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Scientists need help! Moms to the rescue!

I read recently that scientists are hard at work in laboratories trying to make the H1N1 (swine) flu virus become more virulent. They are trying to figure out whether it could become more virulent on its own by trying to force it to do so in the lab. Some of these scientists may be moms, but they seem to have forgotten the lessons they’ve learned outside of the lab.

Any mom on the front lines of child rearing could have told them they were going about it all the wrong way! You can’t force a small being to do anything you want it to do. Instead, moms suggest that scientists follow some simple techniques culled from parenting manuals past and present:

Method #1: The Two Choices

Everyone knows that little beings want to have choices, and viruses are no different. Tell the viruses what their choices are: mutate in the way I want which would be really cool and I’ll iron a Superman S onto your t-shirt, or you can choose to spend the rest of your life inside a pig’s gall bladder. Which do you prefer?

Method #2: Distraction

Hey, H1N1! Look at that cool bacteria over there! Isn’t its mutation cool?

Method #3: Consequences

Look here, H1N1, do what I tell you or there are going to be consequences. I’m going to make sure if you don’t mutate right now, you’re going to spend the rest of your life** in a pig’s gall bladder.

Method #4: Counting*

*Can be used in combination with other methods

OK, H1N1, I’m going to count to three, and if you haven’t mutated…

Method #5: Corporal Punishment

Yeah, I know we got rid of this in schools. But nobody said it’s wrong to do in a lab! The only problem will be finding a ruler small enough… and finding the virus’s tushie.

Method #6: Positive Discipline

Oh, H1N1, you know how I love you, and how it would be so great if we could be positive and happy so let’s cuddle for a bit before you do exactly what I told you to do.

Method #7: The Scream*

*Usually follows method #6

MUTATE NOW YOU PUDGY LITTLE INFLUENZA A VIRUS SUBTYPE H1N1 OR I’LL, WELL, I WON’T TELL YOU WHAT I’LL DO!!!

Method #8: Attachment Parenting

Remember that the virus is also a being with needs of its own. Get down to its level and be with it so that you can understand why it doesn’t want to do what you know it’s going to have to do even if you have to resort to Method #5.

Method #9: Trust the Virus

Though it can take longer than you’d like, trust little H1N1 to do what it naturally will and be secure in your knowledge that you didn’t force anything. Everything H1N1 did was its own free choice, which is beautiful, even if it mutates into the meanest killer virus in history.

I hope that this quick primer is helpful to our brave scientists, who are sacrificing their time and creative energy trying to unlock the psychological mysteries of little beings who, they believe, are unfathomably complicated. Those of us working with rather larger little beings know that, in fact, those scientists may be more educated, but we are the ones they should turn to when they’re dealing with the mysteries of the stubborn minds of small beings. Perhaps next we can turn to cancer as our subject, though we may be out of time because the two-year-old has just constructed the Empire State Building in our living room with all of our fancy shoes from those long-ago years of freedom and simplicity.

**Note: Viruses aren’t actually alive, per se, but with cantankerous small beings it’s not advised to split hairs or to say anything to which they can answer, “No, I’m not!”

Posted in Health, Parenting.


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