Tag Archives: ignorance

Mary Poppins, I ain’t

I’m in awe that my children have survived thus far in their lives- after all, I have NO idea what I’m doing.

I’m a little ashamed of myself, really.  People who don’t have kids, or have been parents for, like, a minute, always seem to have all the answers.  I’d say it must be all those parenting books they’ve read, but I’ve read those books, too, and according to the “all knowing ones”, I know nothing.  Its shocking that my kids haven’t been taken away.

I admire all this “parental genius” that is still being thrust upon me after 12 years.  You’d think some people would see my pre-teen and would decide to bypass me when doling out their “wisdom of the ages”, but no.  They generously give of their insight, even if they’ve never had a need to use it or have ever used it themselves.  Its selfless acts like these that give me hope for future generations.

One would think that someone would see my 3 beautiful boys- 2 of which are in school and smarter than any boys I’ve ever known, and the other who is already showing signs of super android intelligence- and figure I know what I’m doing; they might see how generous my boys can be or take notice of how well they can behave (for OTHER people, mind you, but still), and those people might write me off as having it all under control.

Thankfully, those people are NOT fooled by pretty packaging.

Those astute individuals see the one moment my boys step out of line in their presence as a cry for help and the perfect opportunity to point out what we’re doing wrong as parents.  Those amazing individuals are never-ending in their pursuit to help mold me and the hubby into the perfect parents they know we can be with the same level of perfection that they themselves have had for the last 5 minutes and 53 seconds.

Do they care if the actions committed by my kids were normal, not out of the ordinary, and unavoidable?  No!  These wonderful people -diligent in their quest to right the wrongs of toddlers everywhere- toss logic to the wind as they step in to heroically save me from basic parenting situations.

So, I’d like to say thank you to all those wise, admirable, selfless, self sacrificing individuals who go out of their way to help me with parental “advice”.  I might not say it much, but -even though you don’t have boys (or kids) my sons’ ages (or at all)- I’m so grateful to you for offering up your opinions- most of the time without me even asking.  I know that I’ll never have the same treasure trove of knowledge that you do, so my only hope and prayer is that one day you have others in YOUR life so very willing and able to do the same for you that you’ve done for me.

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Well, hello, Miss Know-it-all

I’ve come to the conclusion that- after 11 years and 3 kids- I know absolutely NOTHING about parenting.

I console myself about this sad, pathetic little fact with the knowledge- yes, KNOWLEDGE, as in, I KNOW- that no one else really knows anything either.

Sure, some people will have claimed to finally have “figured it out”- that they cracked the code at last on how to deal with Baby Betsy or Little Johnny in any given situation, but- well, lean in close, will ya?

Closer.

That’s close enough-

Kids are smarter. They know how to change up their game! They’re continually holding onto that wild card with their grubby little hands. They hide their Ace so far up their sleeve that you couldn’t find it even if you shook out their shirt; and then, they’ll pull it out when you’re at your wits end- when your spirit has been crushed and your will has been broken- as a final nail in the coffin of your parental control.

What it comes down to is that kids ALWAYS have a game plan and its this: practice multiple plays, never use the same play twice, show no mercy and always wear your game face.

Maybe the old bribery trick worked last time. You were able to get through the shopping trip with no issues and all you spent (besides money for groceries) was the cost of a Snickers. You might be patting yourself on the back- $1 is well worth your sanity.

Next time, you won’t be so lucky. Next time, Little Johnny will have you screaming,”Fine! You can have the remote control car! I’ll even throw in rechargeable batteries! Just PLEASE stop whining for ONE minute!”

Maybe blackmail is more your thing. Its an admirable route, to be sure:”Be good or no sweets after dinner.” The problem is, you can only use that threat once. After that you have to get creative, and if kids know one thing, its that if they exasperate you enough, you’ll break down and start bribing them instead.(see above)

Or, maybe you’re the more MATURE parent. You’re reading this and you’re thinking,”I just put my foot down. No means no. My way or the highway. No ands, if or buts.” To that, I stand in awe of your parental utopia…

Also known as ‘Never, Never(gonna happen)Land’.

Nope. Just when you think you have it all figured out…

…you have kids.

Then you realize,”I know nothing.”

Public Service Announcement

Do YOU or someone YOU know suffer from an MTD?

