I am not a parenting expert. I really don’t think of myself as an expert at anything, except perhaps knowing the perfect ratio of ice to ruby red vodka to freshly squeezed lime juice to tonic.
In my almost nine years (wow!) as a parent, I try to keep up on current trends in parenting if in fact parenting can be viewed as trendy. I often come across professionals with the caption “Parenting Expert” next to their names and I wonder who deemed this person an expert?
I’m not here to challenge whether they are an expert or not, I just wonder who is giving out these rather seemingly, case-by-case credentials?
Is this person an expert in diapering a baby? In behavioural science? In special needs child rearing? In shopping with a child at Wal-Mart? Jenga Masters? Some of these so-called experts confess they don’t even have kids of their own. Hmmm.
I think back to a time when the baby pooped on her change table while her sister simultaneously choked on some “ahh minty!” toothpaste and spewed it all over the mirror while a third child proudly presented me with a Pioneer village crafted entirely of popsicle sticks, tripped and tossed villagers the full length of the now “ahh minty” hallway. I thought to myself, if only I was a parenting expert, I’d have this scene cleaned up in no time and that popsicle hut wiped free of Colgate and nailed in place. We’d gather in front of a roaring fire (even though it’s July) and the crackle of the logs would send a gentle hum, a calming hug throughout the room and we would be at peace once again.
Why did I major in English Lit in University? The Wife of Bath has gotten me no closer to becoming a parenting expert than learning to shuck oysters. Yes I’m a wife and yes I give baths but that’s not even what the book is about.
I bet the experts never forget to leave money from the Tooth Fairy or brush their child’s hair 100 strokes before bed or rinse out the shampoo before drying it and pretending it’s “robin’s nest appreciation day.”
I did take a parenting class in high school. At least, I think it was called parenting. But that wasn’t realistic either and it certainly did not breed any experts. All of the babies bags of flour looked exactly alike and not one of them was screaming while I was talking on the phone to a friend in Australia or shouting at the dinner table, “This is so gross!” Sacky just slumped quietly in my locker wedged between some binders and a rotting orange and when she sprung a leak she was quickly replaced with Dusty.
What would the experts say?