To all you little kids out there, I would like to lend my advice on how to train your Mommies and Daddies. Let me tell you, this is easier than you think. Those who have gone before have blazed the trail. Almost without exception kids are winning the war against parental dominance. There is no need to grow up deprived of your rights to unlimited indulgence. We are born into a new age where psychology and TV have taught parents the truth about one’s right to free expression. Kids everywhere are breaking free of the old fashioned restraints of family. No one has a right to tell another human being what is right and wrong. Each one must find one’s own way. Be true to thyself. Get in touch with your own feelings, and do not allow your creativity to be stifled by the older hypocrites. The tide has turned, and we even have the law on our side now. The courts are ruling in our favor. So rise up to your calling and join the masses as we throw off the archaic restraints.
I know they are big and can be intimidating, but if the truth be known, they are all pushovers. Let me inform you of your advantages. You will soon discover these things on your own, but if you two-month-olds can be forewarned, you can get a head-start while the big dummies are still totally absorbed with how cute you are. Why wait until you are six-months-old to start taking control of these teddy bears? Many kids your age are already establishing dominance. So as one who has been through it, let me give you a few tips.
First you must understand that your very weakness will be working to your advantage. During the first months, parents, especially mothers—I think it has something to do with hormones—are driven by blind instinct. They have this deep emotional need to meet your every need. While you are still very young and weak, they know that you depend on them for your very survival. In those early months they will give you anything you need. By the time you are four or five months old you will realize that the world is full of stimulating and indulging things to do. You must start now before it is too late, getting your wants met as well as your needs. You see, at that early age, parents don’t know the difference between your needs and your wants, and if you have programmed them properly, they will not question your motives. Their own guilt and sense of duty will cause them to rush to your every whimper.
By six months you will begin to experience anger when they fail to immediately comply. If you work it right, they will think you are just as cute when mad as when you are smiling, so pour it on and condition them to accept your anger as a normal part of infancy. All too soon they will begin to be frustrated with your dominance, so you must set a pattern before they are personally bothered by your controlling demands. By nine months old they will say you have a strong will and they will even say it with pride, as if it is some kind of virtue. When they are confronted by enemies of child freedom, they will excuse your behavior by saying that you are different and cannot be dealt with as other children. By the time you are two years old, they will be so conditioned that they will dismiss your free expressions as “the terrible twos.” They are not willing to face defeat, so they like to think of it as just a stage. And there is some truth to their analysis. As you get three or four, you will have to learn to direct your demands more carefully. You can push them too far too soon, and they explode. Sometimes they strike out in violence and make you retreat to your room. They might even have an emotional breakdown, and you could be put into a government institution. There is more freedom there, but one does not get proper attention in the system.
So you must disguise your dominance and express it more carefully. There are several ways to do this, and it is good to have a variety—it confuses them and keeps them from ever getting a fix on it. For instance, if you are a cute little girl, it is very effective to play the pity role. Pretend to be weak and emotionally hurt. You can get more mileage out of that than the boys can out of their strength. Even fathers are susceptible to this guise. If they tell you no, just look brokenhearted. It helps to just sag in your body like you don’t have the strength to go on with life. If they don’t immediately comply, then you can say you are tired or don’t feel well. Just lay around, and remember to ask in a pitiful voice about every ten minutes. When you ask, be sure to rub your hand along their leg or arm. It you are close enough to touch their faces that works even better. The stimulation of touch breaks down their resistance. Eventually they will say, “Oh all right, I don’t guess it will hurt anything.” There, you will have your way, and after all, there is nothing in life more important than getting your own way. It is the greatest source of pleasure.
