Wow! I haven't been here in nearly three years. I miss blogging, or actually, I kind of miss the time of my life when I actually had time to blog. Between a job that keeps me working 14 hours a day and 5 kids that consume whatever little free time I have left, there is just no time for wordsmithing. If it wasn't for Facebook, which gives me the opportunity to occaisionally write (in 435 characters or less) I wouldn't be writing at all. Anyway, if any of my old readers stumble by the site, here's a little something new for you to read. I hope all of you are well and safe in these uncertain times.
JEP's Rules of Parenting
JEP's Rule of Parenting #1: If you’re caught in a dilemma about whether to grab your child to prevent wardrobe damage or grab a camera to document the act, always go for the camera. Soggy socks are a small price to pay for the opportunity to positively mortify your kid on prom night.
JEP's Law of Parenting #2: Clowns are innately evil creatures with insatiable tendencies towards cannibalism. Any three-year-old knows this and would be just as traumatized discovering his mommy hired one to play his birthday party as he would be to find she wrapped up a pair of rabid porcupines as his gift. She would be doing less damage to his nascent psyche by just hiring him strippers.
JEP's Law of Parenting #3: The more time, effort and fresh ingredients that are put into a family meal, the more your children will think it tastes like a midnight snack accidentally liberated from the cat's litterbox during the immediate aftermath of an epic tequila bender.
JEP's Law of Parenting #4: Men who complain about how hard it is to get a female out of her clothes have obviously never been subjected to the trauma of trying to get their squirmy 18 month-old daughter into them.
JEP's Law of Parenting #5: Omerta is not an adolescent concept. If you need to extract information from a five-year-old, just threaten to narc them out to Santa Clause and the little rats will sing like they were being waterboarded by Delta Force.
JEP's Law of Parenting #6: A multi-state drive should never be undertaken with a van full of children without several the use of several portable DVD players for there are only so many "Are we there yet?"s that a man can take before he starts reconsidering his views on abortion.
JEP's Law of Parenting #7: Kids' television shows are not made for adults and should not, under any circumstances, be watched by them. A lobotomy performed by a highly strung chimpanzee in the throes of a caffeine overdose could not begin to do the damage to the adult psyche that 15 minutes alone with the Wiggles could do.
JEP's Law of Parenting #8: The younger a child is, the higher its threshold for handling disgusting things is. For this reason, housholds with toddlers should reinforce the importance of flushing toilets early and often unless they want to find themselves frantically rifling through every nook and cranny of their home hunting down a "Deuce on the Loose".
JEP's Law of Parenting #9: If a parent has been forced to pry three random insects, belly button lint, the toilet brush and a sibling’s booger from a toddler’s mouth, they should be overjoyed by the fact that the kid refuses to try a single bite of the meal they’ve spent all day preparing. By the same token, given the same child’s enthusiasm for McDonalds, the folks behind the Happy Meal should be duly concerned.
JEP's Law of Parenting #10: Kids must stay active and exercise often, but care must be taken to ensure that they do not over-do it. The last thing any parent needs is a child that can outrun them. Particularly if the little pagan has your wallet and a single-minded determination to catch up with the ice cream truck that went through your neighborhood a half hour before.
JEP's Law of Parenting #11: Parenting must be approached with a sense of humor. Without it, vasectomy clinics would be more plentiful than tattoo parlors.
JEP's Law of Parenting #12: A parent should not consider it their job to publically humiliate and embarrass their children at every given opportunity. They should consider it a perk.
JEP's Law of Parenting #13: If your toddler tries to hand you something, ALWAYS identify what it is before you open your hand to blindly receive it unless you enjoy having boogers wiped across your palm. That goes double for that little "Open your mouth and close your eyes..." game.
JEP's Law of Parenting #14: Before dropping several thousand dollars to take your toddler on a Disney World vacation, consider that Mickey Mouse is to most one-year-olds what Jason Vorhees was to nymphomaniac counselors-in-traing at Camp Crystal Lake.
JEP's Law of Parenting #15: It will never be easy to teach our children the virtue of tolerance until we somehow make the act of delivering a swift debilitating kick to the crotch of the person irritating them significantly less fulfilling on a personal level.
JEP's Law of Parenting #16: The "Facts of Life" should only be taught to children by women. Generally speaking, men are blissfully ignorant of all elements of human anatomy that can not be seen in a Playboy centerfold and tend to overemphasize the role tequila plays in human reproduction.
(Ed. Note: I shudder to think how many of my former navy buddies tell their children the story of they got here by saying, "I'm a little foggy on the details but I remember ordering my sixth pitcher of Mojo in some Third World strip joint and next thing I knew it was nine months later and some doctor handed me this writhing little slime covered baby saying, 'Congratulations! It's a boy!' I'm afraid that until we teach your mother how to speak English, whatever happened in between is going to be shrouded in more mystery than the disappearance of Amelia #%!@?!$ Earhardt.")
