Firstly, some words of wisdom from Dotty:
1. Support your children and grandchildren in their outdoor pursuits, even when you hate camping.
Dotty (instructing the boys on putting up a tent): Tie the retaining cord firmly to eyelet “C”,attaching the end to peg “H” and driving it securely in place (Playing Possum).
2. Always defend your child from attack, even if you don’t understand her actions or agree with her.
Dotty bravely defends Amanda to Dean’s mother after she doesn’t turn up (as she has partial amnesia and has forgotten who Dean is!): But the girl is a wonder. I mean, we had this fichus once that just drooped over and quit one day. Well, Amanda would not let it die. I mean, she repotted it; she nursed it; she talked to it; she pleaded with it. Soon it was back on its feet. (I Am Not, Nor Will I Ever Be, A Spy)
3. The default explanation is that your offspring is irresistible to the opposite sex
Dotty: You see? First you meet a businessman friend, then you meet a friend that lends you a wild outfit, and then you meet a baron. You do have the touch, Amanda. Your grandmother, she met a lot of men (The Times They are a Changin’)
Dotty: I think it’s wonderful that you have a date with an Englishman (Welcome to America, Mr Brand)
5. Advise your child about their fashion choices.
Dotty: Amanda dear, why don’t you invest in a nice pair of overalls for work (Welcome to America, Mr Brand)
6. Appreciate your underappreciated child.
Dotty (about IFF): Ah, well, you see? That is big business for you. Ninety words a minute, no mistakes, and they haven’t even got the decency to say thank you. But there are compensations….
8. Find your daughter’s favourite book (the Sky Chief Rides Again) for your grandchild’s birthday – risking life and limb in the process (Fearless Dotty)
9. Spend time with your kids while you still can
Dotty: “It’s terrifying how fast they drift away. I mean, one minute you’re changing their diapers, and the next minute, they’re off in Honduras, getting tattoos.” (There Goes the Neighbourhood).
10. The mother is always right.
Dotty: Of course I’m right, I’m your mother! (Murder Between Friends)
Lee’s parenting tip:
11. If you don’t know how to parent, buy!!
Lee with the Panda and the frozen food for Alexei (The ACM Kid)
If in doubt, get a lollipop.
12. Make sure Pretzel the clown turns up for Jamie’s birthday party (use blackmail of an IRS audit if necessary)(Saved by the Bells)
14. When someone is sick they want to eat something bland. Not junk!
(Playing for Keeps)
15. Be consistent with your food advice
No green beans, no dessert (Playing Possum) vs Marvellous Marvin’s (Fast Food for Thought), Pizza (A Lovely Little Affair) and hot dogs (The Wrong Way Home).
16. When shopping, let your boys ride the shopping trolley in the oh so dangerous car park – it keeps them busy while some lady says isn’t it awful about Betty Bodine getting strangled wouldn’t want the little kiddies hearing that (There Goes the Neighbourhood)
17. Make sure you are the only person who knows where the marshmallows are hidden (Odds on a Dead Pigeon).
Sometimes a mother just has to look after herself . What’s your favourite SMK parenting tip? Was Lee on the right track? Next up: more parenting tips from Amanda….