Posted by: Abe's Blog | June 16, 2010

So You Are Thinking Of Having A Child; A 5-Time FOTY Award Winner Gives Free Parenting Advice

Yes, it’s true. I have won the coveted Father Of The Year (FOTY)award five times. But who’s counting? I am. That’s five times, friend. I had to put up a special display case for my awards, right where my wife’s collection of ceramic dolls used to sit. Oh, don’t worry, I didn’t break her dolls…nothing that a little glue couldn’t mend, anyway. Well…that’s enough bragging. Now, let’s move on with the advice portion of this post.

Are you considering bringing a child into this world? If so, then this blog is for you. Have you already spawned your off-spring, but feel a need for some advice, but refuse to attend the free Parenting Classes that your child’s teacher keeps telling you about? Then this blog is for you. Is your child grown and out of the house, but you are wondering if you did everything right? Again…blog, for you. But, what if you don’t have kids, don’t want kids, try to avoid kids, and/or don’t know anything about kids? Well, sooner or later some other parent’s child is going to do something terrible right in front of you; wouldn’t you love to be a helpful citizen and immediately tell that parent what they are doing wrong? Well then, this blog is for you.

Being an exceptional parent is hard. Just ask me, five-time FOTY award winner. Yes, it’s really hard. Sometimes your children will not listen to you. Let us rephrase that to say, “often” your children will not listen to you. In actuality, children rarely listen to their parents–at least not for the first twenty or so times they are asked. On rare occasions, your child may actually be defiant, or “naughty”. You may wonder what you should do when this happens. As my children are half angel (on their mother’s side) and do not misbehave, I can only tell you what I would do if they defied my very command. I would yell. Loudly. It is not important what you yell; it is more important how you yell. A proper yell should be from deep in the diaphragm. To achieve a superior parental yell, take a deep breath, then hold it while you count to sixty-five. When you begin to see red in your peripheral vision, you may begin your yell. The sixty-five second break gives you a chance to craft the perfect words for the situation, which you will let loose in an earth-shaking yowl, “I TOLD YOU NOT TO FEED TOOTHPASTE TO THE DOG!!!” You may find it more effective to loose your rage in the form of a question, “HOW MANY TIMES HAVE I TOLD YOU NOT TO DUMP ROCKS IN THE TOILET?!” Just remember that this should be a yell, not a scream. A scream just makes you look crazy and kids think crazy is funny and will intentionally try to make you go crazy again.

Puppies and cats eat out of bowls. You can fill the bowls with the same thing every day and they will eat it and be happy. Some children are the same way.  Most of them are not. From time memorial (1927), it has been a parents’ job to try to make their children eat broccoli, asparagus, and egg-plant. Children hate these things, but forcing them to eat it builds character. My youngest child refused to eat anything but cottage cheese and bananas for years, costing me the FOTY award a few times in the process (the requirement that a father’s children must eat a well-rounded diet has since been removed from the rule book). My mother used to try to force us to eat tofu, attempting to “disguise” it as disgusting bits of white goo in various foods. My question of “Ew! What are these disgusting globs of gooey white stuff?” were met with “Food! Now eat it!” As I know from personal experience that this tactic does not work, I recommend disguising food as pizza. It really works great. If you want to eat some of the pizza, then order some with tomatoes on it. Many children will not eat pizza that has tomatoes on it, or that has been contaminated with tomatoes. This pizza is for you, the tired and fearless parent.

When people are considering having children, they often daydream about how wonderful and fun it will be to play with a little baby, to push little Johnny in the swing, to ride on the Ferris wheel with little Janie. And they are right–all of those things are very fun.  But when that baby comes, the parents find out that it does not understand that humans need more than two hours of sleep. Babies are cute and they smell really good…except when they smell really bad. But new parents spend much of the time pushing the little baby to reach the next milestone instead of attempting to hold onto every sweet-smelling, exhausting, soft moment of the infant stage, and by the time they realize they cannot cuddle their little one in their arms, he is sitting sullenly on the couch, blasting death-metal in his headphones, watching the cartoon network on high volume, while texting his buddies at high-speed. His snuggling days are over and you will never get them back. My morsel of advice on this issue of parenting is perhaps the most important. Enjoy your child and love him or her like there is no tomorrow. Because there really isn’t. Tomorrow, your little one will be one day older than today.

