(Warning – uncalled for swear words ahead. Shield you eyes if they bother you or really just click away. Also MAJOR grammatical errors. Bite me.)

I remember reading in some stupid parenting book I bought in 2002 that we aren’t suppose to tell our children that we are proud of them. Instead we are suppose to say something like “I love how you took the blue paint and mixed it with the red paint and made a purple flower!” but holy crap never tell them that they made an awesome purple flower or the best purple flower in the universe or you are so proud of them for making something that actually looked like a damn flower instead of a big purple blob. Because – wow do they make a lot of blobs or what?


Or please don’t tell them you love their blob – just ask them “tell me about your painting” and then they make some super crazy shit up about how the purple blob  is really a spaceship coming to save us all from the aliens that invaded Earth and you are like “I love the way you used the color to express your creativity to show the aliens” and I am like..


IT’S JUST A FUCKING BLOB and I’m just so proud that you painting quietly for 15 minutes. Truly.


I mean it’s just probably going into the garbage anyway.


Which has nothing to do with anything except that I over-analyzed the shit out of something today and it RUINED MY WHOLE DAMN DAY. WHOLE DAMN DAY. On HOW someone could even ignore an apology or WHAT the hell even happened or the fact that I cannot even trust one of my best friends. and then I’m like you know what – I JUST MADE A HUGE BLOB. HUGE. And it’s not even purple and I love purple.


Anyway – senseless. Also – those two things have nothing to do with anything except the fact that I wasn’t proud of myself nor did Astrid even paint today to give me 15 minutes.


Whoa is me.  Fucking whoa is me. So here is me at 2pm shuffling into my daughter’s ‘Walk on the Wild Side’  HUGE presentation at school where I shit you not there are nearly 150 WILD ANIMAL MODELS that these third graders have made. LIKE LIFE SIZE emperor penguins and nesting bald eagles and grizzlies eating fish and the cutest damn koalas you have ever seen.   But that’s not all. Every single one of them has put together a research book with color pictures and detailed animal characteristics.  And as Astrid and I ‘walked on the wild-side’ – these kids..oh these kids..they were so damn proud and I wanted to hug every single one of them and tell them how awesome they are and how awesome they will always be and how awesomely proud they should be of themselves.


But I showed some restraint because of the parenting books.

And then I saved the best, in my eyes, one for last – and that look. Oh my hell that look in Eloise’s eyes when she showed her polar bear and handed me her book to read. She looked at me and said “I’m so glad you are here.” Truly that’s all that really matters doesn’t it.


I finished flipping through the book and the last page was the ‘about the author page’ (of course) and it read “when I grow-up I want to be a stay-at-home mom, work in fashion and be a writer, just like my mom.”


I looked at her and said ‘really, I didn’t know that Eloise. I need you to know that parts of these jobs are pretty shitty.’ (And yes I said shitty to my daughter AND AT SCHOOL – EXPULSION!)


And she said “I know, but I’m proud of you mom and I think it would be pretty cool to be just like you someday.”


So dear parenting books.  BITE ME!


About Tracy

My name is Tracy Morrison and I live in sunny Minnesota. I'm neither British nor a nun - I'm just a Midwesterner with a headache. This is mainly a humor and lifestyle blog that documents the lighter side of parenting. I am an ex-corporate ladder climber turned freelance writer, social media manager, world traveler, and marathon runner. I would love for you to contact me at

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  1. says

    You know I want to be just like you when I grow up.

    I also like when you swear, because by golly, it means I can swear in your comments (right?).

    Fuck those parenting books. I hate them. HATE.

    Eloise, you are awesome. Just like your mom.
    Alison@Mama Wants This recently posted..Toca Boca!

  2. says

    Can I confess that I have never read a parenting book in my entire life? Not one. I have checked them out from the library, plopped them on my nightstand and they gather dust for three weeks until it is time to drop them off.

    And that Eloise is proud of you? That had to feel so freaking awesome!!
    Stephanie recently posted..Mmmm…..Chicken Lasagna

  3. says

    I’m not sure I’ve ever seen you swear… or go ape-shit like I often do, and I have to admit: I LIKED IT. A LOT. You know, I went to a few “parenting” sessions offered here at work last year, and that whole “tell them how you like their lines, but don’t say you love their “flower/house/tree/whatever” because then they will EXPECT praise for everything, even when it’s obviously not a “flower/house/tree/whatever” but instead just scribbles, save the praise for when it’s really deserved” bullshit, and I’ve tried on several occasions to remind myself of this and use those guidelines… but you know what? fuck that. from now on I’m going to tell Goose that I love her “flower/house/tree/whatever” EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. because I can. and because I do. thank you Tracy, for reminding me of the important things in life. how well we love our children, and how well they know it. XOXO
    Rusti recently please??

