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Thursday, Jan. 10, 2008

The Baby Pops Out —Then What?

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Between DVRs, DVDs and daily ODs on cough syrup, today’s kids can pretty much raise themselves. Of course, you won’t find advice like that from the American Academy of Pediatrics, an anti-adult organization firmly in the pocket of Big Baby. Instead of heeding their cries for turning America into a child-welfare state, we need some straight talk to combat the curveballs thrown by those who go gaga over baby talk.

As an expert who not only doesn’t have kids, but sprays them with Raid if they get too close, I’m qualified to provide the other side— unbiased tips for properly raising your adorable little plagues.

With so much misinformation about child care, it’s hard for parents to decipher between right and wrong. Luckily, babies don’t yet know the difference between right and wrong. This gives you a chance to mold the child in your own image. In effect, play god. Grant life here, forbid knowledge there, and voila: Your kid will worship you.

Once that happens, denounce all other faiths and demand payment for your blessings. No one is saying you have to be vengeful about it, but nice gods finish last, so don’t be too all-loving. The basic rule of thumb is that you should finger at least three lifestyles for smiting.

And that blessings payment brings more good tidings—a good tithing provides good timing for financial wisdom that’s right on the money:

College-fund investments are just plain wrong. What with meteor strikes and haunted castles, not to mention sea turtles looking to rise up and conquer their human oppressors, the odds are long that any kid will live to see your investments pan out.

Impulse purchasing is a better bet, so give a lot of thought to spending big dough on tiny outfits that’ll be outgrown before the baby’s eyes can fully focus. Your kid may not need Prada onesies, but keep this thought first in mind: Secondhand clothes are one step from Third World living. If you bypass Versace to save for Vassar, you might as well move to Vanuatu.

Those who remain in America can use consumerism to gauge a child’s social development. By six weeks of age, your baby should be sleeping with a cell phone in one hand and a latte in the other. Some children may get burned by roaming charges, but that’s how kids learn. If a phone bill comes in at $700, simply recoup the loss by selling your child into slavery. Sometimes tough love is the most tender love of all—especially in Thailand.

Speaking of alternative lifestyles, gender stereotyping is the only thing keeping order in this crazy world. As a parent, it’s not enough just to fear those who are different: You must create fear. Remind your daughter that every time she tries on a blue outfit, or picks up a blue crayon, or listens to the blues, or even feels blue, a fairy princess in pink is squished by Rosie O’Donnell.

Boys, conversely, should never think rosy thoughts. To ensure that your newborn son blossoms into a man with proper machismo, use a Magic Marker to draw facial hair. Be it heavy stubble or a big, bushy mustache, a baby’s smooth skin makes for an ideal canvas.

Also use this canvas to project your unfulfilled dreams. When you gain a child, you lose yourself—think of it as subtraction by addition —meaning that once the baby breathes in life, your innermost desires are dead. To aid the grieving process, burn your diplomas and hold a mock funeral in which you bury all personal goals. Once you’ve killed off your own identity, you’re free to live vicariously through your child.

It’s a trade-off, to be sure. But revenge can be so rewarding. To that end, don’t settle for the easy payback of short-sheeting the crib or rubbing poison oak in a diaper. Allow the resentment to really bring out your creative side. Anybody can take candy from a baby. Instead, give sweets to your child, and increase her risk of diabetes and heart disease. In 50 years, when the kid is rushed to the emergency room, jump from behind the hospital doors and shout “Gotcha, sucka! That’s for diminishing mommy’s sex drive.”

This type of discipline sounds like a turn-off, I know, but kids need boundaries. And breaking all boundaries of decency shows children exactly where those boundaries are.

It’s not just about limiting children, either. It’s about personal responsibility. Trust me, the last thing this world needs is another vulgar, misinformed kid spewing nonsense for all to see.
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