How to Read to Your Kids Without Boring the Sh*t Out Of Them

At least with picture books I didn’t have to rely on my parents to read to me.

For half of my life (since I was about 2) I’ve reveled in the simple joys of life: Eating Cheerios with my feet, drawing on my stomach with Sharpies and of course reading. After all who doesn’t like curling up with a good book?

Problem is, since I can’t read yet, enjoying a compelling story puts me at the mercy of my parents. And rest assured, listening to those clowns read to me is like taking a handful of Ambien. Puts me right to sleep — not because I’m tired but because I’m so effing bored.

If you read to your kids, here are  a few suggestions to keep your audience:

If you’re not a professional character actor lay off the accents
I know I might be responsible for crushing a few dreams of my parents. Maybe at one time they thought they’d be actors or something. But let’s be clear:  Don’t use my story time to practice your “craft.” For example,  Pinocchio’s Geppetto doesn’t need to be read in a stereotypical Chico Marx Italian accent — it’s embarrassing. And your “Bob Dylan with emphysema,”  interpretation of the Lorax gets a little old. Keep your day job.

If you’re too tired to read, don’t cheat.
Just because you’re too exhausted at the end of the day doesn’t mean you should insult my intelligence by skipping multiple pages when you read me a story. It’s pretty obvious when a story goes from someone vehemently NOT enjoying green eggs and ham to someone who’s suddenly going ape-shit for the stuff. Give me some credit.

Keep your eyes on the page
Can 45 year olds ADD? If so I should slip my mom some Ritalin in her morning coffee. She’s a wreck. When she’s reading to me she can’t seem to focus for more than two pages at a time. I’m on the edge of my seat listening to Fox in Socks wondering whether “chicks with bricks come or chicks with blocks come” and suddenly she’s jumped out of bed switching the clothes to the dryer, checking her iphone or refilling her umpteenth glass of wine. Sit still sister.


5 Ways to Get Lazy Ass Parents Out of Bed

I don't know which is worse...trying to get my parents our of bed or when they fall asleep in mine.

My morning routine usually goes something like this: I wake up around 6 a.m. refreshed and ready to greet the day. I then race into my parents’ room and with unbridled joy begin bouncing on their bed. What do I invariably find? Two giant fleshy sloths snoring away like chain saws.

What a freaking buzzkill.

For most of us, getting parents out of bed  is no easy task.  Heard of  a book called Go the F*ck to Sleep?  How about one titled,  Wake the F*ck Up. Guaranteed if preschoolers had any income, we’d make it a bestseller.

Seriously, parents will do anything to stay in bed … in order to prolong their slumber my mom and dad employ the pathetic trick of asking me if I want to “cuddle” with them. Yeah, right. Snuggle up, as you fall back asleep and drool all over my head? Sorry, I’ll pass.

So how do you get parents out of the sack without all the bullsh*t? Here are a few tips:

Maintain a firm wake up time
Even if you feel like you could just play in your room and give mom and dad a few extra minutes of sleep,  don’t give in. Parents need to understand that the life they had before you were born is over. That means never sleeping in again until the year 2028. Ever.

Give them a 2 minute warning
Warn your parent that wake-up is in two minutes, or give him a choice — “Do you want to get up now or now?”

Keep consistent wake up time rituals.
One morning don’t  try to awaken dad by affixing stickers to his face and another  serenade mom with some significant audio from your Leap Frog Leapster. Make sure to wake up both of them same way. It’s only fair.

Reward them!
If you can manage to get them out of the sack  show them your appreciation by drawing them a beautiful picture of a flowers or a trucks!  Then be sure to shove it under their bleary-eyed faces while they’re waiting for their coffee to brew. Take this time to explain to them, in detail, your thought process for color and composition.  Do not accept, “Not now” as a response.

Read to Them
Who doesn’t like to be awoken to a nice book? Even if you don’t know how to read you can still recite what you remember from your favorite stories. I find the most impaction to be Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed. Works like a charm.