Now if you are a boy, or a first born girl, or just a free spirit, then you may find the direct method more to your liking. Anger and hostility will intimidate the biggest of them. If you stand your ground early, especially before they feel you are old enough to be spanked, you can gain the upper hand by convincing them that it is “just your personality” and that “you will grow out of it.” Be advised, it just takes one experience. It is best conducted before you are one year old, but it will work at any time. All you have to do is win. That is rule number one; win any contest of wills. Cause them to give up in exasperation. Frustrate their efforts at dominance. Stand your ground, even when you are spanked. Prove to the bullies that when you have your mind made up nothing can change it. Let them know that you will not obey any command you do not think is just. If you ever win just once, then you have broken their wills. Yes, remember, that is the important thing. Break their wills. Take away their confidence. Make them feel helpless. After that, it is easy. If you ever hear her say, “I can’t do a thing with that boy; he just has a strong will,” then you know you have won. Keep it up and you will always be free of control.
Another point to anticipate is that parents go through stages. They may read a book or take advice from a friend and decide to renew their efforts at dominance. Sometimes it can be hard on you for a few days. They will spank more and be impatient, but if you just hold out it will all blow over and things will return to normal. Remember, consistency is the key. If you ever give in just once, it renews their confidence, so if nothing else, seek symbolic victories. If there is no issue, just say “No” for the pleasure of it. If they tell you to remove your hand, and you know that they will explode if you don’t, then for the time being you will have to remove your hand. But just to keep them from feeling cocky, remove your hand slowly. Hesitate; keep their nerves on edge. It is a tricky balance, but they must always be made to feel that your will is intact. Move your hand by increments. Make them tell you six or eight times. Push them to the edge. This is good for your self-image.
Don’t take it too hard when you are forced to comply. After all, they are bigger than you. No one is going to think you are weak just because you are outgunned. Your day will come. You will not always be the little guy. One day you will be able to stand, look her right in the eye, and cuss the old lady to her face. So for now, go with the flow, maintain your will and wait your turn. Eventually you will have a body that will match your will. Then you can seek your own without anyone telling you what to do.
If you are lucky you will get modern parents. If you are really lucky you will be in the Federal School system. Then you stand a very good chance of receiving an official title to describe your behavior. They may call you something grand like: HAADDS. This will explain why you can never do what you are told and why you ignore commands that are given you. They treat you like you are born different, like you have no choice in the matter. It takes the monkey off your back. Once you are labeled by an Official, they will put you on drugs. That’s right, the same stuff the big guys buy on the streets. Man what a high! All of life becomes mellow. No responsibility, no struggles; you can just sail through youth feeling good, never having to surrender your will. There are reports that the kids on these medicines don’t function too well when they are grown, but don’t you believe it. I took drugs from the time I was in the second grade, and it didn’t hurt me. In fact, now that I am older, they bring me several drugs every day, and I feel great—that is when I am not sleeping. Sorry about the messy writing, but the pencil they give me to write with can’t be longer than two inches. They are afraid I will try to hurt myself with it, but there is no chance of that—that is, as long as they give me what I want.
Well, there is more I could tell you, but this should get you started. Remember our motto: “SELF-EXPRESSION—SELF-FULFILLMENT—SELF REALIZATION—SELF-INDULGENCE—SELF…..SElf….self…self…….i Can’T reMember the ResT of ….. It iS time for mY nappppp.”
Answer to Infant Manifesto
I am not old enough to read, but I heard my parents reading that article called Infant Manifesto. I wanted to respond, but I can’t write yet, so I dictated this to my older sister—she is three years old—and she wrote it down on our new computer. If it weren’t for that grammar and spell check, I don’t believe she could have done it.
Anyway, I just want to say that I disagree with the other kid that is trying to get us to exercise unlimited indulgence. Don’t get me wrong, I know he was right when he said that all us little guys just want our own way, that we seek to dominate our parents and to make them accomplices to our self-gratification. Like any other kid, I was born with a will to dominate, a will to have no authority higher than my own appetites, but I also know from experience that it’s not the best way.
I don’t understand all that theology stuff, but I know that something is not quite right about the way we little ones come into the world. Now I don’t know if it is something in us that is broken or missing, or if it is something in the world, or our parents, or just what, but I know that something is not the way it should be. Surely our Creator didn’t intend for us to all go astray as soon as we are born, but we do.
