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!”


39 thoughts on “Lessons from the bag of Ineffective Parenting Tricks”

  1. 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.


  2. 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!

  3. Snicker.

    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.

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

  5. 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!

  6. 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!

  7. 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!”…)

  8. 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 😉

  9. 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.

  10. 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. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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!

  14. 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.

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

  16. 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!)

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