01 December 2010

Young Parents: Get A Yardstick!

There is a point in every young parent's life, particularly the mother, when it becomes realized that despite the intense delight and passionate pleasure during the process of conception, there has been brought forth into the world a psychopath!  This realization usually hits somewhere between the child's age of two and five.  Regrettably, the derangement continues up to about the age of 25 to 28.

Comedian Bill Cosby calls them "brain damaged"!  Brain damaged or psychopathic, the end result is the same.  At about the age that a person begins gaining their own sanity, they become the caretakers of the criminally insane.  Sweet, cuddly little toddlers become fiendish pre-schoolers more influenced by the worst behaving brat in day-care than by parents or teachers. Sharps have to be placed not just out of reach, but under lock and key, as do medicines and toxic and caustic substances less they be given or applied to family pets, a younger child, or merely self-ingested just for the hell of it.

This particular form of mental derangement's onset demonstrates displays of obstinacy regarding personal hygiene and/or fulfilling the human need for sleep. Those who have descended the deepest into their madness often will eschew all forms of nourishment other than Gummy Bears coated with honey or macaroni and cheese slathered with ketchup.  But, bath and bedtime, once ritualized and predictable occasions of bonding and sweet affection, become the kill zones of deadly fire-fights with no quarter given.  Banshee like shrieks of retribution from the parent, loud and shrill enough to cause neighborhood dogs to waken and wail, and to shatter Aunt Mildred's wedding gift crystal, merely feed the child's distemper.  Milder one's whimper, whine, beg and plea while the more aggressive resort to running naked to hide under the bed or the darkest recesses of the closet--despite earlier avowals that a "hairy monster" resides there and that it would be utterly impossible and life-threatening to sleep under those conditions.

People who once went to country fairs and home shows for the displays and rides now head there for one thing and one thing only: Free Yardsticks!  Wise ones will get several, as the newer, more flexible ones, break rather easily.

Dressmakers use them to measure hems and skirt or dress length from the floor.  But not so with young parents.  They have no time for for dressmaking.  Their intent is self-preservation!  At wit's end and fully cognizant of the criminal penalties for what they now murderously contemplate each night at bath or bed time, they seek an advantage.  And, they know, either from their own experience, or perhaps instinctively, that a well-used yardstick is the perfect weapon of intimidation.

Properly used by a fearless parent, order can be restored to the ward without resulting to strait-jackets, drugs, or duct tape.  Like all psychopaths, the young child is wholly motivated, even driven, by a fear-based instinct for self-preservation.  Once applied to the brat's butt, the yardstick assumes a life of its own.

Upon hearing the words, "Do I need the yardstick?", all but the most recalcitrant quickly determine that it is best to choose one's battles carefully, and that right now perhaps is not the time.  Sometimes, with the brighter ones, all that is needed is a parent's longing look at the yardstick, even without a suggestion of a move in its direction, to be sufficient to alter the situation and bring about docility and compliance.

The additional advantage of the yardstick is that it extends the parent's reach by three feet and can't be easily eluded or dodged, and becomes the perfect tool to rout the misbehaving youngster from under the bed or dark corner of the closest.

A word of caution is needed.  Be careful, despite the provocation, to see to it that only the flat side, rather than the edge, is used.  Even the most callused little butt might show a mark if it were...and that could launch inquiries from those pesky and nosy CPS people!

And that's a whole other thing!

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