Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Stop, Collaborate and Listen

This isn't part deux of how I'm great at math but suck with numbers. It's a just a test... a first-draft of the sample I'm going to send to the Missoulian editor (part of my master plan to be a big suck-up and get a columnist position). It's kind of a modern take on Erma Bombeck. No, no - she's timeless. Okay, it's an Erma Bombeck-wannabe column. But there are worst things to aspire to be, right? Like a dickhead. I don't aspire to be a dickhead. But I think I'll keep that sentiment out of my solicitation to the Missoulian...

No Really, Mine are Better

There’s a dirty secret that runs deep among parents. It doesn’t so much embarrass me to finally reveal it as give me a feeling of relief. You see I’ve, nay, we’ve, been hiding this thing for ages. Actually, four and a half years in my case, which is the age of my daughter, which makes it like ages… Anyway it is this: my kids are the best. I don’t mean like, Aw man! You’re the Best! I mean, they are the best at everything they do and they are the best looking and they draw the best chalk-art pictures and their bowel movements are the best and have the best tantrums in Osco when they’re denied the best candy that a kid can choose and they make the best spit bubbles when they're in their carseats too long and they’re acting bored in the best way a kid can act. You see? I mean Ev. Er. Ee. Thing. Everything.

Now you’re saying, why is this a secret among par-ENTS, plural? Because I guess it’s not just my deal. Apparently my friend Kathy’s kid is the best too. And I think my brothers’ kids believe they are the best and also it appears Madeleine’s preschool classmates have been told by their parents that they are also the best. All these other kids are just as certain of their bestness as mine, and so I’ve instructed Madeleine to keep her bestness to herself so as not to cause confusion in the other young minds. Which I think is best. We’re just keeping it on the down-low for the sake of the children.

But really, stepping back and examining this phenomenon as a whole, I see a problem. Do you see it? All those other kids canNOT be the best, right? Is that what you’re seeing? Because my two are THE best, there can only be runners-up, and here’s where it gets sticky. Problematic, bordering on chaos. I don’t want all the other parents in the world fighting over that coveted runner-up spot! I’m going to allow them (you) all to continue believing that yours are the best in order to keep the peace. And in order to facilitate the ruse, I’ve put together a plan: Operation Let Others Be Best Sometimes and Make Parents Believe Mine Aren’t the Best by Forcing My Two to Act Less Best. Here’s how it goes: a) occasionally allow my kids to lose at stuff – specifically stuff I don’t care about like Miss Teen USA and junior weight lifting competitions, but if they feel like ad libbing and lose at a spelling bee or a burping contest they are to get terribly angry and throw an inappropriate fit so as to reinforce the deception that the deal wasn’t lost on purpose b) encourage my kids to act strangely and maybe a trifle irritating in public so that their Best Kid in the World behavior is not off-putting to all the parents whose kids are sitting quietly at the movie theater instead of pushing their little brothers down the stairs and puking in the popcorn bucket because they refused to eat breakfast and have only had chocolate milk and 5 fruit roll-ups they pilfered from the cupboard when their mom was on the phone, and then, finally c) as they grow up I’m asking that they stick with the deceit by sneaking out on Christmas Eve to play Spin the Bottle at their friend’s house down the street then getting caught when they wake up their grandparents yapping dog when they come back in the house through the laundry room window, or perhaps mooning the visiting boys’ basketball team as their bus pulls out of the school parking lot resulting in 3 weeks of detention, or maybe even wrecking 3 or 4 different cars that were specifically bought for them to go to their after-school job at the drugstore, a job which was garnered to teach them responsibility and keep them out of trouble after school. Because those are things that I’m positive Best Kids in the World do to make the rest of the world’s parents feel better about the fact that their kids are runners-up. It’s all part of the master plan, you see…


Blogger mamalujo1 said...

This is good stuff, and I hope you can get their attention, and the columnist spot.

9/28/2006 6:09 AM  
Anonymous wordgirl said...

Good concept. They'd better pick you for a columnist or they're gonna have some 'splainin' to do. As for my kids...I'd be thrilled with three runners-up. Really.

9/28/2006 8:57 AM  
Blogger Arabella said...

I like it. I've always felt that you deserve to be a columnist.

Is your heart set on the Missoulian, or have you thought about sending it out to multiple sources? Are there local parenting newsletters in your area? Wouldn't it be awesome to have publications fight over you?

9/28/2006 9:07 AM  
Blogger Orange said...

I like it. Technically, though, my kid is the very best.

Hey! Last night, I wrote a post that triple-posted, too! Clearly, Blogger is to blame...

9/28/2006 10:41 AM  
Blogger Mignon said...

Thanks y'all.

Arabella, I've not thought about other publications! I thought the Missoulian would just be the easiest, being local and small-ish and all. I was thinking I could cater the column to parents in and around this area. Our paper seems to like columns with a local focus. We don't have any newsletters or stuff like that. There are some online organizations, but I've already figured out it has to be in print in order for it to be a "real writing gig" in the eyes of Jim. And I'll need his support in order to make it work.

Orange, thank you for the edit. I thought it was wrong, but I left it as a kind of punishment to myself for not spell-checking.

9/28/2006 1:22 PM  
Blogger DebbieDoesLife said...

I was going to say something nice until I looked over and saw my name in the SLACKER column.

Thanks. And for the record, my kids are the BEST.

9/28/2006 3:47 PM  
Anonymous TB said...

Do it.

9/28/2006 4:54 PM  
Blogger Tink said...

LMAO RE: Debbie's "slacker column" comment.

If you don't do something with your amazing writing talent it will be a HUGE waste. Do it girl. Just don't forget all us little people. ;)

9/29/2006 7:05 AM  
Blogger meno said...

Really, you can let your kid win at the Miss Teen USA, i don't mind.

Good luck with getting a column, i hope it happens.

9/29/2006 10:23 AM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

This is great -- you should definitely submit.

My coworker (who has no kids) always tells me his niece is the cutest kid in the world. I tell him he's allowed to think that since it's his niece, but that obviously he's wrong since my kids are the cutest. So there, I add.

10/01/2006 4:12 AM  
Blogger lildb said...

if they don't give you the damn job after reading this, they're worthless and don't deserve you.

I'm so fucking serious it's almost sad.

no. wait. it's definitely sad. I'm Dwight Schrute serious.

see? sad.

10/02/2006 11:31 PM  
Blogger V-Grrrl said...

This sounds like one of the rapid-fire monologues Lorelai Gilmore would deliver in the opening scene of a Gilmore Girls episode.

10/03/2006 2:19 AM  

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