Monday, September 16, 2013

Never Let Experience Get in the Way of Good Parenting

How Not to Die’s Guide 

to Parenting Like a Non-parent

Yes, you started out with the best of intentions but the second you saw that tiny little face all rational thought flew out the window. In the wise words of one internet meme, “You’re making it hard for me to be the mother I always imagined I’d be.” Why rely on the advice of so-called “experts,” (aka experienced parents). You had things all figured out before you even had a child, remember?

Polar Opposites

First and foremost, remember that you swore never, ever to do anything the way your parents did. You managed to survive despite the best efforts of those slavering idiots. Can you believe those fools forced you out of doors to play during those hot, cruel summers? Remember having to hand-write think you notes to Great Auntie Muriel? Corporal punishment! And let’s not even get started on all the junk they not only allowed you to eat but actually served to you in your young and tender years.

Red Dye #7 = Red Poison #1

Hot dogs. Boxed mac and cheese. McDonald’s. Before you became a parent, you vowed these foods would never cross the lips of your child. Yes, you’re exhausted after taking care of a two-year-old all day, but those frozen chicken nuggets you’re warming up in the microwave might as well be uranium! A good parent serves his children a dinner of (at least) three courses—hand prepared, organic, locally grown (your garden is best of course) and totally unprocessed every night. Canned, frozen foods or anything with additives or preservatives shouldn’t even be discussed in the home. If you take a relaxed attitude towards food and dare to feed your child gluten, make sure the item in question is 100% whole grain derived. Finally, remember that cooking food drains it of all its nutrients, so a raw paleo diet would be best.

Related note: If someone ever dares to hand your precious little angel something sugary, our advice is to snatch that thing up and scream like a banshee that your child has been poisoned.

Be Considerate

Never forget that it is your duty as a conscientious citizen of the world to ensure that your child is never bothersome to anyone. Ever. Firstly, if your child cries or makes noise for any reason it is a parent’s duty to remove the child from the room as soon as possible so as not to disturb anyone else. Secondly, it’s actually better never to take your child anywhere. I mean, someone who just wants to buy milk doesn’t need to hear your toddler repeatedly asking for candy (please review the above paragraph if this is an issue for you). If you can believe it, some parents actually take their children on plane trips, as if they didn’t realize that planes are adult-only zones and anyone inconsiderate enough to take a child should be immediately ejected. You can drive to Grandma’s funeral, unless it’s in Hawaii, and then you should charter a private boat. If you absolutely HAVE to go somewhere—and it better be desperate—apologize constantly for the mere presence of your child to everyone you meet.

It’s All Your Fault

Your child should be advanced, and if she’s not, it’s all your fault. This started in utero with all of the exercise, healthy eating, vitamin-popping and classical music listening you did, but of course this is not enough. Children should never be allowed to have fun. Their days should be totally structured and consist of being drilled with flashcards and given purely educational toys, starting from around two months. (Babies before two months should be allowed to look at flashcards and educational toys, but are not expected to start memorizing facts or solving a Rubik cube).
Put your child in the most rigorous educational program available at the youngest age possible. It’s worth it due to all the advanced-placement opportunities in adulthood, such as the special line in the grocery store for above-average adults, or the parking spaces at concerts for people who knew the alphabet before the age of two.

Related note: Always speak in complete sentences to your baby/young child and absolutely never use baby talk. You want your baby’s first words to be full sentences, not the, “mama,” and “dada” of average babies. Imagine the pride that will swell when you hear the words, “Mother, I feel the urge to urinate,” rather than a whiny, “I need go potty.”

Just the Facts, Ma’am

Children are inherently rational creatures and there’s really no reason to cajole or bribe them. Just state the facts and children will follow your guiding light.

Example One: Fitzherbert, I know you want to go play with your friends right now, but you need to go to the dentist and get your tooth drilled. Yes, it will hurt, but the dentist will give you six shots of novacaine before the procedure. Uh-huh, it has to be done soon otherwise the decay could enter your bloodstream and kill you very painfully. Got your shoes on?

