A Toddler's Guide to Daughtering One's Parents
by Melissa Ferland
1. It is important on road trips to occasionally remind your parents that they are cruel for tying you up in a contraption and expecting you to sit there quietly for hours, regardless of how exciting the destination might be. A good way to remind them of this is by requesting something special, something delicious, something you would normally get as a treat. Ice Cream. This is especially successful when ice cream is out of season. It is quite entertaining to watch one's mother try Harvey's, Tim Horton's, Burger King, etc. for ice cream when you know they have none. It is even more exciting to watch your mother go into a gas station off the highway, put her principles aside, and buy you the only brand available for miles, a brand that she has dutifully boycotted for years: Nestle. Of course, as we all know, Nestle is crap and one would rather die than eat it, so the only thing left to do is to take off the wrapper, throw it on the floor along with the ice cream, and yell "Bar-Gage".
2. Should your mother have the patience and kindness to nurse you into toddlerhood and well into her pregnancy, it is important to remind her of the newborn days when your latch was horrible and recreate those days for her, should she get the silly notion that siblings are a good idea, and to get her to stop looking at infants as though they were the best thing on earth.
3. If your mother refuses on principle to Ferberize you, it is crucial to test her resolve by whining every time she leaves your bedroom to the point where she feels compelled to sit on the foor by the bedroom door until you fall asleep. This can take a long time, so feel free to ask for countless things: water, teddy bears, extra blankets, etc. After you have exhausted these necessities (and exhausted your mother), ask for hugs.
4. When in the midst of potty learning, remember that you can pretend to need the potty at bedtime. This delays bedtime for up to an hour. If she figures out you are only pretending to use the potty, scrunch up your face and say "push poop out!" and you're good for another half hour.
5. If you are a lean child and a picky eater, it is easy to get your mother to do all kinds of silly antics to get you to eat. Like sing Old Macdonald until she runs out of animals she knows. And let you play with play-doh while eating dinner.
6. When in the car, strapped in the aforementioned contraption, pick a song that drives your parents particularly batty. Raffi works well. Do not, under any circumstance, let them play the whole CD. Instead, ask for the same song over and over and stay consistent. They love it. Consistency is the key to good daughtering.
7. If your mother is a fan of babywearing and likes to put you in a back carry, untie the straps of her halter top in public. That way, everybody gets to see where your lunch comes from.