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  • Saturday, November 20, 2004


    Never have more kids than you can handle...or bury in the backyard without the neighbors getting suspicious

    If she weren't already known as America's Worst Mother™, Meghan Cox Gurdon would be a shoo-in for...America's Worst Mother™. In this weeks episode Meghan reasserts her startling and completely out-of-left-field theory that (prepare yourself): kids-are-difficult-and-what's-a-mother-to-do.

    Reading that simple statement you now know how an Englishman must have felt in 1859 when he first read Origin of the Species, or the "shock of the new" that overwhelmed Jonah Goldberg when he discovered kettle korn; that pure, nipple-hardening exhilaration when the veil before your eyes is swept away and... it...all...seems...so...obvious.

    To prove her point, Meghan's kids (Anabaptist, Moline, Cabernet, and Beserker Bob) chose this week to be just horrid:

    I drop in the last dirty glass, flip the dishwasher shut, flick off the burner, pull on invisible judges' robes, and go into the next room.

    Violet's face is scarlet, her hair is falling in her face, and indignant tears splash down her cheeks. "It's my chair and I was just about to use it and Paris came along and now he's sitting on it and he won't get off!" She breaks off and points dramatically to her brother, who is exercising squatter's rights on a tiny Ikea chair.

    "Well, she won't leave me alone!" he rejoins. His tears have mixed with Oreo crumbs to give his face an interesting "distressed" effect. Drawing breath, he sobs out, "I was just walking along minding my business and I saw the chair, it was upside down, and no one was using it so I sat down in it and now Violet is screaming at me — !"

    Violet cuts in furiously, "Well I put it upside down Paris because I was going to use — !"


    There is one chair," I begin pleasantly, "and two children who want to use it. Now, let's think how — "

    As I talk in soft, reasonable tones, I am aware that it is all phony, all this "problem solving" and "conflict resolution" and "triangulating amongst squabbling siblings" that one is supposed to engage in these days. However the matter ends I will probably have misjudged one, and probably both, of the children.

    And so, in an effort to not appear too "french" by resolving the altercation using "problem solving skills", "gathering facts", or "good judgement" Meghan applied good old RedState values and killed one of the kids, invaded their room, and converted all of their Gund stuffed animals to Christianity.

    Okay, she really didn't, but don't think it didn't cross her mind what with a kitchen full of dirty dishes, dinner smoldering on the stove, a nasty yeast infection, and Mr. Meghan spending the Christmas Club money on undercar light effects for his IROC. I mean, it's enough to make Laura Bush go all Andrea Yates on their asses.

    A frazzled Meghan then reveals the hitherto secret name of the one person who actually admits to reading The Fever Swamp:

    Sometimes the conflict takes place on a battlefield so gauzy and remote that it is difficult, as a referee, to know where to start. Consider the predicament of Swamp reader Patricia Boylan. Years ago, on a trip to Washington, she was strolling along the National Mall with her children. It was a lovely evening and her little darlings began a game where they pretended to ride imaginary horses named after Civil War generals. "The next thing I know," Mrs. Boylan recalls, "they're in a heated argument, upset and yelling at each other, because Janet won't let William ride on Stonewall Jackson. There's nothing there, for heaven's sake. How do you get into a fight over something that doesn't even exist?"

    Yeah. I still ask myself that every day.

    And finally we see that the attraction of the medieval action toys from last week has worn off and the children have resorted to using scraps of cloth as toys:

    We go through to the dining room, me juggling four glasses of milk, to find Molly decorously reading a novel above the fray, and Violet and Paris engaged in a furious, silent tug-of-war over a tiny scrap of white cloth decorated with red hearts.

    "Hey, you two!"

    "It's mine, Violet!" Paris yells. "Give it back!"

    "I'm just looking at it, Paris!" she shouts. "It was just sitting there!"

    "Listen, you two, it's just a stupid piece of fabric and neither of you can have it because it is suppertime," I say, more severely than would be ideal. I lean over and pluck away the cloth, instantly transforming myself from serene mediator to aggressor. Both children stop and look at me, injured.

    You know, with Christmas just around the corner (not that Corner), maybe we should have a toy drive for the kids (Gifts for Gurdons©).

    I'm getting the kids one of those Ann Coulter talking dolls so that the girls can learn such appealing phrases such as :

    "I decided to become a toxic venom-spewing bitch long before I decided to be a barren chain-smoking harpy"

    "I use it it to keep my dick pulled out of sight...but you can call it a thong if it makes you happy."

    "There's a Heritage Foundation dinner this Saturday night and my good bukake dress is still at the cleaners. What ever will I do?"

    "Make that a vente, you sub-human third-world minimum-wage service monkey."

    ...and son Beserker Bob will learn that an adam's apple is a lot less noticeable when you wear really short dresses.

    In short, a talking Ann Coulter doll is the gift that keeps on giving.

    Just like herpes...

    (Jim at Rittenhouse has more)


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