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Alternative Parenting Methods

To all the mommies (and daddies) in the room, I apologize. There have been a lot of posts about training lately. And all you, sleep deprived, wine craving folks who are down in the trenches with Lego pieces embedded between your toes like shrapnel, deserve a blog post too. (You ever step on the two piece, at 5am, on route to the toilet? Yeah, that.) And ya'll might be wondering, as you desperately chug your Mocchachino, how can I relate to these silly jiu-jitsu posts? I don't roll around on a mat in my pajamas. I don't get a thrill out of punching dudes in the ribcage. 

Here's how. 
This ones for you.

Last night Maya was wearing her cranky pants. In other words, she had the sour face and snappy voice of a 14 year old girl on her period. (Don't worry, this is not insensitive. It's ok for me to say this because I once was a 14 year old girl on her period. Isn't that how it works? Like saying the n word?) What this meant is that every interaction we had went like this:

"Maya what do you want for dinner?"
"I doooon't knnnnnooooooooowwww! I'm not hungry! (pause) MAMA! Mama I am staaaarving. When is dinnnerrrr???"

"Maya, can you please pick that up?"
"Arrrrgh. Ma-ma! You are always telling me to pick things up. You are soooooo annoooooooyyyyinggg!"

"Maya, its time for your bath."
"Ma-ma! I want to waaaaaaattttccchhh this. I like this shoooooowwww!"

Along with a whiny voice that resembled a wolf baying at the moon, came a few big eyes, some stomping feet, and the occasional folded arms. 

There are many different ways to deal with cranky pants Maya. One is to ignore her. Another is to stick her in her room until she figures out where she put her nice voice. Or you can whine right back at her, a strategy that infuriates her to no end but is often quite satisfying. 

"Maaaaamaaaa! I need some miiiiillllk."
"Maaaayyyaaaa, you knooooowww where the fridge iiiiiiis."

But I find that if I can take a deep breath and summon every ounce of mature parenting ability, often the most effective strategy is this:

Yes those are two sumo wrestlers. Sorry, I just really like sumo pics.

What that obscure photo symbolizes is me picking Maya up, tossing her over my head onto the bed, jumping on top of her, and tickling her until she pees herself. 

Ok, not that last part.
But the rest is true.

Nothing cures a sour mood faster that a bedtop wrestling match. With tickling. And a rear naked choke.

In less than five minutes Maya went from whining uncontrollably to giggling maniacally and shouting out "More, Mama, MORE!"

That, my friends, is what jiu-jitsu is really good for. That is parenting success. Don't believe me? Go ahead and try it. But dudes, I recommend keeping one hand on your sensitive parts.

How can you not love sumo???

Happy Friday!


  1. I love this! Such great advice. In our house it goes by the nom de guerre, "Tackle Time." And lest any of your readers think this is just another run-of-the-mill, lighthearted parenting solution, I can vouch for the fact that it's not only effective in shifting attitudes within the house, but is some of the time my girls value most. They request it. And when I asked Claire, in connection with an exercise I was doing for a training program, what is one thing about Daddy you find inspiring, she mulled it over for about 10 seconds before answering, "tackle time." Need we say more?


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