Example Two: Toejam, it’s just a short little talk in church. The worst thing that could possibly happen is that you’ll mess up and all the children will mock you and you’ll be known as “Toejam the Loser” for the rest of your life as you crawl the earth as a complete social outcast.

Example Three: Heinrich, stop crying about how that little boy knocked your tooth out and took your sandwich! Remember how Mother taught you to share? Your tooth doesn’t look too painful—we can get it surgically re-attached. Be nice! Tell him you’re sorry for shoving him off of you while he punched you.

Realize that only the elite (okay, people without kids) will ever strive for the level of parenting you will achieve. However, the vast majority of enlightened parents recognize the superiority of your methods, and only lack the gumption and instruction necessary to apply them. You can supply the instruction--in fact, it's your duty to all children everywhere. 

Return later for the part two, in which we learn how to successfully impose your will, err, enlightenment on other parents. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

3 Helpful and 7 Other Surefire Ways to Lose Weight

A recent study* found that 98% of all women in America want to lose weight. Weight loss remains a controversial topic, however. Conventional wisdom says that weight loss can be achieved by consuming less calories than one expends, but this is too basic for most modern women. Here are some tips to help you to achieve that magic number on the scale. 

Most helpful suggestions: 

1. The first way to lose weight is to add 300-500 calories to your diet.You need to eat more before you can unlock your body's fat-burning mode.Your total calorie count should not be less than 3000 per day, with at least 50% of the calories coming from fat or sugar. This will ensure that when you do lose weight, you'll be able to lose the maximum possible. 

2. After you've gained even more extra pounds, the next step is to acknowledge that you're overweight.The best way to do this is to go to Forever 21 and try on some clothes in the size you wish you were. As you sit in on the floor of the fitting room gasping for breath between sobs while trying to jerk on a pair of jeans that your arm can't even fit into, you will become really motivated.

3a. Immediately go on a crash diet where you pick one really distasteful vegetable and eat nothing but that. You don't even like celery, so you won't even want to eat it when you get really hungry!
3b. Promise yourself you will begin tomorrow as you go through a fast food window to pick up dinner.

Those are the most helpful suggestions that our extensive research uncovered. However, you should be prepared for a long journey, which will include many peaks and valleys. Here are seven other things you should keep in mind to help you. 

4. Visualize yourself thin. It doesn't really matter when you do this--it's just as effective while eating a king size bag of peanut m'n'ms as it is while you're lying on the couch. Just make sure you imagine yourself at your ideal weight at least once per day. 

5. Buy lots of healthy food and leave it sitting out around the house. Even if you don't actually eat the food, having it around will make you feel guilty. Guilt is a well-known calorie burner. 

6. Buy workout clothes--in your ideal size. If you think it's humiliating for a person of your size to be huffing and puffing out on the street in baggy sweatpants, imagine how humiliating it will be for a person of your size to be running out there nude because you can't fit into your workout clothes. You will definitely run fast so that the neighbors can't see you.

7. Remember that liquid calories don't count, so you should puree all your food. It is definitely possible to puree a steak dinner, so you won't have to miss out on any favorites in your quest. 

8.  After you've given up on the all-vegetable diet, remember that you should allow yourself a treat once in a while. Experts recommend the 90/10 ratio. It can be hard to squeak healthy foods into 10% of your diet, but remember, you're worth it. 

9. Try to squeeze in extra exercise as much as possible. It's possible to do leg lifts underneath a conference table with no one the wiser, and bun squeezes can be done pretty much any time without attracting too much attention. You can try parking in the back of the parking lot so you have farther to walk to make it into the grocery store, and so that you can practice some boxing or martial arts when you get jumped because you're in the far dark corner of the lot. 

10. Cut yourself some slack! You're really expecting a lot from yourself. Remember that it's normal to go years without seeing the numbers on the scale go down. Also--laughter is the best medicine, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, and children are our future. Drink lots of water. That pretty much covers it. 

*study conducted in the minds of How Not to Die staff.