MTDs- or Mentally Transmitted Diseases- are a growing concern in our society. To date, 1 out of every 2 people suffers from this condition, and with the advancement of technology and breweries -combined with the declined use of birth control- that number is on the rise. Studies have shown that by the start of 2012, more than 75% of the U.S. will come down with some degree of an MTD (w/ nearly ALL of California being affected).

Mentally Transmitted Diseases -also referred to as ‘Chronic Stupidity’ in most medical journals- is a tricky condition with a quick progression and no known cure. After contracting it, most patients won’t notice a difference, but their condition will most definitely be visible to the rest of the unaffected population- often through words and actions, but sometimes through just a few wordless expressions.

The horror of this disease is that, if you don’t know what you’re dealing with, you could accidentally and unnecessarily expose yourself. More often than not, it can take repeated exposure to contract an MTD, but for some -the really young, really old, or those with a hereditary connection- it can sometimes take just once.

So, how can you protect yourself and those you love? Nothing is guaranteed, but with a few simple precautions you can decrease the chances of contracting what can be a lifelong, debilitating disease.

~Remember ‘the 3Rs’

  • If you have found yourself in a situation where you’ve noticed that the person you’re speaking with is particularly stupid, REDUCE your exposure, if at all possible. Obviously, if this person is your boss, this will be next to impossible, but there are 2 other Rs to ensure your safety: REVIEW all information given to you and RECHECK all facts that pertain to you. (The chronically stupid often offer up needless information. For example, a coworker says to you,”I heard its going to rain today- it rained in Germany yesterday.” Chances are, they’re wrong on both accounts, but you only need to recheck the weather in your area, since even stupid people can be right 50% of the time. You can disregard the Germany reference OBVIOUSLY, unless you’re planning on traveling there anytime soon.)

~Wear Sunglasses

  • Ok, so maybe this form of protective eye gear won’t always work, but the theory is that if they can’t SEE your eyes, then there’s a chance they won’t be able to look directly into them. Direct eye contact seems to be a frequent source of transmission for MTDs. Why? Well, the most we can deduce is that since stupid people TRULY believe what they’re trying to convey to you, their words mixed with eye contact can cause you to question all you believe.

~Ignore them and/ or stare at them with a blank expression

  • MTD patients enjoy back and forth banter, so if you take this away, they will often leave you alone. Use this precaution with care, though, because stupid people often carry blank expressions and you take the possibility of passing for one.

~Distract them

  • Its a long shot, but if all else fails, you will need to distract the infirmed with something shiny and RUN.

So, what are some of the signs and symptoms, and what can you do if infected? We’ve already discussed a couple, but in the event that there is an infected person reading this, here’s a run down:

~a glazed over look when you ask a simple question (an exception should be noted not to necessarily worry in the early morning/ pre-coffee hours)

~an affinity for offering up pointless information during important times

~an inability to distinguish between the gas and the brake peddle (an exception should be noted for those with the occasional mental lapse during frustrating times- like driving with kids or stupid people)

~the confusion over what a turn signal is and how to use it

~noting a long line, and then deciding to either stand aside and make their own line and/ or waiting til their asked to get in line and cutting to the front

~the inability to ever admit wrong doing and/ or the inability to apologize when wrong

~the idea that all their thoughts and opinions will magically be known to you, although they have failed to open their mouths

~the idea that you CARE about all their thoughts and opinions

~the inability to distinguish between thoughts and opinions that matter

The list goes on and on, but I’m sure that you’ve gotten the point.

If you’ve found yourself in any of these descriptions and you’re wondering about what to do next, here’s the answer:

~Do something that requires you to use more brain-power than normal and DO NOT STOP until you feel your mental capacity increasing.  If you’ve gone for too long without help, it may take a while and you may not remember what it feels like to be using your brain, so try answering a few simple questions, such as:

  • Is it a good idea to text/drink and drive? (the answer should be ‘no’)
  • Are raising animals EXACTLY like raising kids? (you might want to answer ‘yes’ because of how they can act, but as long as you truly realize the answer is ‘no’, you’ll be fine.
  • Is it ok to leave your baby in the bath by itself while you play games on Facebook? (um, ‘no’)

The feeling that follows  will be like a light turning on or like you’ve just woken up- you might feel groggy and out of sorts.  Eat something, you’ll be fine- you’re on your way to recovery.

