKY MINE!” as she flops on the floor kicking and screaming. This goes on until your frantic husband finds an unmodified binky and says “What the hell did you do that for?” Your child gives the binky up at 4 when she is damn good and ready thank you very much.
5.When the monsters begin to live in the closet and under the bed, you read a Parents magazine that recommends making “Monster spray” by purchasing a small spray bottle and decorating it with glittery stickers. You will then present it to your fearful child and empower them with the knowledge that they can concur their fears by using this “Monster Spray”. Then your child will be able to come to terms with the monsters ( which are only an manifestation of the child’s growing awareness of the dangers of the world – as they seek more and more autonomy), in a self esteem and empowering sort of way. You will buy this shit hook, line and sinker. You will make the bottle. You will present it to your child.
Your child will react by shrieking, “The monsters are going to eat me!” (or a reasonable facsimile with the binky in her mouth) and screaming as she runs in circles. She will then attach herself to your body and attempt to climb up onto your head as she continues to scream about the monsters.
You have unwittingly acknowledged and confirmed the existence of the monsters, that you had heretofore staunchly refused to agree were real. You will have to show your child that you are throwing away the “Monster Spray” so the “monsters” won’t go all postal when they find out she has acquired such a tool.
Thanks Parents magazine. A real life saver there.
Ah, yes. Don’t do these things. If you do, your child will still be sleeping with you at age 7. Learn from my mistakes, people. Do not listen to child development experts like me! Throw away those magazines. You’ll find your way, I promise.
Originally posted February 2006