a how-to guide to bad parenting

I like to think that I am very nearly the parent I want to be. Do I have things to work on? Yes. Am I flawed? Extraordinarily. But I sincerely believe that is part of showing The Kidling what it means to be a strong woman: modeling self-love in spite of flaws and failures.

One of my flaws obviously being my affinity for alliteration.

But I have days. Holy shit do I have days. And let’s face it: those months weeks days are far better blog fodder than the good ones. One of those days was a particularly exhausting one. It involved errands, chores, and general crap. We returned home late and I hoped to get her straight to bed, but… she was a mess and really needed a shower.


Hurry! Hurry! Hurry! With constant harassment reminders from The Mama, The Kidling got in, screwed around in the water cleaned up, and got out.

Hurry! Hurry! Hurry! I gave her two minutes to use the toilet, wash her hands, and brush her teeth. Yes, I know this is irrational. Yes, I know that is impatient. Recall, Dear Reader, that this is a story of one of those days.

Hurry! Hurry! Hurry! I gave warnings.

Hurry! Hurry! Hurry! The one minute warning was accompanied by a grouchy yell from down the hall, courtesy of The Mama. Then, the clock ran out. I marched my frustraed, irrational ass* into the bathroom, took the toothbrush out of her tiny hand and told her she was finished.


“Why?” She asked, on the brink of tears at the injustice of having her toothbrush whisked away without explanation.

“Because your time is up.” The Grump The Mama replied.

“Oh. I didn’t know,” she explained in a voice full of sincerity. “You didn’t have to yell at me because I knew I had one minute and I don’t know time!”

The Kidling was earnest.
The Mama was humbled.
The Dada was right:

“She makes a valid argument,” he noted.

Indeed she does.


* You read that correctly. At this point, even my ass was ticked off.

neglect, or why i am a strictly average blogger

Sheesh. I get a great idea then I don’t follow through consistently. Being human is so. damn. irritating.

I somehow neglected a very important step to accompany Tuesday’s story about love. With apologies to the dictionary lovers everywhere…

Per-cep-tionnoun. A social event held for the purpose of celebrating a specific occasion, typically a wedding. Syn. party, soirée, bash, reception.


The Kidling had the good fortune to spend the better part of two weeks with two different sets of grandparents. Yes, she is the luckiest Kidling in the world. No, she was not happy to be home. The fact that she hopped out of the car upon arriving home to find a stack of her artwork in the recycle bin did not ease her re-entry.

Unfortunately, at the top of the stack of recycled masterpieces was a wocket-less pocket. The Mama, being the horrible human being that I am, tore off the feathered head of the wocket before tossing the remainder-pocket and headless wocket- into the stack.

The Kidling was understandably heartbroken. Fits and tears ensued. I held her and talked with her about how we can’t keep everything, blahblahblah. The recycling creates more paper for her to use for her art, blahblahblah. There are more trees in the world when we recycle, blahblahblah.

She wasn’t buying it.

Alice: (crying) Why are there so many noes? Why is it always ‘no’?

The Mama: (calmly) Alice-

Alice: (wails) Why is it always ‘no’? Why, from parents, is the answer always ‘no’?

The Mama: (more calmly) Alice, it isn’t always ‘no’. Mom and Dad say yes to you-

Alice: (interrupts, again. wailing, again.) Why, from parents, is the answer almost always ‘no’? Why is the answer almost always ‘no’? (continues into perpetuity. Seriously. I am pretty sure she is still talking about it, and this was 10 days ago)

I need to learn to cover my tracks.

things that go **drip** in the night

The Kidling, bless her heart, is way ahead of the curve on virtually everything. Gross motor skills, language acquisition, charming people’s socks off… the list really could go on and on. I’m not going to bore you with the details, but suffice it to say that her list of positive attributes (a sense of humor, good hair…) includes easy toilet training.

That The Kidling is such a quick study is a beautiful and amazing thing; however, it has a downfall. I tend to be blindsided by backsliding. Because of The Kidling’s general pre-eminence and brilliance (and fabulosity and light and…), I forget that she will occasionally have incidents.

Or shall I say, accidents.

The Kidling went through a period a few weeks ago where, several times each week, she had accidents in the middle of the night. No surprise, really, except that it is. Add the 3 a.m. factor to the surprise factor, and The Mama can’t promise a lot in terms of her reaction.

