Lessons from the bag of Ineffective Parenting Tricks

Just when I think I kind of have this parenting thing down, some new situation comes along that proves to me that, nope. Not really. 

Trying to give my daughter eyedrops last week to battle the cold that had spread to her eyes, was a comedy of parenting errors. You'd have thought we told her we'd need to make her eat something green every day for a week. Oh, there was crying. And wailing. And thrashing - the thrashing was probably the worst. She was absolutely terrified by the thought of eyedrops. IT WILL HUUUUUURT IT WILL HUUUUURT she screamed repeatedly, inconsolably.

So I opened my bag of Ineffective Parenting Tricks and tried them all nearly simultaneously.

I asked nicely. I asked not so nicely. I put one in my own eye to show her how it works. I put one on her doll. I put one on my hand. I showed her eyedrop photos on the internet. I  raised my voice. I stroked her hair. I offered her candy. I offered her cookies. I threatened her with no TV. I stopped just short of threatening to send her off to the circus to be raised by clowns.

Really, it was like the worst episode of SuperNanny you've ever seen.

(Or the best. Depending on your perspective.)

So I did what anyone does in this kind of situation: I went to Twitter.

The consensus seemed to be that I lie her down, and put the drop on the outside of her inner eye, then tell her to turn her head to the side and the drop will roll in.

But before I could figure what the hell any of that meant, I came back to a smiling Thalia.

"Daddy put my eyedrop in. It was fun!"


"Yes! I lied down on the coach and then I put my feet in the air and I squeeeeeezed my eyes closed then...we did it! And it didn't hurt!"

Uh, wow.


"Yes sweetie?"

"Let's do it again!"


Anonymous Susan said...

Ha! Way to go Nate. That's classic.

11/10/09, 11:00 AM  
Blogger mustangsabby said...

Elation and frustration all in one fell swoop! Glasd she was able to get over it and take them, and probably highly aggravated that it was a simple fix after the fight.


11/10/09, 11:12 AM  
OpenID bluecottonmemory said...

Oh, that is rich! Hilariously Rich! I went through that last year! Sometimes the harder you try to be nice, the more they unconciously realize they have the upperhand and cooperation becomes an obstinate mule. You did exactly what I did, sought good outside help. However, I didn't come back to a magically smiling happy child! I had to dig in!

Congrats on your happy, funny ending!

11/10/09, 11:13 AM  
Blogger Kelly said...

Tag team parenting at it's best. ;)

11/10/09, 11:19 AM  
Blogger Tanis said...


Score for daddy power.

Please send Nate to my house when you are done with him. I could use a little daddy power when Boo's away.

11/10/09, 11:24 AM  
Blogger Gray Matter said...

Good thing that worked, I would have gone all Clockwork Orange on her.

11/10/09, 12:12 PM  
Blogger Boy Crazy said...

thwarted by dad! or just a great case of good cop/bad cop. ;)

11/10/09, 12:28 PM  
Anonymous Kami said...

That's bullshit. I hate trying so hard only to have my thunder stolen by another...but yay that the drops got in there!

11/10/09, 1:11 PM  
Anonymous Grumble Girl said...

That sounds like the best of of SuperNanny to me... heh. The job of administering the eyedrops totally blows. Glad you got 'em in her somehow!

11/10/09, 1:27 PM  
Anonymous Alexis said...

Willa fell out of a tree last week (she's fine) and had to get a CatScan. In order to get her to do it, I tried everything I could think of and finally had to resort to giving her her birthday present a month early!

11/10/09, 1:56 PM  
Blogger Reff said...

Score that:
Dads 1
Moms 0

11/10/09, 2:01 PM  
Anonymous Hil said...

Beautiful! You rock Mom 101! (best part is the unwritten silent scream you had to have emoted the first time she said, "it was fun!"...)

11/10/09, 2:30 PM  
Anonymous lagunatic said...

It's because of situations like these that I make my husband travel for a living.
I can only imagine the mountain of smug that greeted you on his face at dinner.
I hope you put a drop in his soup ;)

11/10/09, 5:03 PM  
Anonymous Motherhood Uncensored said...

Any advice on getting a splinter out of son's foot would be most appreciated as the last time I tried it was like I was pulling out his toenails will sticker a hot poker in his ear.

11/10/09, 7:00 PM  
Blogger Kacie said...


Sounds like the best ever Super Nanny episode to me!

