Friday, 11 July 2014

A Parent's Guide to the Alphabet by Naomi Elana Zener

A, is for apple. B, is for book. Boring. For all moms and dads out there, here’s a fun alternative to teaching kids the alphabet by way of an alphabet abacus, song, blocks, or book options that re-edifies you on the realities of parenthood and beefs up your child’s lexicon at the same time.

A, is for Asshole, not only because everyone has one, but because upon becoming a parent, so many people turn into one. They become judgmental, know-it-all freaks whose opinions are the only ones that matter, expecting their voice to be the only voice to which you listen. A is also for Alcohol because you can’t spell ‘parenthood’ without it. And, it helps to unwind after a run-in with an asshole parent. See the letter “E” below.

B, is for Baby. That’s what you make when you have unprotected sex, be it in either the biblical, possibly Clintonian, or test tube sense. If you don’t want one, keep your legs shut and pants on. If you engage in intercourse, I have another two-word combo that starts with B: BIRTH CONTROL. Otherwise, you’re on the hook for life for the fruit of your loins. Not just until your babes-in-arms reach the age of majority.

C, unlike what Toronto’s Mayor Rob Ford would have you think, is NOT for Crack. But, in his case, the world learned that it is. It is for Cat, but not the derogatory alternative version of the word that said mayor used to describe the all-he-can-eat buffet he has at home between his wife’s thighs.  Sesame Street got it right telling the kids that C is for Cookie.

D, is for Dollars, as in the many leaving your bank account to buy toys you’ll try to sell on Kijiji once they’re abandoned, clothes that get destroyed (another D-word), programs and childcare. Daycare–that’s another D-word. One that will give you ulcers and anxiety with each passing day of your maternity leave, for you’ll think up ways to eliminate the kids ahead of yours on the daycare’s wait list because you failed to put your child’s name down for a spot when the pregnancy test stick turned blue.

E, is for Elixir, always one with alcohol to numb the pain that comes with the joys of parenthood and dealing with other parents. Say it with me loud and proud: BARKEEP, I NEED A DRINK AND KEEP THEM COMING!

F, is for Forebearance, for as a parent you will need to develop the superpower of being able to withhold a response to the unending provocation of pesky partners and progeny. Take up meditation, yoga, deep breathing, or any other method that will help prevent you from blowing a gasket.

G, is for Gag, which you’ll do every time another parent brags about their kid.

H, is for Haggler. You will need to become one. Kids are experts at haggling. They will negotiate with you to no end. Sometimes it will feel as though you can’t negotiate with their terrorist demands, at which point you must remember that one day, when your child is an adolescent you will wax nostalgic for the halcyon days when said child was begging only for a cupcake, and not a car, rather than pleading for immunity from punishment for having destroyed the car.

I, is for Idol as in you will be that for your kids. They will look up to you as their hero, leading you to believe that parenting is an easy gig, but don’t be fooled. Parenting is the toughest job on the planet and the most rewarding. Unless, of course you manage to cure cancer or AIDS. Even then, if the scientists who make those discoveries have kids, they will probably attest to their children being their greatest achievement. That’s what becoming a parent is all about, right? That, and the tax breaks.

J, is for Judicious. As the French say, tourner sept fois sa langue dans sa bouche. In English that means you should turn your tongue seven times before speaking. In application of said rule, it means don’t dole out judgmental parenting advice unless you’re ready to join the asshole parenting society. See the letter “A” above.

K, is for Kegels. Enough said.

L, is for Love of Life, the joie de vivre you had in the B.C. (before child) era when you were lithe and lazed about languorously.

M, is for Medical Insurance, but only if you live in the U.S. We may have wait times, but no one dies in Canada because they couldn’t afford medical insurance. Only if the wait time is too long, but that rarely happens.

N, is for Nemesis. This unconquerable archenemy will come in many forms, for it is a shape shifter. On any given day it could be: your spouse, your child, your boss, your nanny, your daycare, your friend, a sanctimommy, your kid’s unending string of bacterial and viral infections forcing you to stay home unpaid, or your boss.

O, is for Obdurate and Obedient, marking the two ends of your child’s behaviour spectrum between which the pendulum will swing back and forth like a rabid dog chasing its tail.

P, is for Penumbra, the little half shadow, also known as your child, who will follow you and cling to your leg where ever you go. It is also for Pulchritudinous. Not every child will be described as such—see the letter “U” below for further explanation.

Q, is for Quintessential, as in “mommy/daddy needs some quintessential me time.”

R, is for a Redolent Ratatouille you make for dinner only to have your child refuse to eat it, instead demanding pizza and to watch some Disney movie at the same name.

S, is for the Susurrous sounds of children buzzing in your ear surreptitiously making their case as to why they need a Rainbow Loom, should be allowed to stay up past their bedtime, get dessert even though they didn’t eat dinner, watch Gangnam Style on repeat, get a new Barbie, go to the splash pad, sleep with mommy and daddy, and the list goes on forever.

T, is for Tantric, as in sex, which you should try to have BEFORE you become parents since it becomes harder and harder (no pun intended) to have sexy time with your spouse when the ankle biters are running around zapping your energy. Tantric sex will channel all that energy normally dissipated via orgasm back into your body reenergizing you to take care of your kids. Or, just have a glass of wine and go to sleep and forget sex unless you want to revisit the letter “B” above.

U, is for ugly, because let’s face it, some kids just are.

V, is for vasectomy, as in your daddy is getting one because mama don't want to get knocked up again, or mama’s gonna knock daddy out.

X, is for X-ray, as in the many your kids will likely get to make sure they don't have any broken bones from running and falling like a Tasmanian devil every single day.

Y, is for YOU (as in my kid) asking me "why" all of the time. Why is the sky blue? Why is daddy on top of you? Why do I have to stay in my bed at night?

W, is for Wine. Parents need it at the end of a long day. It is also the first letter in your child’s favourite question. See letters "A," "E," and "Y" above.

Z, is for Zircon because once you have kids, unless you’re wealthy, win the lottery, or someone dies leaving you a tidy sum, your spouse will never buy you a real diamond again.

© 2014. Naomi Elana Zener. All Rights Reserved.

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