Just wondering

In general, I believe in parenting with a firm but benevolent hand. I believe in choosing your battles, allowing them room to make their own mistakes, and a lot of prayer. I believe you can’t take it personally, but you can’t just give up, either. I believe it’s our job to mold these kids into human beings who will benefit society, and that said molding can be messy, thankless work a lot of the time, but that the benefits in the end far, far outweigh the drawbacks.

That said, if I had to club my daughter to within an inch of her life with, say, this, y’all would totally understand, right? You’d still like me?

Because I am telling you this: There is not a jury in the world that would convict me.


  1. Catherine

    Maybe I need to club my 7th graders with that as well. Hopefully I’d only get a smack on the wrist with the book and be allowed to resume business as usual…

  2. ellen

    I got my girl this book and she was not pleased, and ignored it. But, a few weeks went by, and I found it under her bed. Raising her was impossible, and I am sure even worse than it was raising me. Which, according to my parents, was pure H-E-L-L. Buckle up, you’re only at the beginning of the ride.

  3. Karen

    Well.. maybe have her READ it first.. then, when that doesn’t work? …cause it won’t… go ahead and club her with it. My mother threw oranges at me right out of the grocery bag. That didn’t work either :-) Just sayin.

    And unfortunately, yes to the above statement… buckle up, kid, you really are only at the beginning of the ride.


  4. ccr in MA

    I totally agree with your description of parenting, and I admire your choice of weapon.

  5. Midj

    When my daughter was 15, I totally lost it one day. She had tons of stuff going on and by 7:30 in the evening I had had it. After dinner with her volleyball team, she wanted me to drive her 20 minutes across town to a football game that was going to be over by 9:00. *But* she had to shower first. I said no and the drama started. To this day (she’ll be 21 in November) we laugh about the language I used. First and last time I used expletives with my daughter. Mir, email me and I’ll tell you what I said… Not my finest moment but it cleared the air and we got on with life. The drama still happens occasionally (especially when she’s hungry) but it’s much better. And she still lives at home, by choice, to finish her degree debt free. You can do it, Mir. And it is worth it. They make the choices, you provide the boundaries. When they choose a course that blows up in their faces you’re there to catch them as they fall. Hang in there, girl. And yes, we have the bail money…. :-)

  6. Diane

    If the book is meant to be a guide for her, I will happily read it onto the media of your choice, so you can play it on a continuous loop while she sleeps and thereby reprogram her.

    Otherwise, I’ll hold your coat while you beat her with it, and take you out for coffee and gluten-free cookies after.

    Seriously? I really think the more they love you, the rottener they have to be to test that love. Firm, loving, consistent – eventually, they come around.

  7. bitterdivorcee

    You’ve inspired me. For similar reasons, I could conceivably club my son with a bottle of spray-on macho, which if you’ve never smelled it—think Irish Spring plus Old Spice times ten to the hundredth power. Your sanity may not be intact, but at least you still have your sense of smell. ;-)


  8. Carmen

    Don’t ask me. I haven’t got the faintest idea what’s going on. I’m over here in steroid land.

    I hate you! I hate you! waaaaah, why is my life so hard? Stop looking at me!

    You know the drill. I know you do.

  9. Lylah

    Oooooh, honey. I hear you. I really, truly do.

    If you have to use it as a weapon, get the large-print version. More effective. Or, at least, heavier.

  10. Wendalette

    Sorry to say, I was that horrible teenager to my mom and provoked her as every turn. One day (when I was about 14 or 15, I think), I took it too far and Mom FLIPPED OUT to the tune of “I brought you into this world and I will take you out of it!”

    Fortunately (for me and the relation of this story), I was just a mite bigger than her and managed to sit on her until both of us calmed down and we could see the absurdity of the situation.

    While I didn’t completely escape punishment (no, I was NOT too big for a spanking. Oh, the humiliation!), I did remain in the realm of the living, And after, lo these many years, we’ve worked out a lot of our issues.She’s one of my best friends and amazingly she says the same of me. I wish it hadn’t taken so long though. And now we both are going through it again, this time with me as alternate parent to my sister. (I’m old enough to be her mom and helped raise her after we lost dad.)

