Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Calvin & Hobbes School of Parenting

Whose book of parenting tips do you use? I'm a fly by the seat of my pants type of father. Sometimes it works. Sometimes, well, not so much. I've read a few books They seem to me like they were written by people who didn't really ever want kids. And really, when it comes down to your children, who gives a damn what the highbrow authors think? Their kids are probably meth-head Trustafarians living off of Daddy's royalty checks in Soho. I say, if it feels right, go with it. We all know what worked from our vast experience of being misbehaving children ourselves.

Every once in a while, a potentially miserable situation will arise in our calm, quiet little household. Tonight was one of those nights. As the food hit the table, there was a chorus of, "Ewwwwwwwwww," accompanied by a, "that looks disgusting," and one or two whines of, "do we really have to eat that?". It was going to be a dinner right out of Beauty and the Beast - dancing silverware, singing plates, and the miraculous wonderment of three boys merrily eating their meals. Not.

I winced. Dinner has been a battle for at least one boy each night for the last month. We were about to be triple teamed. Before I could stop myself, I blurted out, "Boys, I want you to each make up three things that you think is in this meal."


"No, make them up. I see monkey brains."

Their eyes went wide. And then they went right for the low hanging fruit.



I knew they would go there. It's the first thought that popped into my head too. But my keen parenting skills kicked in again. "No, those don't count. You have to come up with better ones than those. How about toenails?"

And for the next 5 minutes, while their bowls cooled off, we made up the following recipe, more or less:

Mommy's Tex-Mex Massacre

Monkey brains
Frog Drool
Pieces of glass
Bat Wings
Hippopotamus Tongues
Cow Feet
Vacuum Tubes
Electric Cords
Witch's Brew

Laughing and loud grimaces ensued. And then I dropped the bomb.

"Boys, do you know what? Tomorrow at school, you'll be able to tell your friends that you ate all that!"

Cue dancing silverware.