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August 22, 2014

Teaching Kids How to Bend Spoons With Their Mind

Before I was a parent, I was a child rearing expert with big ideas of how I was going to raise the next generation of superior beings. My efforts would be revolutionary, I thought, certain that I’d produce children whom believed in magic, rejected limitations, would have crazy strong thinking abilities capable of reducing physical pain into a mere external distraction, and whose potential would be blown out of the water until they achieved super human status. My kids would bend spoons Matrix style because my kids would know anything is possible, even invisible paint! Even levitation! I would outdo anything and everything my own parents did- despite 5 jobs well done (five daughters, ‘nuff said). 

…And now that I AM a mom, if my kid ate, slept, and went 24 hours trauma free, it was a good day. Oh, the inflated confidence of youth! So cute, isn’t it? I can’t help but laugh at my overzealous and enthusiastic ambitions. I mean, who knew I was so funny?! My sci-fi parenting model was fully equip with a blueprint to yield end results in my favor, and included all kinds of pretentious and self-righteous phony baloney tricks that would send any actual parent into a tizzy fit of STFU. I want to share some of that blueprint with you…and then I want to chin-check it with the harsh reality because there’s no such thing as a 16 year old child rearing expert with no kids:


THE PLAN:
There will be NO television, it rots the brain.
THE REALITY:
Yeah, it does rot the brain. And I earned it! Keeping the kid occupied with moderate T.V. time is going to ensure I don’t torch the neighborhood to the ground, so you’re welcome.
THE TRUTH:
Sesame Street isn’t going to be responsible for my toddler’s lack of telekinetic ability. If anything, I need to turn Maltida on repeat, stat!


THE PLAN:
Classical music will be playing all day/all night. I’m going to get that baby brain neuron’ed the ‘eff out!
THE REALITY:
Really? Classical music? Who has time for that? I can’t even listen to classical music in thirty minute increments, let alone all day. Oh, and good luck getting a kid to actually LISTEN to anything.
THE TRUTH:
Classical music isn’t Miracle Grow for baby geniuses, and Drake isn’t gonna dumb the baby down. Get real girlfriend!


THE PLAN:
Absolutely no junk food, hormone riddled items, pesticide treated or processed foods.
THE REALITY:
I can’t intercept every damn food item with Red Dye 40, account for every ingredient that the FDA doesn’t even track, and I certainly don’t have the skills or resources to man my own farm. Do you see Oprah anywhere? No. So eat this cracker and shut up.
THE TRUTH:
Good news? Eliminating this one rule adds 17 hours to each day. Bad news? Those 17 hours are already spoken for. I buy organic potatoes, Dylan primarily drinks water, and I make dinner from scratch a few times a week. Therefore, I’m winning.


THE PLAN:
My kid will only have educational toys and books.  
THE REALITY:
Suddenly, whether or not a toy is teaching my kid numbers in Spanish is less important than whether or not he’s showing an interest in anything at all. If all he wants is a car that flashes lights and sounds sirens, great! Who am I to deny his happiness?
THE TRUTH:
Everything has its purpose, even toy cars that are annoyingly loud. Lighten up, for real!

I guess you could say I was a little bit of a know-it-all na├»ve. Apparently, babies aren’t the little robots that do whatever I want, when I want, like my 16 year old self imagined. And apparently, life is a helluva lot more hectic and busy once you grow up. Who knew there’d be no time to practice levitation and mind control!? Oh, the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed charm of youth…so precious…and distorted. It's no wonder everyone laughed at me.