My reaction. Who do I think I am, Bob Dole?

As I was saying. My 3 a.m. brain leaves a lot to be desired. This would be true of anyone, but it is especially true of a dripping wet child who wonders what the heck her mama, The Mama, is thinking. When The Kidling wet the bed one night, I started to get her out of her wet pajamas and moved on to stripping the urine-soaked bed. The Kidling, cold and wet, offered a swift rebuke, “Mo-om! Dry me off first! Persons are more importanter than beds!”

Oops. Stupid 3 a.m. brain…

the abyss*

Rumor has it if you have one of these little blog things, you are supposed to write.


Forgive me? I will be back in the morning… And I will try to stick around.


*Otherwise known as, the place from which I am returning.

munchkin bossy pants kidling

The Family had a bad morning Wednesday. B-A-D bad. It started out nicely enough. As I returned home from my run, I saw that The Kidling’s light was on. That ought have been my first clue, as an early-to-rise kidling is often the unhappiest type of kidling.

But she fooled me.

I walked upstairs to say good morning and found her playing nicely with a toy. She had my bathrobe next to her and told me she had wanted to bring it to me when she woke up, but she couldn’t find me. Sweet, no?

Those kidling types can be a tricky bunch.

Shortly thereafter, all hell broke loose. I have no recollection of what set her off, but experience tells me I probably dared to utter the only offensive “n” word The Kidling knows: NO. What happened next is a bit fuzzy. There was some conversation about hurrying and following direction, some refusal to follow said directions, and a little talking back sprinkled in for good measure.

Mix it all up to yield a big consequence.

I hate to tell you all what I did, as I fear you will think I am a total monster. You see, we aren’t spankers, so that wasn’t an option. We were plum out of time, so there was no way a time out could be used. Because kidlings operate in the here and now, threatening trouble later on in the day would have been useless. And, of course, there is no way I would have remembered it anyway.

So I threatened to throw away the rest of her birthday cupcakes leftover from the day before at school. No, really. I did. I was sure, dear readers, that she would clean up her act.

But she didn’t.

And I threw those delicious cupcakes right into the garbage can.

Crying commenced immediately. Tears, screaming, flailing: the whole nine yards. We left for preschool and she was still crying. Drove down the street: still crying. Got to school: you guessed it. Crying.

So The Parents went to work and tried to pretend that wretched morning had never happened. It almost worked. Then we came home. An uneventful evening of general good-natured behavior by The Kidling followed. Then she took a break to use the toilet.

Are you wondering where this is all headed? You should be.

The Kidling bopped out of the bathroom to tell us something that was not at all very important. She, of course, did so before bothering to pull up her pants. I told her to pull up her underwear and her pants and wash up before coming to tell her story, and she giggled. That’s when I noticed.

The Mama: Where are your underwear?

The Kidling: I didn’t wear underwear the whole day! (bends over to show me her bare bum)

The Mama: (suppresses a giggle) How did you forget your underwear? Tomorrow you need to wear your underwear.

The Kidling: Okay… Maybe I was too busy getting bossed around.

Maybe indeed…

reality check

The Kidling is such a damn good kidling that sometimes The Dada and I get a bit, shall we say, confident.*

“Surely,” I think to myself, “we must be doing something right if The Kidling is so stinking amazing.” It just takes a little not-so-free association to get from “we must be doing something right” to “we must be getting this right” to “we must be getting everything right.” That last one, of course, means we are flawless parents.

Or maybe not:

Alice: Can I watch TV?

The Mama: No.

Alice: (in a sing song voice) If you do, I’ll let you have one of my quarters!

The Mama: (suppressing laughter) That’s very tempting. We’ll see.

Alice: (still singing) Or twooo-ooooo!

So perhaps bribery is a too frequently used tool in our parenting arsenal. I dare you to honestly profess your own innocence on that count.


* By “The Dada and I,” I really mean “I.” Whatever.

thursday morning gross-out

“I just passed a soft toot.* That means I have to go to the bathroom.”

-Alice Munchkin Kidling

October 21, 2012


* Known vernacularly as a shart. I know. I am a horrible human being and Alice will refuse to clean the drool off my chin in old age as a direct result of this post.