    Yes, it may get worse before it gets better, but by God’s grace, it WILL get better! And if it doesn’t, I will be glad to come down there and school her for you, so you won’t have to blog from solitary.

    I’m just sayin’,

    You have my hugs and support and a supply of gluten-free, fair-trade, sustainably-farmed chocolate if you need it.

  11. Jenn C.

    I think I would ask to borrow your copy when you were done, just in case I needed it too.

  12. jwg

    It gets better, really it does. In the meantime you might like my mother’s advice. She suggested nailing all children in barrels when they turned 12 and feeding them through the bung hole, letting them out when they turn 18. A bit extreme, but understandable.

  13. Half Assed Kitchen

    Burying face in hands and shaking head. (Maybe keening slightly). Scared.

  14. heather

    The mother of one of my friends once threw a bucketful of water on her daughter when the girl was in a bratty teenage rant. Stopped her in her tracks.

  15. MomCat

    Go for it! (If mine wants drama, that’s what she gets, and it isn’t pretty.)

  16. Jan in Norman, OK

    Is there a version of that book for tenured faculty? Or one for graduate students who’ve never grown out of their teen-aged entitlement issues?

    There was another story on NPR this morning about how teenage brains are “unfinished”. Pretty interesting.

    (Hmmm…how come spell check accepts “teenage” but requires the hyphen for “teen-aged”?)

  17. Tracy

    Some times a good smack in the face makes them wake up and realize they are NOT in their own world. Just sayin’….I wouldn’t convict you or judge you. Been there and done it and now, I’m so glad I’m in the “grand” children world. They are perfect angels, you know!

  18. Katie in MA

    Maybe if I start beating my 6-going-on-16-year-old with that *now*, we’ll have less tears later. (Hey, I can dream.)

  19. bj

    “I hate you! I hate you! waaaaah, why is my life so hard? Stop looking at me!”

    Ah yes. And then, afterwards, she said, after I’d said something, “but, you’re expecting it to be logical. and it’s not.” I think we were talking about her hair.

  20. Julie

    I NEED that book! Well, I will need it in about 10 years. I have three girls (currently 5, 3, and 1). I cannot imagine my life in 10 years. That book should come with a parent version that has a hidden pocket concealing a bottle of Xanex!

  21. Jen

    Assuming the jurors have tween or teen children, I think you’re in the clear.

    My son is also 12, going into 7th grade this year, and seems to be Chickadee’s double in a lot of ways. My mother, a middle school teacher and much stronger woman than I, told me yesterday it will get worse before it gets better. If that is the case, I sincerely doubt that both of us will make it through alive.

  22. Saedra Oldham

    OK, I just happened to find your blog after I read a review you did of “Billy Bully” on Scholastic’s website and I am so delighted to have found you. I have been laughing my head off ever since your book review and now that I’ve found your blog and your weight loss blog, I am totally hooked. Thanks for being so stinking funny and sharing your hilarity with the world!

  23. BethR

    @jwg: One of my Dutch uncles altered your Mom’s theory a little bit. Yes, you feed them through the bung hole, but you hang onto the bung in case you have to drive it home and chuck them in the river. If they survive to 18, then they get let out :)

    And here’s the link to the story on NPR this morning: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129150658

  24. djlott

    Where was this book 15 years ago…. as the mother of 5 girls ages 10-26, it has not been all fun and games, but they haven’t had to get me a padded room yet.
    Daughter #4 (18yo) is the drama queen… and ditzy… maybe in a few years we can all laugh about it…

  25. mamaspeak

    Hopefully, you covered it in a ziplock or something, so it didn’t get dirty. Sounds like you can sell it used on Amazon now that you’ll have no need. And it sounds like you should get good money for it.
    I have a 4yo who is going on 14. She scares the bejebus out of me. If she’s like this NOW, WTH by puberty??? And she is every bit “the daughter my mother wished on me.” I am screwed.
    Saving up for boarding school. I have two girls, think they’ll give me a discount?

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