I was leaving the library today dragging a screaming toddler who was “NOT DONE” with story time. I walked by a couple of teenagers engaged in an edge-of-gross PDA. The girl sat on a railing with her legs just about wrapped around the saggy panted boy in a way that made me cringe for both of their mothers. They glanced my way, no doubt drawn by the siren wail of my precious snowflake and I couldn’t resist saying, “Careful, that’s how you end up with one of these.” They both turned ghost white and then beet red, so I figured I’d done my good deed for the day.
This gave me an idea for the best ever sex-ed final project. Imagine if you could pair each teenager with a toddler for a week, with the goal of training the toddler to complete some random, menial task, like running an agility course. That’s a dog thing, if you don’t know what the hell an agility course is. The teenager’s grade is dependent upon how successfully the toddler completes the task. Did the precious snowflake go through the tunnel, or did she pee on the tunnel and then run screaming to mom? Bonus points for teenagers who can get their toddler to eat a randomly assigned vegetable.
“Oh, the little shit…I mean snowflake…peed on the tunnel? Well, get her to try fried okra and we’ll call it even!”
The other night I spent twenty minutes of a rare restaurant meal convincing my two year old to try sweet potato fries that were covered in sugar and cinnamon. It was basically candy, and I was straight bribing her to taste it. Meanwhile my husband was like, “Does that even count as a vegetable? It’s basically candy.”
That gives me another idea. To simulate parenting as part of an actual couple, there will now be two teenagers per toddler. That way the toddler will have the entertainment of watching the teens bicker about the latest behavioral modification research versus “how my mom did it and I turned out just fine.” I’m willing to fund this whole experiment, as long as I can watch. I will also pay for popcorn.
Further amazing ideas: At some point, the teenagers’ parents need to be invited to sit in on the class so they can tell the teenagers what they’re doing wrong and to regale the rest of the class with embarrassing stories about potty training.
If you’re wondering what kind of parent would volunteer their toddler for participation in such an experiment, you’re clearly not spending much time with toddlers.
In fact, just to get this ball rolling, I think I’ll drop my kids off at the nearest high school with a note explaining my plan. Then I’ll sit back and wait for the accolades. And the popcorn.
Or maybe I’ll take a nap and wait for the accolades. This parenting schtick is exhausting.