  4. says

    Sweet, beautiful, insightful Eloise!! What an incredible mommy and daughter moment for you to share…even with the swear word! Whenever I am on your blog I see the amazing person you are first…this is what makes you the amazing mom you are. You shouldn’t be reading parenting books. YOU should be writing them!!
    Btw, polar bears are my favorite animal! Tell Eloise that I think she did an amazing job and that I am very proud of her for representing such a beautiful animal. xo

    • admin says

      She did whisper to me ‘mom, don’t say that word at school’ so I feel proud that I am also teaching her when and where it’s appropriate to swear. :0

      I will tell her for you. Her polar bear totally rocked!

  5. says

    The books can suck it. I remember readin them with my first and even then wondering why in the hell I would withhold praise. Not the kind of everything you do is fantastic and you poop glitter praise. But the genuine, holy shit, that looks like an adult who has had a boatload of classes drew it (seriously, my oldest girl can draw her ass off and I LOVE IT). But yes, if a child can willingly say I’m proud of you and all you get is a feel good feeling then dammit it’s reciprocal and I’m with you hugging all of them and bestowing “great job” all around.
    Arnebya recently posted..Wordful Wednesday: Every Year, Y’all

  6. says

    I think I read those same books, or actually the siphoned down articles about the books. The books were just too long. My opinion? Fuck them. I love my kids and I think they are awesome and I’m going to tell them every chance I get. Because if I don’t tell my kids how wonderfully fantastic they are, who will?
    Jennifer recently posted..You vs. You

  7. says

    Those books usually end up making me feel a whole lot shittier of a parent than I already did. I’m still learning to avoid them. But then I get all worried about screwing up my children even more so… the cycle begins again.

    Wonderful that Eloise wants to be just like you. I want to be just like you too. Well, not “just like you” so much in a creepy way. Just in an “I admire you” kind of way.
    christine recently posted..Today

    • admin says

      Just put the books down I tell you! Read worthless blogs instead. MUCH better. 😉 xo

  8. Kristennn says

    Eloise is so sweet. And I know what you mean about wanting to hug every kid. The parenting books … I think you just need to take them with a grain of salt. I think they just mean you shouldn’t go overboard with praise for every single thing your kid does not that you shouldn’t sometimes praise them or even sometimes goes overboard with praise. I think you’re as qualified to write one of those books as most of the people writing them are – so I would feel confident trusting your own judgement (which i am sure you do)

  9. says

    Tears! Such beautiful, high praise from your daughter!! We all need to hear that, that we have worked hard & are doing a good job. And that someone has noticed! True praise can be so valuable, but even more so is just you being there for this presentation & all the others! It really does mean so much to our kids when we are there.

  10. says

    Simply awesome. You should be so super proud – of Eloise and YOU. I hated all those parenting books. They all made me feel like crap. Not going to lie. I want to be just like you when I grow up too.
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..Humble Pie

  11. says

    I loved this post.

    All that parenting advice? What a bunch of crap. Since when do we need to be told “how” to praise a child. Just say it or show it in your own way.

    Kids know when they’re being played… or not.

  12. says

    Parenting books are exhausting, and no matter what I read, who wrote the book, or any amount of effort I muster up to so what the book says…it never really works, b/c that author doesn’t have my kid. I have a love/hate with them. I read them, but I don’t like them.

    Loved your post! You’re all fired up!
    Adrienne recently posted..Great Summertime Learning Products from LAKESHORE!

  13. says

    Holy shit, this is an awesome story . . . and, just so you know, I strive to be a whole lot more like you, Tracy.

    CJ, in a two-year old creative rant, put a pen to paper put together a great big series of lines & mess. But, for a week, any person who walked into the house had to “wait here” and then he’d find the paper and show it off.

    I have no idea how this collection of lines & mess was any different than his other ones, but it was this series of lines & mess on this piece of paper that he was proud of. So I was proud of him for making it.
    John recently posted..Where I remind myself that scale only reports a number

  14. says

    Ugh I think I burned all my parenting books after the first three months of trying everything in the world to get my new born to sleep. I think my exact eloquent words to my husband were “F it, I’m winging it from here on out”.
    My kid’s daycare keeps sending me home “pictures” he colors. He’s 15 months and his idea of coloring is to eat the crayons so the pictures I get have two scribbles on them. The other parents tell me to start a folder now of all the artwork. This is not artwork. This is someone holding his hand to make a mark and to stop him from eating the crayon. But, yes I feel like a crappy mom for throwing it all away.
    Jen @ Ginger Guide recently posted..I Heart Birchbox

    • admin says

      I read somewhere that we should keep only 1-3 items per age/grade and to toss the rest. I pretty much live by that rule. Your comment made me LOL.

  15. says

    oh my heart. Do I love this post!!

    I read one parenting book while pregnant with my first one. It was a Dr. Sears book. And even he basically told me to just ignore parenting books. (his was wonderful though!)

    Never picked up another one. Despite that fact, I think my kids have turned out pretty fabulous.
    Karla Porter Archer recently posted..No Words