Greetings to you once again from Dr 9Tendo. Thank you for all the feedback and comments from the last few weeks.
Regrettably I have been informed by my editor that the axe hangs menacingly over my column like a big sharp blade suspended by some elementary means (perhaps some pulleys and levers…or maybe just sticky tape). Apparently some of my advice has been declared “irresponsible” by parent groups based in North America. One group – Parents Against Artificial Flowers In Dental Surgeries – said: “Dr 9Tendo may be devoid of any intellect at all save for his ability to write absolute rubbish and use a spell-checker.”
So I have taken the views of these left-wing zealots on board and will endeavour to bring you the best parenting advice this side of getting your mad Uncle Albert drunk and asking him to describe the best way to peel a baby.
First up this week is Len from the 51st state, Canada. She asks:
Today I noticed that my fashion magazines somehow wound up in the cupboard under the bathroom sink and now some of the pages are stuck together. I’m annoyed because if my teenage twins had just told me to they wanted to start designing ladies swimwear, I’d be happy to let them use my sewing machine and I’d even take them shopping for fabric to show my support. Should I punish them for taking my magazines without asking or would it be better to say nothing & surprise them with enrolment in a design course?
Hi Len. Clearly you didn’t grow up with any brothers. The glamour magazines with pages stuck together is a common phenomenon of teenage life. The origin is still unknown despite years of study and analysis from some of the most celebrated male scientists of our time. It is unclear whether or not the male teenager’s fascination with glamour magazines is related to a distinct interest in street chic or maybe just a belief that they contain the most accurate horoscopes. My advice is to observe the twins through a peep hole in the bathroom wall once they disappear in to the bathroom with the magazines.
We investigated the residue phenomenon a bit closer and asked Director of Residue at Stanford University, Nick Trouserleg for his opinion. He said: “Although our tests are inconclusive we suspect it may be some sort of involuntary reverse engineering of the paper, returning it to its natural tree sap form.” That sounds about right to me.
Crystal, a stripper from Bahrain, is frustrated with his daughter’s manipulative side:
Dr 9Tendo, my teenage daughter remembers everything and then uses the information to her advantage later! She has done this since she was tiny. How can I combat this?
It’s clear that some sort of radical technique is required here, Crystal. I think the best thing to do – and it’s never too late to start this – is to bring on a degeneration of your daughter’s hearing. A good way for achieving this is to squirt washing-up liquid in to her ears while she sleeps. You can also take apart her mp3 player and manipulate the volume control so that it’s actually louder than she is used to. Even with poor hearing you will find though that eventually she will become adept at lip-reading which will present another problem. You will find the washing-up liquid works well again at this point.
Our final worried parent this week is Michael from Oh, Hi! Oh. Michael has a couple of small problems with her demonic children.
If my kids are sick I usually put a bucket beside the bed for them to be sick in to. But you can bet your bottom dollar – or indeed a dollar located anywhere in a multiple stack – that they will end up missing the bucket, leaving me with a big clean up job. How can I drill a discipline in to them that ensures they find the bucket at all times?
Unfortunately distressed children won’t always be capable of carrying out simple tasks. Picture the scene: a vulnerable six year old wakes during the night, stomach heaving with the effects of a virus or perhaps drinking the slops from Guinness cans at the family barbecue. Instantly fear grips her – the night lamp beside her bed only throws eerie shadows on the walls, the raised corner of the duvet looking like a shark fin coming towards her. Without thought for the bucket sitting inches away she spews forth, covering herself, duvet and perhaps some of the floor.
Best thing to do in this situation is to spend a few quid on a small plastic bucket, the kind you might bring to the seaside. If your child’s head is small enough hang the bucket around their neck, ensuring that it is not too tight. Although slightly uncomfortable it will be far more convenient for your child if indeed they do need to vomit in a hurry. In some circumstances you may need to attach the bucket using a belt and some gaffer tape.
Michael also says:
Another problem with my children is that they sleepwalk, wander into the living room and wee into the toy box. How can I combat this?
Your kids are weird.
Join us again next week for more from Dr 9Tendo!