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How To … Deal with Other People’s Children

Posted October 2, 2012 by Catherine in Ramp Lists
maggie and gerald

There are few things more irritating than a person forcing their baby or toddler on you. Let’s face it – babies are boring and toddlers are obnoxious. Basically, unless you popped them out of your vagina (or helped create them, I guess), they are not in the least bit interesting and you used to know that before you had one. Obvious exceptions to this rule are crime-fighting babies, babies with magical powers or babies that are being bullied by household pets, because that’s just hilarious. It’s not ok for me to push your baby over, but it’s perfectly fine if the family dog does it, so I shall live vicariously through that lucky animal.

Proud parents aren’t likely to change their actions any time soon, so here are some survival techniques for the next time you encounter a baby-related ambush.

♥ Holding Babies

Guys can usually get out of this easily enough by looking terrified, but girls are expected to squeal with delight at the prospect of cradling a mewling infant. In reality, most people only accept out of politeness… and because parents will keep harassing them until they say yes or judge them silently for not being maternal. If this is the case, accept the offer to hold a baby and then drop it. Word will soon spread.

♥ Pictures

‘Oh look at little Jeffrey staring blankly into the camera with a sunflower hat on’ – eh, no ta! If you are accosted by a friend waving phone pictures of their offspring in your face, pull out pictures of your own cat/dog/herb garden and return the favour. If you don’t have anything significant in your life to take pictures of, comments like ‘Well hopefully they’ll be intelligent or at least particularly funny’ or ‘There’s always plastic surgery, I guess’ are also good.

♥ Babies at Weddings, Birthdays and other such occasions

Muzzles and rope. Nuff said. I’m sorry that you couldn’t find a babysitter, parents, but hey, guess what! It’s not YOUR day.

♥ Stories

If your acquaintance starts to tell a story about their child, hold you hand up and say: ‘Does this story end with your child travelling back in time and performing Johnny Be Good at your debs? No? Well how about discovering a pirate ship filled with treasure and defeating a band of escaped convicts? No? Ah, I see.’ Then walk away.

♥ Toddlers performing

I have no objection to your signing your child up for extra-curriculars, but if I’ve gone to the effort of making up a half-decent excuse to avoid going to their performances, is it really fair for you to allow them to torture me with their new-found ‘talents’ when I happen to be in your company? No it is not! Do you care? Not in the least. A good option here is to compete with the child. If they start dancing or singing, you dance and sing harder, better, faster, stronger! Alternatives include pulling a ‘Simon Cowell’ and telling the child how inadequate he/she is – “It’s just not very good, is it?”

Readers who have been positively affected by Catherine’s How To are reminded to send gift baskets and handsome escorts. Readers who have been adversely affected are reminded that this How To is for entertainment purposes only and any shattering of your cold, splintered heart after reading is purely coincidental.

About the Author


Catherine often dreams about living in a tiny Parisian apartment and penning the next great novel of her generation until she remembers how impossible it is to get a decent cup of tea in France.

  • Sinéad

    Ugh, other people’s children. I hate having to feign interest :( .

    If I ever a child and it’s not Kevin McCallister I won’t love it. Uncool children are just the WORST.

    • http://www.krank.ie/ Neil

      Spartan-like abandonment in the wilderness. “Don’t come back til you’re awesome!” It was good enough for the few proud people of Kildare and it’s good enough for whatever spawn I create.

      • http://twitter.com/SerialBlogamist Catherine C

        I would support this decision. Uncool kids are the worst. Esp the uncool kids who think they’re great.

  • http://www.redlemonade.blogspot.com/ Kitty Catastrophe

    “Does this story end with your child travelling back in time and performing Johnny Be Good at your debs?” <– Totally stealing this.

    People keep showing me pictures of their baby nieces and nephews on their phones and it bores me to tears. I DON'T CARE. Pictures of their dogs or cats, however? I'M IN. LOOK AT THAT SMUSHY LITTLE FAAAACE etc.

    • http://twitter.com/SerialBlogamist Catherine C

      Take it and use it wisely :P

  • Aedin

    Ha ha-this is brill!It’s so true-kids are like farts, you can only stand your own!

  • http://www.lisamcinerney.com Lisa McInerney

    I reckon it’s worse when you have kids of your own, because people then assume you’re naturally maternal/paternal and won’t mind entertaining, placating or aww-ing at their young ‘uns. I’m really awkward around other people’s kids and in their eyes, I don’t even have an excuse!

    • Aedín

      Me too!I am so awkward around kids and would never be one for holding babies or entertaining toddlers before but now that I’ve procreated, in the eyes of the world that makes me someone who must love all children!

      • http://twitter.com/SerialBlogamist Catherine C

        Stupid World! I can understand being infatuated with your own sprog, but I don’t understand why people suddenly forget how much they disliked other people’s kids beforehand and then proceed to push their own child on everyone. Although I’ve never actually experienced labour so maybe after all that you want some damn recognition and appreciation for what you made.

        • http://www.lisamcinerney.com Lisa McInerney

          That could be it.

          Also, my kid’s awesome.

          • http://twitter.com/SerialBlogamist Catherine C

            Oh…yeah…well obviously this isn’t about YOUR kid. This is about all the other kids. I love looking at those slideshows you make… :P

          • http://www.lisamcinerney.com Lisa McInerney

            Good, because I’ve made a papier-mâché diorama I want you to experience.

          • http://twitter.com/SerialBlogamist Catherine C

            Oh uhm….I’m allergic to….paper. Gah, why God, why?! Why must you punish me like this – what did I do to deserve missing out on this diorama?! So sorry, Lisa, but you understand, right?

  • http://twitter.com/notRuairi Rú Hickson

    TIL all women hate all children.

    • http://www.lisamcinerney.com Lisa McInerney

      Also people who used to be children.

  • Jenny Foxe

    I have to admit that on hearing someone ‘Hates Kids’ a tiny part of me sees that as a bit of a challenge..but mine are Sooo Cute. Kids are cool – it’s only their parents that are scary *runs and hides

    • http://twitter.com/SerialBlogamist Catherine C

      Well sometimes the kids are jerks, but yeah it’s really the pushy parents that are the problem. I think I’m going to start carrying taser to deal with them – too much? :P

  • Joe McManus

    Lying to other people’s children is one of life’s great pleasures. My niece still believes the Irish live on an island because they were sent there by the rest of Europe for smelling funny.

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