Cinder: Moooom! There’s blood all over the bouncy house! Creeper has a bloody nose!
Jane: What do you need?
Cinder: Toilet paper and a responsible adult. Is Dad here?
Cinder: Fuck. Nevermind—I’m going to go get Lacey!
There are consequences to too much un-helicopter parenting. Hoverers and smotherers, take heart. This will never happen to you.
Jane: Great. That’s just great, Ender. So because you didn’t want to share the chocolate bar with Flora, when I took off a little piece for her, instead of enjoying yours, you threw it on the car floor and stomped it into the mat. That is just awesome. Fan-tas-tic.
Flora: Are you going to yell at him?
Jane: I’m kind of yelled out, honestly. Yeah. I’m done. No more yelling in this throat.
Flora: Does that apply just to Ender, or to me as well?
Flora: If I do something obnoxious and awful right now—are you so yelled out you won’t yell at me?
Jane: The question here, my love, is are you brave enough to risk testing that hypothesis?
She didn’t. She’s a smart cookie, that one. Just like her mama. Speaking of which…
Flora: Dad, what does arrogant mean?
Sean: Arrogant… sort of someone who thinks they’re better than everyone else.
Jane: Or it’s what incompetent people who expect you to be all shy and self-effacing because you’re young and a woman call you when you tell them you can do the fucking job.
Flora: Dad? Is Mom arrogant?
Sean: Yeah, kind of.
Jane: The word is competent. Com-pe-tent.
Ender: Maaaa-maaa! I peed!
Jane: In the potty?
Ender: No. In my diaper.
Jane: Jeezus—Kee-rist, Ender, you need to start peeing in the potty. Please. For the sake of your only mother’s sanity.
Ender: I will never pee in the potty. But I will pee in the toilet.
Jane: Great. Let’s…
Ender: When I’m big.
Jane: My beloved, you’re already big.
Ender: When I’m big as you.
A. Jesus, Buddha, Vishnu, Zeus, animistic spirits that live in trees and rocks—any potential deity in the universe—if you potty-train this child, I will convert. I’ll sacrifice a white bull, I’ll get a lame hair cut, I’ll wear a robe and dance at airports, I’ll hand out fliers door-to-door outlining the genesis of the great Ender-out-of-diapers miracle. Just. Please. Get him to toilet train. Now.*
B. Gentle reader, it is possible that at some point in the future, my arrogance will over take me and I will give you advice on toilet training. Don’t listen to a word I’ll say. Just don’t.
Have a kick-ass weekend. If you’re in YYC, join us at Beakerhead, especially the Suistanaval.
*To effect the conversion, you must give me a clear and unfake-able sign it was you and not one of your competitors who effected the miracle. I’m desperate. Not gullible.
P.S. Two of the top searches bringing people to Nothing By The Book this week: “parents who don’t brush kids hair” & “kids hairstyle book.” Some of those people will be horribly, horribly disappointed.
P.P.S. Yeah, that’s our living room. We have crash mats, not carpets. You don’t have to ask why, do you? No, of course not…
Or, add me to your circles on GOOGLE+: Jane Marsh on
If you’re looking for the real me, or want to follow my YYC Twitter feed, Follow @paddleink.