I started lying from day one. I am ashamed of it now, but I made my sweet mother think that I was hurting or cold, when all I wanted was to be held close. I soon learned that I could make her believe that I was hungry when I was not. By the time I was six months old—it hurts me to say it now—but I was displaying anger against the one who gave me life. Anytime she failed to immediately meet my wants, I would blow up. At first it was just a little whimpering, but then it got worse, until I found myself kicking and bucking in violent anger. Sometimes I would scream until I was blue in the face. Now that I look back on it, the looks on my parents’ faces were horrible, but I was not sensitive to anyone’s feelings but my own. It became an obsession to get my own way and to get it now.
Oh, I don’t blame my parents, I know that I intimidated them, not through strength, but through my weakness. They felt so helpless and inadequate, and I used that to gain even more control. The magazines in the doctor’s office helped me in my conquest toward autonomy. The “professionals” are just little rebellious kids in disguise. I know; I met some of them when I attended counseling with my parents. They have learned to say things with those big words, giving a name to every form of stupid behavior, but they are just big selfish kids trying to justify their own indulgence. They make our patterns of rebellion sound like legitimate childhood stages.
I tell you this at my own risk. It is too late to have me aborted, at least I think it is. They don’t abort two-year-olds do they? Not yet anyhow? But if they find out I am telling you this they might decide to turn my brain into gravy with some of their drugs. I guess I am just paranoid, with Janet Reno still running around loose. My big brother, four-years-old, just informed me that I am getting off the subject, but what do you expect from a two-year-old with a three-year-old secretary?
Oh yes, I was telling you how I disagree with that guy that tried to get all us kids to rise up against authority. Before you take the path I did, you need to hear what happened to me. It was just about three months ago on my second birthday. I was opening my presents, and my obnoxious cousin was there. After I unwrapped the third doll, I tossed it aside because it was not as pretty as the first two. When he picked it up, I screamed, “No, it is mine.” But he wouldn’t turn loose, so I jerked harder and screamed louder. I bared my teeth and made threatening sounds. I kept screaming, “It’s mine, give it to me.” The adults rushed over and separated us just as we started hitting each other. My mother told me something about sharing and being kind, but none of it made any sense to me. All I could tell was that they all acted like I was bad. I pulled all my toys in close and tried to keep anyone else from stealing my beautiful things.
And then it came time to cut the cake. Mother wouldn’t let me cut it, so I slammed my hand down on top of the little flowers. It splattered gooey icing everywhere. It seemed to upset everybody, but I was already mad and didn’t care. Mother said she was very disappointed and asked very sweetly—but I could tell that she was mad—”Wouldn’t you like to say you are sorry?” “No, it’s my cake,” I screamed, and ran from the room. Grandmother made it all right by explaining to Mother that I “didn’t understand,” and that I “was just upset.” She told Mom that this was a “special day” and that I should be allowed to cut my own cake.” Mother was embarrassed, and that’s right, I won.
Then while we were eating our cake and I was guarding my presents, I saw another Mom talking to my Mom in a very serous way. They both looked at me like they were plotting something really bad, and then Mom nodded her head yes. The woman opened her purse and handed Mother a plain little book with no color on the cover. I saw that her purse was full of them. She must have been some kind of missionary or something. It didn’t look like much, but mother thanked her and said something like, “We have tried everything…I don’t know what I……are about to our wits’ end…ready for anything…yes, I will read it” That was the fateful day that was to change our lives forever.
It had not been a happy two years. I thought my mother and father were my enemies. In fact, it was me against the whole world. Everybody and everything seemed to stand in the way of my happiness—happiness being unrestrained indulgence. I never seemed to get enough, and was always peeved. Mother and I were growing further and further apart. I didn’t want that. I really needed her love, but it just seemed that I couldn’t help myself. I couldn’t seem to draw a line and then force myself to exercise self-restraint. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t think of others. I was all that mattered to me. I know it sounds bad, but when I stay in the nursery, I realize that I am not alone.
