FILED IN: Parenting

Kelley the WonderMom’s School of Hard Knocks

Most of us went through Lamaze or some such class to prepare us for the miracle of birth. Dontcha think it would be more useful to have classes that prepared us for the real pangs of raising children? I think I’m going to start my own school. There’s a need for this! I’ll start by offering the following classes, taught by seasoned mothers with years of experience.

Lassie Go Home
It’s just a matter of time before your children relentlessly hound you (pardon the pun) for a dog. This class will help you say “no” and stick to your guns! We have special negative-reinforcement techniques, including our patented Horror on a Loop® Power Point presentation showing such pleasantries as dog hair on the couch, dingleberries on the rug and dog bombs in the yard. During our special A Clockwork Orange unit you will, among other things, be forced to hold a dog on a leash for an hour while freezing water is poured down on you. We make use of role-playing in which we pair off, each of us taking turns acting as the mom and the kid. You’ll be amazed at how this hones your strength as the mom and gets you up to speed with the ways the kids will try to break you down. After graduation, we offer a 24/7 helpline to call in case you start to cave. And at no extra charge, we will send someone over to slap you until you have regained your senses.

Will This Ever End?
If you’ve ever had to sit through an endless T-ball game, a tedious children’s birthday party or, God forbid, Cub Scout Pack Night, you know the word that best describes these experiences can only be “excruciating.” That said, we all know there’s no way to avoid these events, and there has to be a better way to deal with them besides sneaking in a hip flask full of Bailey’s. We’ll show you it’s all about going to your happy place and tuning out, but not tuning out so much that you miss the announcement of where to pick up the pinewood derby car kits or what time the team picture will be taken. It’s about walking that Zen middle path or whatever it’s called, and we will show you the way through the use of meditation, mantras and positive imagery. Closing your eyes and visualizing the event ending while chanting the name of your favorite birth control pill is just one method you’ll learn. The tuition includes a field trip to Chuck E. Cheese where you can practice your new self-calming skills in a (sur)real world environment.

Hello, Dolly!
Have you ever wished you could clone yourself because you have to be in two or three places at once? Does this sound like your average evening: karate for your youngest, a band concert for your oldest and a science report on barnacles due in the morning that your middle child just remembered now? What to do? It’s all about prioritizing, and it CAN be done! Learn ways to show up at the end of the concert…they’ll never know you weren’t there for the entire show! Bring the laptop to karate and, thanks to the questionable but plentiful research available online, you can knock out that report in the time it takes for your kid to practice his roundhouse kicks. You’ll learn how to shift gears, multitask, lie and cheat shamelessly…basically all the skills you need to raise children.

Life in the Slow Lane
Few of us can avoid taking road trips with our kids. But the pain CAN be minimized! In this class we’ll cover the needs of children of all ages. Starting with infants, we’ll discuss the delicate timing of your departure around nap time and learn the art of crawling into the back seat to comfort a screaming infant without stepping on the driver’s crotch. You’ll learn how to pull over to the shoulder and get the toddler onto the travel potty chair without waking up the newborn. When it comes to traveling with older kids, we’ll show you how to save money and forget about buying those dumb Klutz books … no kid has ever been interested in tic-tac-toe or license plate bingo for more than 1.5 miles, no matter how well-designed the laminated game board is. Learn how to reach back to swat at squabbling sibs with one hand while never taking your eyes off the road. We’ll teach you how to avoid TMJ even though you have been unconsciously grinding your teeth for the entire length of the Ohio Turnpike. And finally, you will practice methods to help you decompress once you finally get to your destination so you can hurry up and relax.

Shifting Your Moral Compass the EZ Way!
Remember all those things you swore you’d never do when YOU had children? Of course you’re doing all of them now and then some, and perhaps you’re having trouble justifying yourself to yourself. You may call it selling out, copping out or taking the easy way out, but that’s not helping the situation. WE at the School of Hard Knocks call it reality and we’ll help you learn to stop flogging yourself because you let your toddler eat a brownie loaded with trans-fats and asked your three-year-old to fetch you a beer.

Raising Boys: Getting Them to Talk
Are you tired of hearing, the night before the school play on the food pyramid, that your son needs a cherry tomato costume? Are you tired of asking how his day was and hearing nothing but  crickets chirping and the distant sound of mocking laughter? Are you tired of looking like the Loser Mom because you were the only one who didn’t know about the field trip to the salt mine that’s happening tomorrow? At The School of Hard Knocks, vee have vays of making them talk! Learn about all the new products on the market made just for this purpose, like the Little Tykes Thumb ScrewzTM and the Playskool Cattle Prod. Learn guilt trip/interrogation techniques that would make a hardened felon squeal like a pig and ask for his blankie. Imagine, no more sullen, silent shrugs when you ask your son if he remembered to give his teacher the permission slip or how the math test went! The first twenty moms to register will receive one of those chattering teeth wind-up toy thingys.

Raising Girls: Getting Them to Shut Up
Are you sick to death of hearing the play by play of the daily lunchroom theatrics that consume your daughter and her friends? How many more times can you stand to hear about Tiffany, who thinks she’s SO great? There are ways to deal with this other than the tempting “drop your daughter off at the mall while she’s still talking” option. Instead of just nodding dully and offering only uh-huhs, we’ll show you how to GET PERSONALLY INVOLVED with all those girlie social dramas. Go to the school and find that Tiffany number and tell her just what your daughter really thinks of her. OMG! Your daughter will be so horrified she will never tell you anything ever again! Awesomeness!!

The Art of Saying No
This class is basically a support group for volunteer junkies who have hit rock bottom and are now in recovery. The evenings get lively when the moms recount the moment that they realized they had a problem. Whether it was the time they found themselves in tears because the Wiggles cake they made for the preschool class wasn’t received with the enthusiasm they were sure it deserved, or the time they dreamed of running down an endless corridor to escape the phone calls from the PTA, their stories will astound and inspire you. And remember, what happens in group stays in group.

The Empty Nest: How to Handle the Sadness
Cancelled this semester due to lack of interest.