5 Things You Can Get Away With When Mommy Works

Sweet freedom.

I haven’t written in a while because things around my house have changed. My mom, who got laid off from her job late last year, finally got another gig. Whew. There’s nothing worse than  someone with no domestic skills what-so-ever trying their hand at being a stay-at-home mom. My Zhu Zhu Pet hamster could run a house better.

Any-who, having mom back in the work force has made my life increasingly more bearable. Here’s why:

1) The He Said, She Said, Communication Meltdown
Since my mom leaves for work early in the morning and my dad comes home late at night they can never get on the same page when it comes to parenting. A simple, “Daddy, said I could!,” or “Mommy, said I could!” and the world is my chocolate covered oyster.

2) Breakfast for Dinner!
By the time my mom gets out of her job, battles traffic and picks me up from preschool she’s usually too exhausted to whip up one of her “specialties.”  Thank to her inability to plan our weekly meals in advance my dinner can sometimes consist of a nice yummy bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios. SA-WEET!

3) The Easiest Game of ‘Mother May I?” EVER.
Generally, a request to bust out my  paints, Play-Doh, or Moon Sand, is met with a “get ready for bed” —but after a full day of work my mom would let me light the house on fire if she thought it would buy her some time to catch up on her email.

4) Dad’s No Fashion Police
In the morning it’s just dad and me, and unlike my control freak mom, he doesn’t give a rat’s ass if I wear the exact same outfit I wore the day before,  pull my clothes directly from the hamper or dress like a mental patient.  He’s good like that.

5) Bedtimes are for Mommies
My mom is in charge of the nighttime routine so by the time bedtime rolls around, after an  uninspired reading of Pinkalicious  she usually conks out in my bed. It sure beats sleeping alone … even if she does snore like a freaking buzz-saw.


5 Reasons Kids Don’t Want to Go To Bed

OK, full disclosure. Bedtime pisses me off. There I said it. If you don’t believe me you can swing by my street any night around 7:30 and easily identify my house. It will be the one emanating the blood curdling screams, the begging and of course the crying.

Bedtime is a huge freaking drag. But apparently the real whiners in the situation are the parents. One cry baby dad even wrote a book about bedtime battles called Go the F**K To Sleep. Real classy.

Parents think the reason kids don’t want to go “nighty-night” is because we’ll be missing out on all the fun. I say: Don’t flatter yourself. You guys aren’t that exciting.

Here are the real reasons you take that one-way ticket to Dozy Land and shove it.

1) It’s freakin’ lonely.
No wonder parents think bedtime is so awesome. For them bedtime means cuddling up next to each in giant fluffy beds. Bedtime for me means laying alone clutching a synthetic inanimate object for comfort. You do the math.

2) Left with my own thoughts I fear I will plunge into a quagmire of lingering ennui. What if the world runs out of cake? What if I can’t find my sparkly purple scrunchies? Is there something going on between Dora and her Cousin Diego? And if so isn’t that a bit creepy?

3) I don’t want to hear the freaky noises from your bedroom. Once a week (OK, to be fair maybe once every two weeks) I detect the most bizarre noises coming from under my parent’s door. A lot of banging around and heavy breathing. What are those two wackos doing in there? Moving furniture?

4) My parents can’t function without me. With me out of the picture my parents will actually have to talk to each other. Seriously. I’ve seen what happens when those two are left to their own devices: A whole lot of nothing. When I’m around they are guaranteed a panoply of entertainment: avant garde puppet shows, impromptu naked dancing are just a small sampling of my repertoire. With me asleep who’s going to distract them from the fact that they’ve relegated themselves to a mundane middle-class existence? It’s the least I can do.

5) My sugar consumption will be cut off for 9+ hours
If I’m sleeping how the hell am I going to con you into giving me more dessert items? Unless I can count on you to feed me cookies and candy intravenously I’m painfully aware that if I go to sleep the sweet shop is closed.