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Hollow Tree Ventures parenting humor
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eHow To Be a Parent

Throughout history, whenever a parent has made a small mistake (taking Baby out for the day and forgetting the diaper bag) or a slightly more substantial blunder (let's say, leaving a toddler at the airport) there has been some well-meaning adult there to say, "Hey, parenting is tough - kids don't come with a manual."


"Kids don't come with a manual."  This phrase has been there for parents through the ages, to console us when we're less than perfect.  That's right, we think.  How can I be expected to know what to do and how to react in every possible situation?


We fall back on its comfort when we're blindsided by announcements such as, "Timmy's older brother says that Santa isn't real" or (in line at the crowded grocery store), "Look Mommy, that man doesn't have any legs!"  (Yes, that really happened.)  It offers some small measure of personal forgiveness when we're unsure of our parenting decisions ("Should I reward a job well done when he cleans his room, or is a clean room its own reward?  Isn't she too young to have a Justin Bieber poster on her wall?  Was three hours an excessive time-out for punching his brother in the eye?").  In a nutshell, it reminds us that we're not alone, that no one really has the answers - and if on some days you feel like you're just winging it, that's okay.


Well, I'm sorry to say that those days are gone - enter eHow.com.  This site has instructions for e-v-e-r-y-thing.  It's true.  When it first occurred to me that eHow probably has a tutorial for everything under the sun, I thought I'd try to stump it, but to no avail.  There are instructions for how to do oddly specific things, how to do things that I can't imagine even wanting to try, and directions for things that people can't even possibly know how to do.  I found out how to look younger, have a Martha Stewart-ish home, and even how to stop thinking so muchThat's it, I thought.  Now humankind knows everything.  All the answers are right at our fingertips these days.


At first I thought it was kind of funny, but then the truth hit me - I bet there IS a manual now!  A manual for raising kids, the manual that parents everywhere rely on not existing!  Hoping that I wouldn't find anything, I began to search for various child-rearing topics.  How to help with homework, how to deal with inappropriate behavior, how to potty train - it's all there.


Great.  Now parenting is like a high school sociology test, and we've been given the study materials.  So does this mean that we no longer have an excuse?  We have to be prepared for anything, whenever Real Life Midterms happen to strike?!?



Congratulations, innerwebs.  Parenthood is comprised of little else but long periods of guilt-ridden agony and blinding fear, punctuated by brief, glorious moments when we're nearly 30% sure we haven't yet screwed up completely.  The one thing we had to help us sleep at night, in the face of Non-Educational Toy Shame and the lurking threat of Peer Pressure, was solace in the fact that there was no manual.  But you've ruined that for us.  Thanks for nothing.



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1 comment:

  1. My favorite-y line from the eHow links: "They don't tell you how painful Hell is."

    ReplyDelete

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