Well, Mother got real intent when she started reading that book. Sometimes she would laugh, and sometimes she would cry, but she kept looking over at me like she had something very serious on her mind. When there was no one around, she would put her head down and talk to somebody she called Jesus, but I never saw him, and she didn’t use the phone. I don’t know what that is all about. I never saw anything like it on television.
When she finished the book, she showed it to Daddy, and I heard them reading it again in the bedroom at night. And they talked about it a lot. I heard Daddy say, “OK, we will try it.” And the next day is when it all started.
I got up grumpy as usual and was unhappy with my breakfast. Mother tried to serve that mush the Quakers used to eat. I pushed it aside and demanded the sweet cereal I am so fond of. We started our little tug of war. She said, “No,” and I started my whining and protesting. I don’t always win everything, but I knew that I could at least get extra sugar in the mush.
Besides, like the fellow said in the other article, it was not so important what I ate as it was that I start the day off establishing my autonomy. If you win the first battle of the morning, you have won the day.
But to my utter amazement, it didn’t go at all like it was supposed to—like it usually did. When it was time for Mother to get red in the face and start jerking everything around, including me, she just smiled and said, “You can eat what is on the table or you can do without.” I knew this was just round one, and that if I looked pitiful enough she would come around, but before I knew what was happening she had lifted me out of the highchair and was cleaning the table. I stood in the floor and let out a blood-curdling scream, and then I felt this awful sting on my bare legs. I didn’t think she was mad enough yet to spank me. She usually waits until she totally loses patience and then strikes out in anger, but this time it almost looked as if she was smiling. She commanded, “Stop crying and go change your clothes.” I let out another scream and “Bam,” another lick with that switch of hers. This was war! I couldn’t let her get away with this; didn’t she know I had control attachment disorder? I turned red in the face and screamed like I have never screamed before. This usually brought compromise, but instead, without another word of warning or threatening, “bam, bam, bam”—about ten times. I was shocked. My timid mother, whom I had such control over, was suddenly heartless. But after several more futile attempts that all ended at the end of a switch, I jumped up and ran to change my clothes. I never realized that she was so big.
When I came back and demanded something to eat, she told me that in two hours I would be allowed to eat the Quaker mush, without sugar. I would like to say that I had learned my lesson and that in two hours I ate the stuff, but I didn’t. I had trouble at lunch and again at supper. It was three days before I learned that Mother had taken my place as head of the house. I had to eat what she placed in front of me or starve. This was a different Mom from the one that I had been raising for two years. I couldn’t make her mad, and it seemed that she had made up her mind to never let me win a single contest, for no matter what the issue, she quietly stuck by her word. She never let me overrule her. She was awesome!
It became a thing of certainty that if I whined, I would be denied all pleasure. You will find this hard to believe, but I learned that the only way to manipulate Mom was with a sweet smile and a carefully worded request. Anything else turned her into a broken vending machine—you couldn’t get a thing out of her.
I had been used to her working herself up. All that disappeared. When she gave a command, she just gave it once. My hearing improved. I got to where I could hear a whispered command the first time. My survival depended on it. It was no longer a democracy. She stopped sharing power with me. I was made totally subject to her will.
Now I noticed something right away. Mother seemed to like to read to me more. I fact, she started looking at me and smiling. I found it was wonderful. I really liked it. She looked at me like she really liked me. It had been a year since I had seen that beautiful smile that I loved so much. It made me feel better about myself. Whereas we had once been enemies, we could now be friends. Mother seemed to enjoy me when I was obedient. Of course, it was not my doing. She didn’t leave me any choice but to obey. But it still felt good to be in fellowship with my Mom. She would take me in her lap and we would just love each other like we used to do when I was just two months old. It was wonderful.