~If, however, that exercise doesn’t work, I’m sorry, but there’s no hope.  RUN, don’t walk, to the nearest clinic and get a prescription for birth control, or better yet, ask for sterilization.  You shouldn’t feel bad, though- you probably don’t understand anything I’ve just explained, so… Look!  Something shiny!

Remember- only YOU can prevent MTDs.

Ah, the sounds of nature

As you slowly open your eyes, you can see sunlight overhead.  In the distance, you can hear water trickling and smell coffee brewing.  You’ve barely raised your head off your pillow when you hear the sounds of something akin to a National Geographic special on animal packs- growling, hissing, screeches of pain…

One might think they were camping somewhere off in the wilderness.  Not you.  You know that you’re home, and those sounds you hear aren’t TECHNICALLY animals- they’re your children trying desperately to thin the herd.

Unfortunately for me, I cannot afford ignorance.  I know all too well that I’m not camping, although the question of whether or not the  sounds are coming from wild animals is debatable.  I’ve read in books about small children who awaken their sleeping parents with cereal, convinced they’re helping guard their parents’ hearts against the evils of cholesterol-

-or was that a Cheerios commercial?-

-either way, I’ve heard the tales of small children who behave in a way that makes their parents go,”Awwww….”, but so far I’ve only experienced small children that make ME go,”Ahhhhhhh!!!!”  Small children (with not-so-smallish intentions to maim and destroy) who awaken me with the gentle blood curdling screams that only a mother could ignore.  Sounds of crashing and evil laughter gently rouse me from my peaceful dreams, while every nerve in my body screams at me to run as if a hungry bear were on my tail.  But, much like you wouldn’t be able to outrun the bear, I can’t escape my job as mom- or, as I lovingly refer to myself, zookeeper.

Suuuuure, camping is great if you want fresh air and scenic views, but if you want to save a few bucks, let me know.  I have a big living room where you can pitch a tent and wait for the howling to start.

And I made this choice 3 TIMES…

I want the instruction manual that was supposed to come with my kids.

I also want to know why I was never allowed to register my kids to receive a longer warranty.

Ya know, you bring home this soft, sweet smelling, adorable little bundle and you think “Wow, he’s all mine.” And that first night you start looking around for the missing manual.

Its nowhere to be found.

Still, you think “I can do this”, so you stick it out. Little do you know that he’s prepping his lungs because- like any other muscle- he knows that if you don’t use it, you lose it.

You tell yourself “At least he’s healthy” and then its “Wow, do his lungs really inflate THAT MUCH?”.
Then after awhile you find yourself sleep deprived muttering useless things like “Now, now. There are coyotes in 3rd world countries that don’t have lungs as strong as his”.

Doesn’t make much sense, huh?

Did I mention “sleep deprived”?

As you continue to rock this child (secretly starting to wish that you could rocket him into orbit) it hits you that you’ll never be able to give him back.

You think about calling the hospital and asking about the return policy, but you remember how they gave a nervous chuckle when you joked about taking one of them home to help out, and you think better of it.

You console yourself with the fact that he won’t always be this age- needing you so much. Days turn into weeks, weeks into months, months into years. Suddenly you’re looking at this CHILD who isn’t a BABY anymore and you find yourself thinking “He’s not a baby anymore. He doesn’t need me at all.”

From somewhere in the distance you hear a subtle ticking.

As it gets louder and louder, the logical side of your brain tells you “Run!!! Run while you have the chance and don’t look back!!!”

Yet you reminisce about the soft, sweet smelling, adorable little bundle you brought home from the hospital.

You don’t stop to think about why hospitals have decidedly short stay times for new moms.

Baby with colic?

No problem- he’ll be going home in 1 DAY!!

As the ticking becomes the only sound you hear, the logical side becomes less of a yell and more of a pitiful whimper in anticipation of what’s to come.

For months you hear nothing but joyful thoughts of cribs and play pens.

And then it happens.

Your blessed first born starts to realize that he isn’t going to be the only one, and the acting out begins.

Suddenly, the logical side of your brain wakes up from the self-induced coma and starts to wail- too late.

Now you’re back at the beginning, and its not so bad.

The labor wasn’t THAT difficult- now that its over.

And he’s just this tiny, little, helpless thing.

So soft.

So cuddly.

A sweet scent of baby powder.

Oh, poor baby… he’s crying…