The Parenting Shrug

The Parenting Shrug

I once wrote a post entitled “The Secret to Happy Parenting“, in which I suggested that you’ll be happier if you stopped caring what other people think of your parenting. (From that post: “I’m not suggesting you stop caring about your kid. I’m saying you need to stop caring about everyone else but your kid.”)

It sounds good. Being able to inoculate yourself against all the haters is definitely a great way to improve your peace of mind. The problem is your kids are still around! And as annoying and stressful as judgmental people can be, no one is as annoying and stressful as your kids themselves.

I was wrong. The secret to happy parenting isn’t to stop caring about everyone and everything else but your kids, the secret is to stop caring about your kids at all.

The secret to happy parenting is “The Parenting Shrug.”

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Rated Pee-wee

Rated Pee-wee

I’m not so sure Pee-wee Herman is a great role model for my kids. (Let’s not get into Paul Reubens.) He’s dresses like an idiot, he sounds like an idiot, and he acts like an idiot.

Wait. Now I understand why my five-year-old likes him so much. They’re both idiots!

The least I can do is have some fun with it. Thanks to Netflix, I did!

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Discipline is a Double-Edged Sword

Discipline is a Double-Edged Sword

Recently, Detective Munch got in trouble at school.

He gets in trouble at school every once in a while, but it’s mostly with both the same frequency of trouble and of the same variety of “trouble” that most five-year-olds get into. He doesn’t pay attention to the teachers, he goofs around with his friends and acts silly, he put his fingers in someone else’s mouth. You know, typical behavior.

But last week he did something a little bit more serious, and in an attempt to let him know that such behavior is unacceptable, Mom and Buried and I were forced to lay down the law. Of course, there are only so many ways to discipline a five-year-old, and a lot of the time you end up wondering who’s being punished.

Discipline is a double-edged sword.

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The Birthday Party Nightmare

The Birthday Party Nightmare

I guess I’m a party pooper. My son turned five in September, and as usual, my wife threw him an elaborate and expensive birthday party, complete with a theme, of course. Now that we have another kid to celebrate, the birthday party nightmare is only going to get worse.

When Detective Munch turned one, it was a circus theme. For two, it was Yo Gabba Gabba! At three, it was all about trains, and at four, he and his friends got capes and dressed as superheroes. This time around, it was a pirate-themed affair, complete with invitations that looked like—and were actually burned at the edges to look like—old treasure maps, a corresponding treasure hunt, and plastic swords and eye-patches for all the scurvy little dogs to take home and subsequently use to terrorize their parents.

It was fun. My son had fun, his friends had fun, everyone had fun. Even the adults! (We provided beer and mimosas because WE’RE NOT MONSTERS.) That doesn’t mean I want to do it again.

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We Are All Sisyphus

We Are All Sisyphus

Parenting is such an incredible, all-consuming experience that it causes you to feel emotions differently than you’ve ever felt them before. Caring for your children causes many emotions to come on more strongly, and more quickly, than they used to.

Not only do you often find yourself feeling myriad emotions in quick succession, if not all at once – many of them new emotions you may not have experienced before – but you also find yourself experiencing the same ones, good and bad, every day, over and over again.

Especially if you have more than one child.

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