Monday, November 12, 2012

plotting, fear, and parenting

Recently we had some child-less friends over.

No, no, no, not that kind.  I know you immediately read "childless friends" and pictured the people you silently wish demon children on because they have parenting aaaaallll figured out already.  The ones who will never swear in front of their children and will teach them to sleep in on weekends while always saying please and thank you and loving their broccoli.  Pssh, right.   

These aren't those kinds of friends.  Generally, we run those people off when we explain that a chilled beer can makes a great teething toy for your baby -- true story!

Anyhoo, the good kind of friends without children -- the ones you quietly envy because they can do shit like sleep in occasionally -- came over and we were having a great time.  At some point in the evening I opened a cabinet door up and realized I hadn't told Paul Bunyan of my recent dollar store splurge.

Oh yes, silly string.

One can for me, and one for the mister.

The best part of being married to someone who is so totally your soul mate is that you never have to explain your plotting, they just get it.  And he got it, because when he saw two cans of silly string in an out-of-kids-reach-cabinet he knew precisely what it was for.

The Meatball ambush.

Here is some unsolicited parenting advice for you -- cuz all parents just love that stuff! -- fear is an amazing parenting tool.

Don't get stupid on me now, please know that when I say "fear" it ain't the call CPS kind.

Its the "holy crap, is my dad really chasing me down the hall  with a machine gun style Nerf gun?" kind of fear.  I still regret not getting pictures of that one.

But Monsieur Bunyan and I will not fail to get pictures of the Great Silly String Ambush.  I might need to bring a third party in on it because it will be hard to capture these lovely memories while squeezing that trigger.  But if I needed assistance, we have plenty of people I am sure who'd be willing to offer a hand, as evidenced by the reaction the room had to our discussion.

It was at this point that I offered my theory on parenting children and fear: the key is to be totally inconsistent.  See, children thrive on consistency and routine, all true.  But as they age and start to be independent and hormonal and stuff you have to shake things up a bit.  So if your child knows you will embarrass the crap out of them, they will purposely avoid situations in which you could ever see anyone they might know.  But if you are the cool mom/dad sometimes ... then BAM sneak attack a "bye bye Bubbykins, have a great day at school! Mommy looooooves you!" every now and then at drop-off in front of other students, you have real power.

So now the question is when and where?  I won't do the silly string at school because that would be disruptive as hell (still have enough of the teacher in me).  So the plotting continues ... and pictures and an update will eventually come ...

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