I was a little stressed out about my parenting skills last night. I started looking through my parenting books that I have collected. Books always save the day. I mean, I just open one up and it tells me what to do. 9 times out of 10, it doesn't work with my dirty little sinners - or I fall short and blow the parenting principles. But I feel better as I'm reading it. I always find hope and strength and courage and great parenting skills and all that feel good stuff.
I've read a lot of good books over the years. The Connected Child. Have a New Kid by Friday. The Adopted Child in School. 10 Days to a Less Distracted Child. Shepherding a Child's Heart. Just don't ask me what any of them say. I might have - um - forgotten by the time I put the book back on my shelf. Maybe I'm a slow learner. Or maybe real life gets in the way of these lofty ideas.
So anyway. Last night. One title on my shelf caught my eye - one that I haven't read before. Maybe it was a gift. Maybe I bought it. It is just a small little book with a catchy title sitting there between the rest.
"The Hair Raising Joys of Raising Boys". I've had some hair-raisers lately so I picked it up. I blew through 50 pages in no time and I was hysterical the whole time. I needed that!
The prologue says: "Please skip the prologue and go directly to chapter 1....If you are still reading by now, clearly you have the same problem my boys have in following directions. The VERY FIRST sentence in the prologue explicitly said to skip this section and go to chapter 1. Was there something terribly unclear about that? Do you have any idea how difficult it is to get my boys to follow extremely simple instructions only to have adults, such as yourself, providing such a poor example? .... How do you hope to successfully raise boys when you, personally, cannot even obey a simple directive?"
Hysterical! Here's another. "Very few authors will attempt to sell you a book titled: Raising Boys - Face It, You're Doomed! But because I accept Biblical prohibition against deceiving others, that is exactly what I titled this book until my uptight editor demanded a more chipper, upbeat title."
One paragraph later:
"Now, what do we mean by 'you're doomed'? .... You will be tucking one of them into bed, for example, and talking to him about his class field trip to the museum tomorrow when you suddenly discover that this kid's face is absolutely filthy and he just finished his bath 20 minutes ago! And you'll ask what in the WORLD did he do between the bathroom and his bedroom and he will reply, "Nothing!" which is what they ALWAYS say, and you will finally discover that he has a package of Jell-O Dutch Chocolate Pudding Mix under his pillow and he has been eating the powder with his hands and now you have to wash all the sheets and he needs another bath because he is a boy and you are doomed. Get used to it.
When I say that you are doomed, I do not at all mean to imply that your boy has a high propensity to become a dropout or a felon or a senior White House advisor. In fact, you will notice that I have never even hinted that your boy will be anything other than a good and noble young man who will marry a very wonderful woman and have a challenging and productive career and teach Sunday school and give you wonderful grandchildren. I never said your kid is doomed. I said you are."
And on and on with the hysterics. Certainly lightened my mood. Can't wait to read the remaining 125 pages. This might just be the one that I keep on the coffee table :)