Wednesday, August 24, 2011

There's a Book For That

I have absolutely no idea how to raise my child.

It's not like they give you classes or make you pass an exam in order to have a child. One day I went to the hospital to have this 7-lb, 11-oz mass removed from my abdomen, and they handed me a baby, a total stranger, and said I had to take care of him for the next 18 or so years. WTF? How is that fair to either of us? What, I'm supposed to automatically know what to do with a PERSON I've never met before just because he came out of my body? Who designed this shenanigan?

And so, like any good clueless, but well-intentioned, mammal, every time some sort of crisis or mini-crisis or whatever has come up, I've thrown a book at the problem. Not an actual parenting book; those are for sissies, and besides, I've yet to hear of one that isn't 100% full of crap ideas that never work in real life, where they insist you try to reason with your child in some way that does not involve lollipops and/or massive time-outs. One night, when our son was having a particularly bad night terror (he gets those), I found my well-meaning LAWYER husband in our son's room trying to reason with him. With a two year old. At 2:30 in the morning. During a night terror.


Husband: "Son, calm down. You are acting like a wild person. Try to use your words and tell me what the matter is so we can talk about it."

Me: *shoving a sippy cup full of milk into my son's wide-open mouth and walking away*

Lesson: You can't lawyer away a toddler's night terror.

No, I don't believe in parenting books.

But I do believe in letting adorable cartoon animals do the heavy-lifting parenting for me. Why should I do all the work, when writers who clearly are better at imparting sage life lessons can do it for me? I don't call it lazy parenting, I call it smart parenting.

When my son started hitting, we read this.

When it was time to give up the bottle, we read this.

For potty training we read him this, this, and this.

He learned his colors by reading this.

To encourage him to give up his paci (YES I KNOW, SHUT UP), we're reading him this.

And to prepare him for his younger sibling we have this.

And today, after his nap, we're off to the big B&N to buy "Everybody Poops." Because bribes with candy and his own messes in his undies aren't working to get him to do #2 in the potty, and I'm plum out of ideas. What, like I've ever had to potty train anyone before? There are experts for that. And if the book doesn't work, maybe my husband can draw up a contract for him or something.


Anonymous said...

I'm going to sue you for being a jerk!


Meredith L. said...

I love you too, snuggle bunny!

Anonymous said...

After raising five children, I tell parents, "Relax. Your child will not be *wearing diapers/sucking his thumb/breastfeeding/sleeping in your bed/(insert other baby behavior that has you in a tizzy, here)* when he graduates from high school."

It's true enough that I can say it with confidence. Although, sometimes it's a close thing...

Meredith L. said...

Marlene, I was pretty sure my son was going off to college in diapers. As it is, he may not poop again until he gets to his dorm in 16 years.

one-vice said...

Evie won't poop in the potty yet, either. She hides in her closet or under a table to do the deed in a Pull-Up. She is a dainty lady, after all.

Meredith L. said...

Like her mama!

The Referee said...

I had to laugh when I read your post! I thought I would never survive my kids. When my daughter was 8, I was really struggling. My doctor suggested a book called "Understanding Your 8-Year Old" (there is actually a whole series of these books). I thought she was nuts, but I bought the book and it described my daughter to a T. It made me realize I was not alone, no matter how much I felt like I was. So hang in there!

Meredith L. said...

LOL, thank you Referee!