Parenting - A Syllabus

Because nobody but Cce and Carissa seemed to have read this and probably you too HPKT, I'm re-posting something I wrote back in the day for this blog while I attend to my visiting family. I'm sorry for the recycling. Sometimes, it must be done. Milena.


Cartoon by Cathy Thorne at www.everydaypeoplecartoons.com

24.7.365 Parenting Through Osmosis and Experience
Now through Eternity Semester

Course Description

Instructor: Prof. Mother
Office Hours: Monday-Sunday from 1 a.m to midnight

Teaching Assistant: Mr. Kid
Office Hours: Monday-Sunday from wakeup to conk out

Substitute Assistant: Mr. Father
Office Hours: Sporadic

This class takes an in-depth look at Parenting with a special focus on how-to techniques. The course will begin with a survey of life before the children. This includes a brief look into the things you used to be able to do and will never get to do again until you are too old to enjoy them and then won't want to do anyway because of the problem with the bad back and that pain in your knees; followed by a primer on how to forget everything you thought you knew about having children before you actually even had them (in class we will burn What to Expect yada yada ya) and, will move on to procedures for coping with the discovery that you are no longer an adult but a watering pot.

Mid-way through the first semester, we will delve right into lessons for a variety of important early parenting issues such as: Handling practices for radioactive poop and how to not get peepee on your clothes; sex and life (you got a lot of the first one and now see how you ended up, so try to do the best you can with what's left for chrissakes), gravitational ramifications of feeling 50 lbs lighter but still 100 lbs heavier than you were before you had a child, as well as study Buddhist meditation exercises that help to short-circuit the impulse to clobber your partner. This will be followed with written assignments on the following subjects: the joy of child play, the child that plays in you, how to recognize when your child is toying with you, the pseudo-joys of insomnia, advanced playing methods (the hours upon hours technique), the nirvana of motherhood and creative cursing for when the non-stop playing gets to you. Finally, the course will place significant emphasis on the importance of having couple time while building with toddler Lego, adjusting to unfair practices in the allocation of parenting tasks and some lesser-observed tenets of child rearing will be discussed at length. Amongst them, is the child, the child? And if so, where oh where is the adult? (hopefully with the watering pot); the fundamentals of quantifiable future monetary applications for the time you are investing in your child now and, how this might pay off for you later (the Tiger Woods example); finally a cursory look at some obscure methods for dealing with unscheduled role reversals - how to recognize the signs and pretend you are still the parent.

Throughout this course, students will read all they can of the assigned book list (it won't help so I wouldn't even bother, but hey! it's your time to waste), and engage in the writing of short, rant-filled letters where you will mock abdicate motherhood for cathartic purposes. Said letters will be torn up or burned in class every once in a full moon. We will go on field trips to the Zoo in order to observe the daily living habits of Tasmanian Devils and hard to catch little monkeys. We will apply often to oracles, palm readers/greasers, God, strangers, close relatives and circus clowns for bribing, experimentation and guidance purposes. As a frequent testing method we will rely on the Wall Progress Technique. For this, you will be required to run full throttle at a brick wall (no safety equipment allowed) and wait for the wall to stop your progress. Pop quizzes will be handed out more often than you might think. Don't try to prepare. There's no point. You either pass it or you don't.

There will be no end of term examination as there is no end of term. Dropping out of the course is not allowed and this is a no-credit course though you are still expected to pay for it. Grading will be conducted with the assistance of Mr. Kid and the least helpful of the clowns. No excuses will be accepted for not handing in your assignments. No medical dispensations will be considered either. Dying is an option but, are you sure you wanna go that route?

This course is primarily intended for the novice but undergrads, grads and even post-graduate students (I know you think that's you - but I'd recommend the self-delusion course being taught down the hall) are accepted here. We are a Pro-Mundi Beneficio (look it up) institution and the course reflects the University's credo that all shall be committed and straight-jacketed, that in God we trust because we believe that a parent's love frees even as you lose all your life's savings. Welcome to the circus students! I am looking forward to grading you.


  1. You have a nice blog here, i am new to the Blog world, has created one for myself, check it http://openwithursmile.blogspot.com/
    and let me know...Hope to hear from you soon.....

  2. Appropos of absolutely nothing....your rolling list of books finally inspired me to read Georgette Heyer. I've ordered two of her regency era romances and a history of the era by one of my favorite historians Carolly Erikson, from amazon last night. I'll let you know how it turns out!

  3. I always love a girl that recycles! :)l

  4. Wow. If that's leftovers, sign me up for what's in the back of the frig. Hilarious. Funny. Witty. (Not that I'm bucking for an "A.")

  5. "We will go on field trips to the Zoo in order to observe the daily living habits of Tasmanian Devils and hard to catch little monkeys."

    LOL!! Love this post! Thanks for your kind comment on my blog :)

  6. See... there's more than three people reading your posts!

  7. Nisha: Hi. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. I'll definitely go over to yours. Good luck with the blogging. It is an interesting and rewarding pastime for me. I hope you find the same wonderful things I'm getting from it myself.

    Suzanne! Well, I really am quite flattered you took me up on a recommendation. I think Georgette Heyer is fabulous. Good dialogues, funny moments, great and lovable characters and best of all, everyone ends happy. What more could one ask for? You have to let me know what you think of her.

    Kelcey: You would. I don't know how you yourself do it dear. I've discovered a couple of supermoms in the blogosphere and you definitely are one of them. Are you back from Italy?

    Ron!!! I've already told you what I thought of your comment. Thank you.

    Rocki: My pleasure. Your blog deserves all the kind comments. It's great. And so glad my post gave you a laugh.

    Chesca: I know you do. ;-) The great thing is that I, hear you TOO.

    Randall: Apparently!


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