Newsflash: Parents love giving advice to
other parents. This is a good thing, because there are lots of little nuggets of
wisdom we can get from others with experience. But as we all know, not all of
it is necessarily helpful information — and some of it is absolutely horrible.
There also doesn’t seem to be a time limit
as to when parents stop trying to give advice to other parents. My husband and
I were at a party recently, and one mom was trying to tell us where our
daughter should go to college. I think we’ll run into this same woman in 20 years and she’ll be telling our grandson not to pick his nose because he’ll
pull out his brains.
This got me thinking about all the advice
I’d heard over the years, and I decided to compile it into a chronological
list. I admit I may have missed one or two and I might be embellishing a
little. In fact, I think some of these might even be advice I gave to others.
(Sorry I can’t remember. When I was a baby someone told my mom not to put me
near the radio because it would make me slow and she didn’t listen.)
You should sign your baby up for pre-school
now, otherwise she'll have to go to public pre-school and there are gangs
there. Baby gangs.
She might have diaper rash because her
onesie is too tight and you buckled the car seat wrong and then drove by the
If you don't breastfeed, your baby will be
stupid and she won’t get into Harvard.
If you breastfeed too long, your breasts
will sag and no one will love you.
You shouldn’t use that brand of baby soap.
My aunt’s friend’s sister did and now her baby has an extra leg.
You should try my baby carrier. It was
designed by Bono and will make you look thinner.
Baby food from a jar is fine. Just make
sure it’s organic and hand-mashed by Mensa members.
You should make all of your own baby food. All
you need is an organic garden, an industrial freezer and an old-timey food
grinder. Do you have a co-op vintage mercantile in your neighborhood?
She should be walking by now. I asked my
mailman and he said babies like that usually need surgery on their legs.
You should transfer to our pre-school. It’s
the ‘Free Range’ approach so the kids get to roam around and only sit down to
Toilet training is so easy! Try our method
that uses soothing music, magnets and crushed fennel sprinkled in your baby’s
I wouldn’t go near that playground. I saw shards
of glass on the slide once. Well, it turned out to be water but my point is
life is dangerous.
You should transfer to our elementary
school. There are only three students in each class and my son just learned how
to make cheese. Also, no gangs.
Don’t let them spend too much time on the
computer! Our neighbor’s boy did, and I’ll bet that Bill Gates kid is nothing
but trouble now.
Don’t let them spend too much time watching
TV! Our neighbor’s boy did and now he is fairly well adjusted and similar to
other children on earth.
Whatever you do, don’t send them to public
school. There are gangs there. Did I mention gangs? There.
Teenagers are awful and just cause trouble.
And I should know because I don’t have any teenagers of my own but I’ve seen
several episodes of "Blossom."
If your kids ask you about birth control,
pretend that you don’t know who they are and start speaking a different
Don’t let them go to parties, because they
might have fun and learn how to be at ease around other humans.
Your daughter should go to [prestigious
college] because I went to [prestigious college] and I’m sure your 18-year-old
daughter is similar to me — a middle-aged man working in an office who likes to
line-dance on the weekends.
If she goes away to college you’ll be so sad
and not want to go on living. That is, until you turn her bedroom into an
If she lives at home while going to college
she might never learn how to make ramen on a hot pad plugged into her laptop.
You should re-think sending her to that school.
Is that a real school? Do they give out real diplomas? I’m only asking because
I’m trying to make sure I’m never invited to another party ever.