Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Kid Whisperer

My husband and I have these friends, Ken and Katie Craig.  I pilfered this picture off of Ken's blog, and in one of the many ironic twists of karma that go with hanging out with them, it turns out they are even more adorable in person. 

Another ironic twist of karma is that they are both so nice, so smart, so funny, you can't even hate them for being so darn adorable.  Seriously, it's a real problem.

As if that weren't enough, they also have six -- no, not gerbils; no, not formal table settings including shrimp forks; no, not copies of "American Ninja" -- six even more astonishing things than all of those:


I know!  Your next guess was going to be felony convictions, huh?  Well, when you consider that the baby is on the bottom of this pile, that's not so far fetched.  All I have to say is, if Katie didn't have me around to constantly monitor her parenting choices -- and by "monitor" I mean "feed her kids jelly bean sandwiches on white bread and gallons of Orange Crush whenever they're left in my unsupervised care" -- Child Protective Services woulda hauled her adorable kiester off a long time ago.

Do you have any idea how many young mothers I've saved from themselves?  I'm telling you, I give and I give.

But so far, there is one bad habit of Katie's that I just can not seem to break her of.  And, nearly all kidding aside, if she doesn't soon mend her ways she may wind up raising happy, well-adjusted children, which of course is code for "freaks."

It isn't this:


Anyone who has spent more than five minutes watching cable can tell you, this is quality parenting in action. Although technically, this picture was taken before they had become actual parents. Or spouses, for that matter. In fact, I'm pretty sure this is how they met, which is funny on accounta it's how Katie and I met, too. 

No, Katie's problem is, she has absolutely no idea how to discipline her children in public.

Brace yourselves; the following contains graphic descriptions of non-corporeal punishment at its most shocking.

Picture a living room in suburban Las Vegas. Katie and I were on the floor, surrounded by hand bells, sheet music, and, if I remember correctly, twenty-six kilos of Brazilian cocaine.

I may not be remembering that entirely correctly. There may also have been finger-cymbals.

And in the adjoining family room, a litter of Katie's offspring were flagrantly reading quiet books on the couch instead of playing "Mortal Kombat" like I'd told them to do. So already, it was near anarchy. The little stinkers were totally flouting the "my house, my rules" policy that is standard for most professional mothers.

Anyway, as Katie and I were marking music and snorting bells, one of her children -- I believe it was Flopsy -- came to his mother with a report that Mopsy wasn't sharing the book.

Sure enough, the room had erupted into sheer pandemonium. Cottontail was even heard to say, "Mopsy, you can hold one side and I'll hold the other," demonstrating the complete breakdown of order and civility that is typical in the Craig family.

Well, I've been around the parenting block a few dozen times, usually on two wheels and under the influence of Diet Coke, and I knew exactly how Katie should handle the travesty of obedience that was playing out on my family room couch. I dashed off to retrieve my cape and breakaway folding chair, in case she needed a wingman.

So you can imagine my horror when Katie gently invited Mopsy into the living room, sat her on her lap, and began whispering into her ear!

'Hel-LO!' I telepathed. 'I'm sitting right here! How can I get any mileage out of my Face o' Disapproval if I can't even hear what you're saying?' 

Can you believe it?  What is wrong with young mothers these days? Don't they know that kids will never learn to fear other adults if public disciplining isn't a team sport?

Honestly, it was just rude.  

And then, you will never guess what happened next. Mopsy picked up "B-flat One" and brained her mother with it.

Wait ... that doesn't sound right. I think I dreamed that part.

No, what really happened was, Mopsy meekly replied, "OK," and joined her sibs on the couch, where she was welcomed with kindness and snuggles.

Well, I couldn't have been more baffled by that display if they'd painted their faces white and called it Kabuki.  No yelling?  No sarcasm?  No shouts of "tag me, I'm good to go" from yours truly?

You could have used my jaw for a back hoe, it was that on the floor.

It was apparent Miz Katie Craig had a lot to learn about publicly shaming her kids. Thank goodness she was at DeNae's Reform School for Mild-Mannered Mothers, and today was Final Exams.

I took her aside, and told her in no uncertain terms that if she didn't start belittling, making empty threats, and invoking Ken's name in a way that had her kids hiding in the broom closet when they heard him pull up the drive, she would lose her license to practice parenthood and have no one to blame but herself.

It was then that Katie leaned over, put her mouth to my ear, and whispered:

"DeNae, if you ever meddle in my affairs again, I will tell everyone how much you weigh.  In pounds and ounces. BMI; the works. I may even bring up your use of body shaping lingerie. If you're comfortable with that scenario, then keep yapping. Otherwise, shut your friggin' pie hole. Okay?"

And I meekly looked at the floor and replied:

"Mopsy, bring me that B-flat One. I'm gonna ring your mommy's bell but good."

What?  How did you think that story was going to end?      


Kristina P. said...

No use of dog cages for time out?!? What kind of mother is she!!!!

And I am a big fan of shaming. I use it with my coworkers a lot.

