One of these days I’m going to publish a book called Notes to My Daughters, a manuscript with an intended audience of only three people. Over the years I’ve tried, with some regularity, to record funny stories, sayings, observations, and musings about my three daughters as they’ve grown up before my eyes.
My goal has been to record the precious snapshots of their lives before they irretrievably
disappear into the past. I figure I’ll give my daughters the book when the youngest graduates from college. My guess is that my grandkids will get more of a kick out of it than anyone.
I’m titling one section of the book “Funny Stories.” In Camryn’s part (Camryn is my youngest and probably most strong willed), I’ll share the story about how I devised a genius parenting technique— one that I am sure will soon be shared in parenting seminars for years to come—when she was close to hitting the “terrible twos.”
One day she was in the middle of a typical twenty-month-old’s tantrum—she was tired, frantic, minutes away from naptime, rolling around in her bed screaming for a juice cup that I’d hand to her and she’d throw right back on the floor. As I watched this, I stood
there playing with my belly button (don’t ask me why—parents of two-year-olds do strange things!).
Then, for some reason I lifted my finger to my nose and smelled it. The stench was horrible! A parental light bulb went off. I picked the cup off the floor again and put my index finger, the one I had put in my smelly belly button, on top of the lid.
Leaning over the bed, I placed the cup’s lid and my index finger close to Camryn’s nose and said, “Honey, you don’t want that cup. It’s stinky. See?” Seconds later a puzzled expression came across her face as she squinted and said, “Tinky. It tinky, Daddy.”
Not wanting the cup any longer, she rolled over and immediately fell asleep.
Shocked, I slowly tip-toed out of her room, shut the door behind me, held my arms in the air, fingers pointing back at me, and whispered, “Who’s the parenting genius? I’m the parenting genius!”
From then on, whenever I found myself facing an irrational obsession with a toy or something else, I’d use the “It’s stinky” technique, and it worked like a charm. I know I’m going to hell, but it worked every time.
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