Welcome back, Dearests!
For your next dose of Mommy Dearest Inc, we’re introducing our featured category, “Ask the Experts,” where we seek parenting advice from some of our wisest and most accomplished friends. So what if none of them have kids of their own (yet)? We all know by now that anyone with a child has likely lost their mind and any ability to give sound advice, so we’re seeking guidance from the sane ones – the childless.
Without further ado, please enjoy the expert advice of none other than Mr. Brian Patrick Flynn. In addition to having the perfect three word name and being ridiculously handsome (the proof is in the picture), Brian is also an Atlanta-based Interior Designer/Production Designer/Set Decorator extraordinaire! Seriously, everything this guy touches instantly becomes 1000 times more beautiful and stylish. And, it turns out, Brian also knows a thing or two about proper child-rearing.
Question #1 –
My four year old daughter has recently decided that she won’t eat anything red. You can just add that to the list of other things she won’t eat…meat, anything hot, sandwiches, things that are “flappy” (your guess is as good as mine), beans, mac and cheese, bread or anything that has visible spices in it. I need to prepare meals for the family and school lunches and I am at a loss. Any tips on how to get her to pick less and eat more?
Short and sweet: your daughter may be a pint-sized liar and/or thief. This may sound harsh, but here’s my reasoning. She’s using color, texture, shape and sheen (four essential elements to a well-layered interior) to steal your happiness and your valuable time. How does she know what she doesn’t like? She can’t even spell her own name or pay for her own smart phone apps. Now, I’m no expert on children (yet), but it’s probably best to stick your attention seeker (aka DAUGHTER) into a very sparsely furnished room with absolutely no color, soft underfoot surfaces or physical elements with character, and serve her a bowl of air and a glass of make believe oxygen astronaut juice. Once she’s robbed of all texture, color, shape and sheen, SHE WILL EAT HOT MEAT-FILLED FLAPPY SANDWICHES AND WASH ‘EM DOWN WITH A BEAN, MAC AND CHEESE, BREAD ROLL AND CURRY SMOOTHIE AND LEARN TO LIKE ‘EM. Trust me, deprive her of almost everything and soon she’ll come around and stop being a flappy-hater.
Question #2 –
My four year old daughter keeps asking me if she is going to die. She cries quite a bit when we talk about it, and death in general scares her. It’s quite a lot for a four year old to grasp and I am not sure how to go about having a healthy discussion about it. Can you give me some suggestions on how to broach the subject?
The Grim Reaper
First up: the reality of human existence on planet earth proves that somewhere around the 100 year mark, she is going to expire. Just like the family’s pet goldfish or flying squirrel, the flowers in your vases and the engines in the automobiles you drive the family around in. It’s a fact of life Reepz: we are born, we decorate our houses so that our children and pets can destroy them, and then we bite the big one after spending $300K per child and $12K in vet bills per pet.
I do have a solution to help tone down her obsession: You need to wallpaper your hallway so she can appreciate life more and forget about all things morbid. Trust me, some bright color and a medium repeat pattern will keep her from feeling like she’s in purgatory thus leading to such dark-sad thoughts. Perhaps a large scale botanical in shades of celery green, grey and robin’s egg blue or even a classic hexagon in the hot pink and turquoise color way. Now, get that kid out into the sunshine and play her some Björk, dammit!
Question #3 –
My son LOVES to take a “nature pee.” Which would be fine if we were actually in nature when this happens. More often than not though, this happens on the playground, on a walk with our dog, or just generally anytime he’s outdoors – including our backyard, where there happens to be a perfectly good toilet right inside. While I admit it is much easier at times to let him drop trou and pee on a tree rather than braving disgusting public restrooms, I worry that he will grow up to be one of those douche bags who pees on buildings for fun and then ultimately blames me for his behavior when he’s being taken to the local police precinct. Should I put a stop to the public pee now or wait and see how things shake out? (pun intended)
Yours in Urine,
Meh. Your son is going to be a massively successful person and just fine and let me tell you why: He doesn’t give a #%@$. And what I mean by this is sometimes he just really HAS to go; it’s part of being a living human being. And, instead of wasting time finding the nearest bathroom, he just gets all super efficiency-based and goes right then and there. He can use the time saved to learn HTML or jet propulsion physics or how to sew. One word: LEADER. Now, let’s avoid lawsuits by making sure no one who actually cares is around when he decides to empty some of the tank, and perhaps have him bring a stylish tapestry with him everywhere he goes to put up as a privacy screen. I think a wide neutral stripe would be fantastic as would a modern camo, maybe in taupes, pumpkin tones and olive greens for a little autumnal flair.
As far as avoiding him becoming a D.B., just make him wear those trashy skull-and-crossbones t-shirts every single day and force him to talk about super basic stuff like football statistics, brands of guitars and use the term MAN CAVE to describe boring things like nail polish organization, shopping for rice or dropping off dry-cleaning. That way, when he’s an adult he will be programmed to NEVER WANT A MAN CAVE.
Words to live by if you ask us! To check out more of Brian’s work, visit his incredibly inspiring website, http://flynnsideout.com/. We’re warning you though, as soon as you see what this man can do to a Family Room, you’ll want to cash in that college fund for Jr. and hire him to redo your entire house/life! You can also find him on Instagram at @bpatrickflynn where he waxes poetic about everything from Taylor Swift (whom he loves) to cats (which we honestly can’t tell if he loves or hates) to sofas he doesn’t need but buys anyway. If you need some inspiration in your life, and we know you do because of those MFKs (mother f#&$*ing kids), put a little BPF in your life!
If you have a burning parenting question you want our Experts to tackle, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have other burning things, you should really see a Doctor.
Until next time, Dearests!