11/10/09, 7:03 PM  
Blogger 1001 Petals said...

Ugh, sounds like me trying to brush my daughter's teeth. I wonder when it will cease to be such a struggle.

11/10/09, 7:27 PM  
Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said...

Um, yeah, Reff, give those dads 1 and moms 0. If I recall, I just did ALL the eyedrops (2 kids, 3 times a day, for a week) to our kids. . .

I'd say its moms 1000000000
dads 1

11/10/09, 8:54 PM  
Blogger Sarah @ Sterling Creek Ranch said...

I hate it when Mr. Sarah's ways effective just because of his ability not to complicate things. Well, I guess I hate it becuase I don't manage to come up with it as quickly and easily as it comes to him. And then he has that look "see it's not so hard", grrrrr.

11/10/09, 9:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should thank God for that Daddy... you're a lucky woman.

11/11/09, 12:14 AM  
Blogger Drake said...

Too funny. We had a similar situation with getting my son's hair washed. I tried everything and every time it was a screaming crying disaster. Then one night my husband was doing bath and washed his hair without a tear or a fuss. So now he always does the hair washing, I do not complain about this at all. Weirdly though he cannot get him dressed without a knock down battle, but I have no problems. Kids are strange sometimes.

11/11/09, 12:46 AM  
Blogger Mad Woman said...

Hahahaha. Excellent.

11/11/09, 1:01 AM  
Blogger Mahlers On Safari said...

Fabulous. Now you can try your bag of tricks again when she becomes addicted to the drops.

(just kidding)

11/11/09, 1:10 AM  
Blogger Alyssa said...

Don't you just adore the great mommy moments we have racking our brains trying to do the right thing, win in a no win situation and then "daddy to the rescue" This happens in my house at least once a week You are NOT alone!

11/11/09, 1:30 AM  
Blogger Marinka said...

Daddies. the secret parenting trick.

11/11/09, 8:02 AM  
Blogger countryfriedmama said...

Yeah, Daddy does eyedrops over here, too. Must be some kind of secret skill men have born of testosterone or something.

11/11/09, 9:07 AM  
Blogger Jennifer McGuire said...

Is it cruel of me to say that sometimes I hate dads? What the hell is it about the timbre of their voice or their chest hair or whatever that makes kids bend to their will? So not fair.

11/11/09, 12:39 PM  
Blogger Devra said...

Looks like you had a moment where "MOM" stood for My Own Margarita, Mai Tai and/or martini.

11/11/09, 1:39 PM  
Blogger Yum Yucky said...

I hate when they're crying so dang much that the drops barely get in from the tear barricade.

11/11/09, 2:17 PM  
Anonymous Julie @ The Mom Slant said...

Daddies have a serious talent for situations like these, don't they?

11/11/09, 2:32 PM  
OpenID jacobatthewell said...

Got anything that works for a swine flu vaccine shot?

11/11/09, 5:08 PM  
OpenID littlebiskit said...

We're finding that mom does some things with no fight, and dad's do others. But just when we think we've got her preferences figured out she changes 'em. Gotta love 2-year-olds. At least... I hope it's just 2-year-olds? (DON'T BURST MY BUBBLE!)

11/11/09, 5:34 PM  
Blogger Baby in Broad said...

Yeesh. I swear, that's always the way: Dad Powers, Activate!

11/11/09, 5:40 PM  
Blogger Elisa, The Unlikely Housewife said...

Ha! Love how quickly it can go from scary to fun (or sometimes the other way around), and such good timing: right before you started tearing your hair out ;-)

11/12/09, 3:13 PM  
Anonymous Rita Arens said...

This happened to me this week with the little angel's flu shot. Afterwards, she said she wants another flu shot next year because this one DIDN'T EVEN HURT.

11/14/09, 11:12 PM  
Blogger Cathy ~ Tadpoles and Teacups said...

Ha. . . Great story!


11/16/09, 12:53 PM  
Blogger Pallavi said...

Its went really great if not smoothly and quickly but mission accomplished

11/19/09, 2:55 AM  
Anonymous bingo house said...

Funny! You went to a lot of trouble. Daddy's got points for that! This is what's great for having 2 parents :D

11/19/09, 6:41 AM  
Blogger Lori said...

Curses, foiled again! But all for the better.

11/19/09, 12:44 PM  
Blogger Sue said...


12/7/09, 6:10 AM  

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