JEP's Law of Parenting #17: If you REALLY want your child to expand their vocabulary dramatically, pitch the "Hooked on Phonics". Buy them "Calvin and Hobbes". Seriously, they'll start using words that will have YOU running for the dictionary.
JEP's Law of Parenting #18: Experts say that if you desire a house of tranquility and harmony, always approach your children with a toolbox full of unshakeable calm, limitless patience and unconditional love. In addition to that, its wise to keep a roll of duct tape, a loaded tranquilizer gun, an athletic protective cup and a bottle of Crown Royal in the junk drawer just in case that hippy shit doesn't work out.
JEP's Law of Parenting #19: A toddler’s ability to mimic words her parents say is directly proportional to the vulgarity of the profanities streaming out of a parent’s mouth. It may take months of pleading to get her to say “mah-mah”, but if she is within earshot of her father when his hammer strikes thumb instead of nail, she’ll easily recite a 15 minute stream of vindictive that would cause a union welder to blush.
JEP's Law of Parenting #20: Unrepentantly loud flatulence may be offensive, crude and indicative of an extreme lack of social graces, but there are few tools more effective when it comes to attempting to get multiple children to smile simultaneously for a family portrait. Children should be fed a high fiber meal at least 90 minutes prior to their appointment time at JC Penny’s photo studio.
JEP's Law of Parenting #21: Though the operators at Poison Control may beg to differ, one of the most effective ways to induce vomiting in an infant is for the father to hold it far above his head, look up, open his mouth as far as he can and in the highest pitched, puppy dog voice he can muster say, “Look at da prit-TAY smile on da prit-TAY bay-BAY!!” She’ll spew Similac right down your gullet inside of 15 seconds.
JEP's Law of Parenting #22: If you really want to know the honest truth about whether or not the jeans you’re wearing makes you butt look big, just go ask a child. If you really want to know the honest truth about how your grandmother’s antique lamp got broken however, you’d better have video surveillance footage.
JEP's Law of Parenting #23: Unless a man enjoys addressing his family in an octave that is reminiscent of Mickey Mouse suffering an emasculating industrial accident in a helium processing factory, he should never attempt to change a squirmy one-year-old's diaper without wearing a protective cup.
JEP's Law of Parenting #24: Just because you know from experience that your son is right when he says that there are times during the school day that could use a little livening up with an airhorn does not mean you should let him test his teacher's bladder control by actually letting him bring one to class. Unless, you know, you enjoy discussing the early signs of pre-pubescent psychosis with the school psychologist.
JEP's Law of Parenting #25: When coming up with a meal plan for the week, be sure to limit the fruit intake of un-potty trained children on bath night as a toddler basking in the afterglow of a furious high-fiber feeding frenzy can catastrophically foul water quality in ways that evenTony Hayword's misguided minions at British Petroleum could not possibly have dreamed of.
JEP's Law of Parenting #26: Every child is unique, therefore no parenting "expert" has the magic answer that will cure your kid of misbehavior. The exception of course, is the omnipotent and all-knowing Dr. Spock. I haven't read any of his books but that Vulcan Death Grip he came up with stops kids from doing what they're not supposed to EVERY FREAKIN' TIME!!!
JEP's Law of Parenting #27: The prospect of having to shave one’s legs is apparently quite mortifying to a young lady. In fact, she will go immediately to her mother for confidential counsel on the topic if she needs it. During this time, she is very sensitive about her appearance so a father needs to respect her privacy. And stop referring to her as “Grizzly Adams”.
JEP's Law of Parenting #28: Though you may consider yourself quite the domestic Magic Johnson, you should NEVER give in to the urge to attempt a twenty-five-foot hook shot into the kitchen garbage can with a dirty diaper unless you want to end up cleaning far more of the house than you first intended to when you got up that morning.
JEP's Law of Parenting #29: A father should not feel left out if his daughter does not come to him for advice on grooming. The fact is that leg shaving is just not a male area of expertise. Men know how to deal with unsightly ear and nose hair. If your little girl needs help with ear and nasal fur, you should still tell her to see her mom though because, genetically speaking, you’ve done enough damage already.
JEP's Law of Parenting #30: The plethora of naked Barbie dolls in a three-year-old girl's bedroom closet is primarily caused by the fact that the fine motor skills required to dress such toys are not usually developed until a child's fifth birthday. Not because of her overwhelming desire to constantly play "little lesbian nudist colony", therefore, there is no need for therapy.
JEP's Law of Parenting #31: If you have young children who live to argue amongst themselves, owning Pixar's "Toy Story" franchise is a must if you want to get them focused on something besides each other. It is the only way a man can approach a domestic confrontation with a Buzz and a Woody and not end up with more problems than he started off with.
JEP's Law of Parenting #32: Cherish the time in your child's life when they think that you are the coolest individual on the planet because it typically only takes them about thirteen years to figure out just how big of a dork that you actually are.