Becky the Design Lady said...

I'm shocked!
The only way to get kids to sit quietly on the couch for any length of time is to roll them in a rug, prop them up like little hotdogs and slap a piece of ducktape over the part that makes noise.

AS Amber said...

How much of this really happened?? Did she really say that to you? That's freaking hilarious!

And what's the deal with the "not yelling" and no "idle threats"? How does she expect to get her kids to ignore her & do whatever they want? It's worked for me. Every time I tell my kids I'm gonna "knock 'you out" they totally go right on doing exactly what I don't want them to do.

See? That's how it works.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

I'm almost first!!!!

LUBBBBED this stinkin' heelarious post. You are so darn rootin tootin cute-in.

I'm typing this in the pitch black so I'm backspacing like a maniac. Gotsta go, but where DID you find that heelariout photographic evidence? I bet she's a good hub whisperer too. hee hee

Shantel said...

You are one funny lady. Anyone that can get a belly laugh out of me at 6:49 in the AM, deserves my respect. and a dont have to spell it right to drool about it.

tammy said...

Parents these days...
How do you expect your kids to learn the meaning of cuss words if you're not using them?

M-Cat said...

I'm with Tammy. How will they ever learn the proper usage of swear words if not taught in the home in "Mommy's head is going to explode" voice???

Kazzy said...

Where were you when I had young children? Wait, I know... you were taking care of your own young children. You were. Right?

Boy Mom said...

Katie's just copying the God Father Movies, so cliche.

You are one funny lady.

Annette Lyon said...

Shocking. Truly shocking.

And yes, of course you're right. The other spelling refers to the cloth the Eucharist is placed on.

I LOVE backing you up after you make me snort with laughter . . . ah, the joys . . .

Becca said...

You are cute. That is all.

Garden of Egan said...


DeNae, will you please allow me to bring all future spawn-o-mine to be raised by you?????

I love the "abouttobegoosed" picture. I hope it's on the wall right next to their temple picture.

Cheeseboy said...

Oh my. I thought that I wanted to "meet" this woman, but then you kinda freaked me out. I'm with Amber. What were her exact words?

Hey, by the way I was featured on a blog called "Mother of Pearl" and she asked me to list my 3 favorite blogs to read and you made the list! You can read about it here. I may or may not have said some kind things about you.

Tree said...

How dare she not yell at her kids! LOL Speaking of cages...I have a photo of two of my kiddos caged on my blog. :)

I'm stopping by to visit you after hearing how wonderful you are from Cheeseboy! He was my featured "MAN Supahstah" this can check it out below. Following you now too! :)

Cheeseboy: Our first MAN Supahstah

AS Amber said...

So I spent some time on their blog last night. It's so cute! He's a great writer. No comments, though? What kind of animals are these people?

First they don't publicly shame their children & now they don't engage in the most narcissistic part of blogging?? I'm starting to question your choice of friends, sister.

Jen said...

How stinkin' funny--just like her and her hubby (and her half dozen) are stinkin' cute!!! :) I thoroughly enjoy the way you tell stories--this one was nice since I grew up in a family with eight kids. My Mom and Dad had ways of making us behave without the life public. :D

Beth Zimmerman said...

Here to join your followers because Cheeseboy can't be wrong (well ... he was wrong about antiperspirant ... and maybe a few other things but he has good taste in blogs) and because I can always use a good laugh! Thoroughly enjoyed this post!

RawknRobynsGoneBlogWild said...

I had to join the fun as your newest follower, being as we're both on Cheeseboy's list of faves. I'm already loving your wit and wisdom (? - to use the term with flexibility). :)

Debbie said...

It's people like her that give good mothers like me a bad name. All that whispering and gentleness and kindness. I tell you where it will all end - with her having smart, well-behaved polite kids. And then what will she do? How will she hold her head up in public? I'm appalled by the whole thing.
Gotta go yell at my kids...

Mikki said...

ok, now I'm just dying to know what she whispered in that kids ear!

Braden said...

It is fortunate that you are here to document these kind of things! Great post and I hope Katie is suitably chastened. Last night I put my 7 year old to bed gently-until he wouldn't go to bed quietly. I yelled at him. Then stroked his back gently until he tried to get out of bed again and so I yelled again.

Melanie J said...

Let her come over here. She'll be able to see how it's done LOUDLY, all day long, and witness much tears and gnashing of teeth in the process. Sheesh. Whipsering. What the--?

Josh said...

I don't know you, but I know the Craigs and they are delightful, and amazing, and inspiring. And their kids are cute.

Johnson Family said...

I don't know you either, but I know Ken pretty well since he's my brother. ;) I adore them too, and admire Katie in great heaps. Good story, love your writing. Give them a hug for me next time you see them!

mrsfussypants said...

I have a personal motto that I live by. In fact, I wear one of those really annoying arm bands with it on it: "WWKD?" (What would Katie do?) I often think of her as I try to navigate parenting. She totally deserves to have her bell rung by you.