Month: March 2017

M. Night Shyamalan Ate My Daughter

walkinginfear

My 5 year-old has been working on a play for about the past 3 months called “Walking In Fear.” She’s always adding bits and pieces to the story, sometimes as we’re on the train ride back from school, then when we get home she sketches the newly added chapter on a loose sheet of typing paper. Yesterday she asked me to make a list of the characters so she can keep track of all of them.

“Mommy, write down all these names for Walking In Fear. Sara the Mouse, The Flower Girl, King, Queen, Zombie, Alien, Ghost, Candy Girl, O’nay, Kana, Little Girl Named Lisa, Big Donut, and The Baby. WAIT!! No. No no no, I totally forgot, The King, Queen, Zombie, Big Donut and Little Girl Named Lisa are actually from a different story called The Runaway Queen. That one is a movie and also a book, but Walking In Fear is a play. It’s a musical. The Runaway Queen is not a musical.”

“Ok, I’ll write all those down. This is the first I’ve heard of The Runaway Queen, what happens in that story?”

“So, the Queen and the Little Girl Named Lisa got captured by the Zombie. Then they both woke up and realized it was actually a dream. But after that, a few days later it came true and they really DID get captured by the zombie. Also what you don’t know until the end is that the big donut is really the zombie. Everyone realizes that the zombie had been under a spell the whole time that made him want to be a donut, and he had on a donut costume.”

“Cool! So do you want me to make this a separate list from the characters in Walking In Fear?”

“Mom. It’s the SAME STORY. That’s what nobody realizes until the end too, Walking In Fear and The Runaway Queen turn into the same thing and it’s all a play, a movie, AND a book. Oh, and I play Candy Girl. Because she likes candy a lot.”

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Doorman

doorman

We were leaving a play date at a friend’s house, and when we were walking home my daughter mentioned that “the guy told her a funny joke when we were leaving.” I asked, “What guy?” and she said, “The guy who opens the door for us at Orly’s apartment, you know, the owner of the building.” Then I realized that she thinks doormen actually own the buildings where they work. There’s something so charmingly blind to society’s constructs about that. I’m usually very honest with my kids, but I’m not ready to tell her the truth about this one.

Anything But Screaming

ABS.jpg

I took my kids to the doctor the other day because they had been coughing and not feeling great for a couple of days, but by the time we got there they weren’t acting sick at all. They were dancing around the waiting room singing, “Shake your booty!!” then started playing “Library” with some medication brochures displayed on the front table, pretending they were books. At one point they were both climbing all over me and squeezing my nose, my son yelling, “ME BLOCKING YOUR SMELLING!” He was consumed in a fit of laughter. A girl sitting quietly across from us asked, “Are they always like that?” I laughed and said, “Yeah! They have fun together.” But when I saw her face I realized she wasn’t asking in a nice way. I could tell she didn’t have children, because she had clearly not heard of my revolutionary new parenting technique called “ABS” or “Anything But Screaming.”

My husband and I have developed this life-changing technique over the course of the past 2 years, and when we sat down to write our sure to be bestselling book on the topic, we realized that all the information you need is way too short for a book and decided to pass it on to you absolutely free of charge. Basically all you do is let your child do anything they want, as long as nobody is screaming (and also as long as they’re not hurting themselves I guess, but that would probably involve screaming at some point so instead of ABSOHTOO or “Anything But Screaming Or Hurting Themselves Or Others” let’s just call it “Anything But Screaming” as people with small children have limited space left in their temporal lobes to remember long acronyms).

This technique was inspired by our second child, who is loud. So, so loud. Don’t get me wrong, he is the sweetest little boy who has ever walked the face of the earth, but there is just no getting around his loudness. Our downstairs neighbor once texted me at 2 in the afternoon asking if we were practicing the sleep training technique “cry it out.” At 2 pm. It was very difficult to explain that our toddler was upset because he had asked for a bite of peanut butter on a spoon, and I had given him too big of a bite. So I scraped some back into the jar, handed him the spoon, but this time it was too small of a bite. This proved to be too much for him, as he wailed, “I wanted a MEDIUM bite!!” There was no getting him back after that. He was in full non-medium peanut butter bite meltdown mode, and nothing could stop him. To further put this in perspective, you know how scientists say one of the only sounds that can break the sound barrier is a jet engine? Well let’s just say that those scientists have never met my son. I’m pretty sure that jet engine could peacefully lull me to sleep after the experience I had with my son as a baby.

So how do you implement this genius plan? Let me give you a few examples:

Did your child just grab a jar of Nutella from the grocery store shelf, somehow ripped it open and is now happily eating it with his bare hands? Take a deep breath, and repeat after me, “I was going to buy Nutella anyway. Good idea, buddy. Anything but screaming.”

Is your child currently writing all over his entire body (mostly his face) with a permanent marker just as you’re leaving for school? Take a deep breath, and repeat after me, “Look at how creative he looks. Anything but screaming.”

Are your kids laughing in the tub while playing tug-of-war with a wash cloth in their mouths, ingesting dirty bath water in the process? Take a deep breath, and repeat after me, “That totally helps their immune systems. Anything but screaming.”

Are you on the train with your child in the stroller who has just finished eating a granola bar and is now eating the wrapper as well? Take a deep breath, and repeat after me, “Those organic companies totally use biodegradable wrappers. That’s like, their whole thing. Anything but screaming.”

And referring to the photo above, are you at a coffee shop with your children, one who has not had their nap today, and the only thing keeping that adorable smile on his face is the fact that you’re allowing him to take his sweater off and rub hot chocolate all over his bare chest? Take a deep breath, and repeat after me, “I’m making all the other parents in here with fully dressed children feel like REALLY good parents. Maybe they were questioning their parenting abilities, and this gave them the dose of confidence they needed. It’s my good deed for the day. And look at how happy my kids are. Anything but screaming.”

Good luck out there.