This week, Dr. Kelly is back answering the urgent questions of readers who wanted help weeks ago. Hopefully their problems resolved themselves, but if not, let’s see what this bottle of Pinot Noir / life experience can help me come up with.
1. Why do children always ask “Why?” no less then 1,983 times in a row?
It’s like a skip in a record; you have to stop it from playing to stop the annoying repeat. Next time your child launches into a tirade of whys, immediately throw him on the couch, strip off his shoes and socks and start wiggling the third toe on his right foot while screaming “RESET DAMN YOU!!”. This little known ‘off switch’ works by paralyzing your child with fear while dulling and eventually stunting the sense of curiosity that encourages endless questions.
2. How can I stop the constant sibling fighting?
Siblings are like magnets, but not when you put the opposite ends together, only the same ends. Do you remember from that lame science kit you got for Christmas what happens when you press north to north or south to south? They repel one another. No matter how hard you push, they push back. That’s siblings most of the time. To bring quarreling siblings together, you need to flip one over and try making them hug. If they still refuse to come together, try grabbing a magnet off your fridge and rubbing it all over both of them. Usually this will encourage your kids to make up if only to stop the painful magnet abrasions you’re giving them.
3. Can you ever feed your children too much mac and cheese?
The safety threshold for mac and cheese (as indicated by information obtained secretly from Kraft) is that a typical healthy child with no underlying medical conditions can consume one pound of mac and cheese for every four pounds of body weight. Children under two, or with severe medical issues such as leprosy, should consume no more than one pound of mac and cheese for every six pounds, unless they ask very politely with puppy dog eyes, then a secondary feed of a 1/2 pound of mac every four hours is allowed. If your child exhibits any of the following symptoms (whites of the eyes becoming orange, maniacal laughing combined with head spinning, stealing and inhaling the cheese powder with a rolled up $20 dollar bill) discontinue immediately, but feel free to reintroduce when symptoms subside or when the witching hour descends upon your house like guillotine blade.
4. How often do kids need to bathe? Like, at what point is it legitimately a health concern?
In our house, because we’re history buffs, we’ve chosen to adopt the Puritan method of bathing as an ode to some of our country’s first settlers. This means seasonal dunks in cold water with lye soap while Tony reads scripture loudly by candle light. You may choose to adopt the habits of other great civilizations. Perhaps your family would prefer the “bathhouse” model of the ancient Romans. That means weekly swimming lessons at the local YMCA will get the job done. Or maybe the Victorian model is more your fancy; take a dunk in a fancy tub a couple of times a month then painfully exfoliate away the top ten layers of skin before applying creamy arsenic lotion to hide the redness and give your children that appealing ‘pallor of death’ appearance that was all the rage. Whatever you decide, know that history is there to support your decision even if Child Protective Services doesn’t.
5. How can I stop laughing when I’m supposed to be disciplining my kids?
First, admit that you are an awful person who probably never should have had children in the first place. Second, since you apparently can’t grasp the gravity of your situation as a parent, put yourself in timeout, and stay there while everyone else has fun without you. Third, apologize to your child for not fulfilling your contractual obligations as her parent, and instead, leading her down the path to perdition. Fourth, make reparation by using band-aids to force your face into a frown for the rest of the day, before ripping them off as a reminder of your painful lapse in judgement.
6. How can I get my kids to go to sleep in less than five hours?
To make bedtime easier on everyone, I always suggest a routine to help wind down at the end of a long day. At 4 p.m., sit your children down with an iPad for a relaxing hour of educational apps while you scroll Pinterest for dinner ideas with a glass of wine. At 5 p.m. order pizza while soothing your children with quiet game of “The floor is hot lava and there are evil clowns who will attack if you make any noise. How long can you sit quietly on the couch?” By 6 p.m. it’s time to relax [insert big yawn] with a story…preferably an audio book. At 7 p.m., we gently start the journey to bed by insisting to our children that they are not dirty, and, as something special, they can sleep in their clothes tonight and skip brushing their teeth! But only if they get in bed right away, stay quiet and don’t tell a soul, because otherwise the monster that lives under their bed will eat them in the most painful way possible. “Now go right to sleep or the Sandman will send you nightmares!”
7. Why do they always want whatever the other has?
Because you have not instilled in them a proper disdain for material, or worldly possessions. I can only imagine that your children fight over toys because you idolize mammon yourself. For shame! It’s probably too late to save your fallen family, however, if you wish to turn your children into more kind and compassionate adults, hide anchovies in the crevices of their toys. As the fish decay and emit a putrid smell, your children will turn away from toys and instead to their imaginations, and each other, for amusement. Sure, you won’t be able to entertain for months, but think of the family togetherness!
How was your week? Write it down, then link it up below. Be sure to include a link back to this post so your readers can find the rest of the Quick Takes. I look forward to reading your posts!