What is it about your children that turns you into the least-cool individual on the planet? How is it that your kids, who presumably love you, can instantly (and with apparently little effort) drive you so completely insane that you are foaming at the mouth and screaming wordlessly into a pillow with tears streaming down your face over something as idiotic as a drink of soda?
Of course, I learned everything about parenting from my parents, who in turn learned it from Bill Cosby.
The thing is, I can understand how normal people would find raising children to be difficult. After all, how many people spend time learning about developmental psychology and behavioral modification techniques? Most people are only working with laymen’s tools when it comes to dealing with children and they are bound to make mistakes.
Mrs. RW and I are professionals in the field of education, for crying out loud! You would think that successfully dealing with other people’s bat-shit crazy children all day would have prepared us for dealing with our own children at least well enough to keep us from inquiring among the local gypsy population as to the going rates for blondes.
Me: Excuse me, Hobbit, is this your glass?
Me: Are you finished with it?
Me: Would you mind taking it into the kitchen, then?”
Me: Now, please?
Hobbit: O MY GOD! WHY DO YOU HATE ME? YOU ARE SO MEAN!
At this point, my professional training should kick in to defuse the situation and attempt to discover the source of the Hobbit’s frustration. I can even point you to several texts (that I have actually read, mind you) dealing with this exact subject. However, I have noticed that it is physically impossible for me to do anything except…
Me: Are You Kidding Me?! If you want to find out what it looks like when I’m trying to be mean to you, keep going Young Lady! I have had it up to here with your attitude… you’re grounded for the rest of your natural life! (This is where I start screaming incoherently)
To make it even worse, Mrs. RW and I are perfectly capable of applying our extensive professional expertise when the other person is having an argument with either child, but of course suggesting the proper course of action at that time would only make things worse. We have tried several techniques to help each other out such as flashcards, inside jokes, and beer. Only the beer has had any positive results so far mostly because it forces the screaming parent to find a bottle opener and it gives our children time to escape.
I think that parents should seriously contemplate switching children for extended periods of time. Our kids always behave better for other people than for us and I’ve had several parents tell me that the reverse is true for them. So why don’t we just change children once a week or so? We could get 3/4 families in on the deal and so we’d only end up fighting with our children once a month! Can you even imagine?
This will totally work. Trust me, I’m a professional.