I’m finding, lately, that parenting is a bit like performing in a slapstick comedy or maybe a vaudeville routine: if you’re anything like me, you’ll go to some strange lengths in order to entertain/calm/distract/cajole your toddler. You’re somewhat proud and also a little horrified by your manic behavior – either way, it’s simply the only chance you have at getting through all 25 hours of this day. Shameless goofiness, coupled with gallons of coffee is how I’ve kept my eyes open for the last two years. If, by some chance, you haven’t yet embraced your inner goof, I highly recommend it. Here are a few techniques I have been experimenting with:
1. Put a tiger sticker in the middle of your forehead and pretend it isn’t there. As in: What? What?! I have no idea what you’re pointing at.
2. If it’s time for the child to wear socks, put them on his ears.
3. Along these same wrong-body-part lines…Diaper Hats for Everyone!
4. If there is a drawing of a pizza in your child’s book, ask him if it’s an elephant. In fact, you can point to just about anything in the world…a tree, a dump truck, or a zebra, and say…”Wow, look at that huge elephant!”
5. Learn the lyrics to the theme songs of your child’s favorite television shows, then sing them at the top of your lungs with a little extra soul. This is especially effective if you close your eyes and incorporate some dramatic body movements. (I’d like to thank my husband for his important contributions in this area.) I can say that this works very well for Super Why, Bubble Guppies and Thomas and Friends.
6. Walk sideways every chance you get. Especially on sidewalks.
7. Stand at the top of the jungle gym, put your hand above your eyes as if you’re searching in the distance and exclaim, possibly with a British accent, “I can see for MILES!!!” If you are having trouble making mommy friends, this kind of bold move will definitely…um, get you noticed.
8. Read a book to your child that you know by heart, by holding it upside down. (Of course, you’ll only get away with this for about 2.4 seconds.)
9. Jazz hands, lots and lots of jazz hands.
10. If you are in a room with an echo, do not miss this opportunity to yodel.
11. Make up nonsense songs about everything, but especially about those things your child dislikes, like car seats and bibs. (Rhyming is ideal but not essential i.e. bibs, ribs, fibs, cribs, sibs, mad libs) Of course, once your kid can talk, he might say, and I quote, “Mommy, can you say nothing now?”
12. And whatever you do, even if it falls flat with your pint-sized audience (and by the way, the chances of this are extremely high in all of the above), make sure you follow up everything with a confident…”Boom, drop the mic!” accompanied by the throw-down gesture.
* note: Every child is different, every parent is different, every human is different, so approaches and results can vary.
** note: Since children tend to emulate their parents (at least at first, before the rejection sets in), the above parenting techniques could result in your child becoming, in the best case scenario, a well-adjusted person living a life full of laughter. On the flip side, he or she could become an obnoxious class clown or a depressed stand-up comedian. But of course, there are risks with everything.
*** note: You must initiate this goofy parenting style while your child is still very young, since eventually and inevitably, your child will likely be humiliated by just about everything you do, including the offensive way that you breathe.
Happy goofing around!
Categories: Parenting Humor