Let’s be honest: educational apps and even some TV shows may hone our kids’ communication skills by enhancing their brains, BUT those aren’t the reasons why we dog-tired parents “put” our darling little ones on tablets, smartphones and TV. Putting kids on sleeping pills is frowned upon, but it seems all right to anaesthetize them with electronic devices. And while they’re busy goring plants or zombies (never could figure out which ones are which), you can fiiiiiinaaalllly breathe, you are fiiiiiinaaalllly at peace. (Note that I’m not desperate; I have four kids.) Having your devices outnumbering your little rascals works like a ceasefire agreement and, at last, it’s time to help yourself to a glass of cool wine. If the early hour of the day isn’t appropriate, it’s opportune for this importunate time. Suffice it to say, parents have all overdosed on booze a time or two (or fifty), but never, even in despair, did they ever quit trying to serve and protect.
If there’s but one time of year where we can make a wish and believe, it is Christmas. I’m no exception; like every other kid, I have wishes. And I want to believe. I could wish for a new car, a new phone, or a new brain, but I’m not the materialistic type. Travel, then? Um, no. I want simpler things (and cheaper). So in case my family stops by, these are just a few of the things that moms would love, even if they don’t fit underneath the tree:
“Batman or Superman?”
“NOOOOOOOO!” My three-year-old runs out of the room screaming, as if he’s a comic book villain and I’ve just threatened to unleash the Justice League on him.
But that’s silly. He’s not a Bad Guy (except at bedtime) and I’d clearly be sending Firestorm after him at this point if I had my choice of superheroes on speed dial.
I chase him and hold up the two pairs of underwear in front of him again. “Batman or Superman?” I repeat, this time through gritted teeth. I read somewhere that parents are supposed to give kids a choice so that they feel more in control of their lives.
These same experts are silent about what to do when a kid wants ALL of the control.
“I HATE UNDERWEAR! I WANT A DIAPER!”
Repeat after me: “Have kids, they said!” Use a sarcastic tone. It’s got to be told with the most ironic voice. It’s just got to be. Unless of course you’re trying to BS someone. In that case, if you want to You-should-have-kids! a friend (but regarding what you’re about to do, your friendship is officially in peril) then a cheerful tone is expected. Don’t knowingly smile. Don’t mock. In a word, play up the innocent, you sarcastic evil. I must warn you though, it won’t work with your siblings or closest friends; they’ve seen you in action with your own adorable brats (talking about my own; maybe yours aren’t that terrible).