If you don’t have children and have made it this far into the blog, then I thank you and will personally send you your certificate. You are now a Parenting Expert and as such are fully qualified to give advice to any parent. Get to work!



  1. Congratulations on your multiple awards! I have a feeling you’re about to be a six-time champ. This post should be Freshly Pressed.

    It is indeed amazing how quickly they grow out of the snuggle phase. Nowadays when I do the laundry, I almost never find dirty old rocks in the pants pockets. Sometimes I miss those rocks. I never imagined myself saying that when I’d find ’em all over the house. But I do.

    • Yes, I know exactly what you mean. My oldest is 21 and my youngest is 7. I learned how fast they grow up from the oldest, and I’m learning that there is nothing I can do about it from the youngest. It’s funny how the things that annoy us the most about the young years are some of the things we miss the most when they are gone.

  2. Hahahahahahahaha! No children, and no intention of having any (at least not today) but I do believe I have won the best Aunt award 5 times too!!!! It’s all a scam though because I know I’m GREAT with kids of all ages because they’re NOT mine and no matter how long they stay with me, I KNOW they’re going back home. In a way, being an Aunt is probably more like having grandparent status? Maybe.

    • Aunties are even better than grandmas in a kid’s mind. An aunt is like a grandma, but cooler! And yeah, you get to give them back when you’re done. Aunties play a key role in the care, feeding, and development of rugrats.

  3. For some reason I feel like this blog post may just be for me….

    Congrats on all your awards, which clearly make you qualified to instruct others. 5 time winner??? Holy crap! I’ve got no kids, but I do have many nieces and nephews, which are so much easier, because I get to give them back anytime I’ve had enough. Plus, for some strange reason (you may be able to elaborate on this) they seem to listen to their Uncle a lot more than they listen to their parents??? Not sure why that is….

    I’ve always loved anything that starts with, “How many times have I told you….”! Classic!!!

    I’ll be waiting for my certificate while I hold my breathe……I warn you if it takes longer than 65 seconds to get I may end up yelling.

    • Nice! Your Certificate of Backseat Parenting is already on the way. It may get held up in customs for awhile. As to the eternal question, why do kids listen to others better then their own parents, the answer is simple: those parents haven’t read my blog or listened to any of my advice. They are doomed to fail unless those of us who know better can fix them.

      • OF COURSE!!

        I would have know that if I’d had my certificate already I’m sure. “Certificate of Backseat Parenting”, I love it!

  4. There are no kids in my future… but this was a very entertaining read. I still want you to adopt me, by the way. Is my room ready yet?

    • I’m still planning on it. I think you will my best kid yet!

  5. I normally try to have some stupid goofy comment for your blogs like this, but I don’t have one yet this time. But on a serious note…
    “Tomorrow, your little one will be one day older than today.” This is one of the all time best lines I have read from you. There is so much meaning yet simplicity in it and I can’t rave enough how deeply that hits home to me. My youngest son just got to the age where he doesn’t want to hug me anymore, and it completely bums me out. Overall things are great in our lives, but just knowing that he passed that one day from baby hugs to young boy leaves me feeling lost.

    On a lighter note…. You only won those awards because I didn’t compete those years.

    I am really glad to see you come over here from Myspace.. take care and I hope your business is doing better.

    • Than you! I know you are going to think of a great, sarcastic remark just before you fall asleep.

      I’m hanging onto my little guy’s young-ness as long as I can. I don’t want these hugs to go away. I could do without the the screaming fits, but not the hugs. On a positive note, the hugs do return…it seems to happen around age 20 or so.

      I really like this site. For blogging, it’s the bees knees. And my work is picking up, too. Thank you sir, and keep on truckin’!

  6. We used to watch our grandmother go into conniption fits of fury over the least little thing. It was fun. Especially when in her anger she mixed up her words. That would get us giggling all over the place, which didn’t help her mood at all. 🙂

    Great blog as usual, Abe!

    • Thank you, Wolf. When my mother used to get angry with us kids, she would get our names mixed up and would have to run through all of them before she got the right one.

  7. Well said sir!

    There’s nothing to add to your last bit of advice, nothing that makes more of a difference than that.

    • …and that says everything I needed to hear. Thank you, sir!

  8. Face it , sometimes the TOFU disguises were good, like cheesecake Tofu! Love you!

    • Love you too, Mom 🙂
      But I don’t recall eating cheesecake tofu and enjoying it. So maybe it worked after all!

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