Last week was one of those weeks when the kids were awful, and my response was no better. After enduring one of those miserable moments, I began folding clothes and thought I will never write a parenting book. And as soon as the thought entered my mind, I realized that I also said I would never teach, like vegetable soup, or drive a mini-van.
Of course, if I did write a parenting book, it would not look like your typical book with research and sound advice and plans. It would serve more as a survival guide based on first-hand experience for those parents who also feel like they are losing their minds. So here goes, a sneak peak at excerpts from my book that I’ll never write.
My Child Peed on an Electric Socket: And Other Tales to Make You Feel Better About Your Parenting
From Chapter 4: How Did We End Up Here?
“If your child, in a moment of dramatics, ever propels himself out of his car booster seat, somehow wrapping the still buckled seatbelt around his ankle about twenty times, suspending his lower body mid-air while the rest of him hangs below, it is okay to step back and stare for a few minutes in bewilderment. Don’t feel guilty. After all, it is a pretty impressive feat and most likely won’t happen again. You might even take this opportunity to get the rest of the children settled inside and grab your camera. Don’t worry–he’s not going anywhere. When you are finally ready to rescue your child, simply unbuckle the seatbelt, and unwind.”
From Chapter 6: That Darned Toddler Bed
“Let’s face it–some kids just don’t care if Super Nanny said the technique would work. You can sit in that room all night long, silently putting that toddler back in bed without looking at or talking to her, and she’s still going to jump out laughing. So what are you going to do? You can continue on with the same routine, or you can give your back a rest for one night.
Try this technique: Wait until nap time to feed your kid lunch and bedtime to feed your kid dinner. After numerous days without a nap and too many nights of staying up hours past her bedtime, restraining your child in the highchair will be just the trick you need to have her zonked out in no time. When that little cutie is sleeping in her applesauce, simply move her to her bed. Trust me–after this many days of not sleeping, she’s not going to wake up when you move her.
Worried about what your friends will think? Who cares?! God didn’t give you one of those kids who calls for Mommy to get him out of bed in the morning. Your kid’s already downstairs making pancakes for breakfast! It’s about survival, and your survival is important!”
From Chapter 10: Teaching Them About God
“Who knew the question, ‘Who wants to pray first?’ could be so lethal? I looked in the rearview mirror, amidst the screams of ‘I’m first!’ ‘No, it’s my turn today!’ and saw my children punching one another. Yes, punching over who would pray first. Then each one began to start his or her own prayer, reaching over the sides of their car seats to slap the other on the head while yelling, “Dear God, thank you for this day!”
When your day has reached this point, I can suggest a couple of courses of action: turn the radio up, tune them out, or pray to God silently. Whatever you do, don’t try to yell at them to ‘Knock it off!’ or ‘Do you really think this makes God happy?!’ Because in the end, you’ll just start screaming during prayer (even if that prayer is being yelled), and you’ll feel like the loser when it’s all said and done.”
I’m even going to include a few bonus chapters on marriage:
Chapter 20: Fair Fights
“Try to resist the urge to blame your spouse for your child(ren)’s behavior. Pointing out that ‘it must be your genes because I never acted this way as a kid’ doesn’t really help the situation. Even if it is true.”
Chapter 21: Sex
“Don’t. If you’re reading this book, you don’t need to take the chance.”
What chapters would you include in a parenting book?
And to totally switch gears…
This Friday’s Journey: Peace
Write any kind of post covering the theme. You may use Scripture or not, write explicitly or implicitly, use a story or poem, etc., as far as what God is teaching you about peace. There are no rules other than to stick to the theme, and open your heart to what God would have you learn.
Last Friday we had three lovely ladies share their stories of joy, and I look forward to reading yours on peace this Friday!
19 thoughts on “The Parenting Book I’ll Never Write”
Sign me up for a copy but I want it signed and dedicated! Did you know you are friends with my sister-in-law who goes to your church? That's how I found you. She wrote of you on her blogpost about being jealous.
If I write the book, I'll happily send you a signed copy! 🙂 No, I didn't realize Kristina was your sister-in-law. I figured you were friends because I saw her blog on your blogroll, but I didn't know that was the connection. Small world! I remember that post she wrote about me, and I had to laugh because she is one of the most talented people I know! Well, if you're ever in town visiting her, we'll need to meet, as well.
This is hysterical. I'm laughing at the part where they were fighting over who prays first. Oh, Jennifer
you are really funny. Hope your day is blessed.
And unfortunately, every bit of that story was true.
I love the way you channel your frustration into your writing and it comes out hilarious! It is truly a gift from God. Don't you just get a kick out of knowing a person's personality just by reading their heart? Yours is a great read…
You are right about frustration! I'm doing my best to keep everything in perspective, but I'm slowly losing this battle. Everyone can keep me in his or her prayers! Thank you for the compliment; I appreciate it!
This is totally funn, Jennifer. Now you have to write the book, because I want to read it! And frankly, our society could use a couple of honest, real books about parenting!
BTW, when my oldest was an infant and we tried to get him to sleep through the night, we tried the "Baby Whisperer" method first. After my husband picked him up, shushed him and put him back into the crib 68 times in a row, we thre in the towel. The next night we tried our own method: Cold Turkey. He cried for an hour straight…the night after that 20 minutes…and then slept through the night. I always recommend Cold Turkey (also known as Tough Love) to new parents.
We've never had a problem with Chloe going to sleep, even as an infant. Her current problem is that she started climbing out of her crib, so we had to put her in a toddler bed. She now thinks bed time is a game. I'm about ready to put the Dutch door on like we had to do with the other two (yes, all of my children climbed out of their cribs and then beds), but I'm afraid she'll stop napping if we don't train her to stay in her bed. The joys of parenthood! :)And you know, I just might write this book for fun.
Meant to say, funny of course! Dang my lazy unwillingness to proofread!
Can we have a chapter called 'I Wanna Quit the Snow Day!!!' ???
I don't see why not! Do you have a good story to go with it? Matt worked the whole day, so for me, it was just a regular day with more laundry to do because of the snow. 🙂
Oh Jen! THis is an awesome post! You capture life in such a real way and it's refreshing. I have been experiencing a serious bought of writers block. I may attempt your assignment on peace to see if I can overcome it. I'll keep you posted!
I would love if you participated in this week's journey on peace! I participate in another writer's workshop and do my own on Friday for the very reason you described–overcoming writer's block (and practice). For me, coming up with a good topic is 75% of the battle. Sometimes, you just have to force yourself to write to get going again. I hope to see you on Friday! 😉
Oh and I wish we had the "like" button on comments here, like they do on facebook! I think I would hit like on everyone of the previous comments! I agree that I would by your book too. Because we could use some "real life" parenting books out there!
I am laughing so hard I'm crying. My husband even came into the room to find out what was so funny. I had to read him the part about prayers and it "not being my genes" with the hilarious picture! Thanks for the tip about not mentioning "I'd never done that as a kid…" because I'm sure it would have tumbled out of my mouth sooner or later!
I didn't show him Chapter 21, as I'm sure I appreciated it much more than he would! Very, very funny. And even if you just write this as an e-book, sign me up! 🙂
I'm glad you enjoyed it! Sometimes I just have to find a way to make all the chaos funny, or I might lose it! 🙂
Good post, daughter! Looking forward to the book, just in case I have anymore kids. I'm not too old,
Yes, Dad, you are too old, but I can give you more grandbabies some day, if you'd like. Ha!
Jennifer, Am I still subscribed to your posts or is this a new one? I NEVER want to miss one of your posts.