Thursday, February 24, 2011

Like Mother, Like Tiger

The following was originally published in the February 4 edition of the Dayton Daily News and has been credited with single-handedly saving the newspaper industry.

You’re all worthless and weak.

And there’s a reason for it. Your mom.

Ha, ha, ha, no friend, I assure you I haven’t filled this column with a series of Wilmer Valderrama approved “Yo Momma” jokes, each more cutting and “aw snap” inducing than the next. Though, as is the case every week, I thought about it.

Instead, we’re going to talk about the phenomenon that is being a “tiger mother.” If you haven’t heard of it, allow me to tiger mom upside yo head for a second: You are stupid. Why don’t you read more, you lazy slug?

Undoctored photo
Boom, tiger mom’d.

See? It’s the verbally abusive parenting sensation that’s sweeping the nation! Only in this case, China is the nation.

Now it’s been introduced to America by Yale law professor Amy Chua in her much-talked-about book “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.” Being a tiger mother involves putting extremely strict, some would say draconian, methods that are commonplace in China into practice when raising a child in the Western world.

In the book, Chua details incidents like the time she called her daughter “garbage,” the time she threatened to burn all of her daughter’s stuffed animals and the time she threw a hand-drawn birthday card back at her daughter explaining, “I deserve better than this. So I reject this.” Cherished family memories, each of them.

The card incident is amazing. I’ve received countless crudely drawn birthday cards in my life, some even from children. I had no idea you could reject them. I’ve been accepting them this whole time, and saying thank you. I’m so weak. I blame you, mom.

That’s it. From now on, when somebody, regardless of age, fails to meet my expectations, I’m definitely going to turn into a tiger. Not literally, like attorney Doug Mann of Dyer, Garofalo, Mann and Schultz does when you’ve been in an accident that’s no fault of your own, but psychologically. After all, why should kids have all the crippling mental breakdowns fun?

But those with children are probably sitting at home right now wondering if being a tiger parent is right for them. Well, just take this handy 12-question survey to find out.

Please circle all that apply:

1. I am a tiger and/or I have stripes. (If yes, congratulations, your survey is complete.)

2. The sound of children’s laughter fills me with rage.

3. If a child has time to sleep, they have time to practice violin.

4. If a child has time to practice violin, they have time to solve complex mathematical equations.

5. If children have time to cry, they have time to do both simultaneously while I spit watermelon seeds at their heads.

6. Sleepovers are not allowed, even if a child’s cage is large enough for two.

7. I will choose all of my child’s extracurricular activities. Whether they actually enjoy cobbling is of no concern to me.

8. Fire says more than words ever could.

9. Birthday parties are nothing more than a vehicle for superfluous cake and/or cheerful singing.

10. Cake and cheerful singing fill me with rage.

11. If a child wants to play house, they can climb on the roof and clean out the gutters.

12. When times are hard, I draw strength from the vial of my children’s tears I wear around my neck.

No comments: