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How to Babysit Our Boys (Who Definitely Aren’t Homocidal)

Congratulations on the chance to watch our offspring while my wife and I are away. Here’s how to make sure they are happy.

Congratulations on being selected to watch Auden and Miles during our trip to Las Vegas for our 10th Anniversary. We want you to know that you were picked from a crowded field of prospects based on your pluck, kindness, and bravery and make clear that the decision had nothing to do with the fact that you are Kitty’s sisters, live in the neighborhood and are susceptible to Catholic guilt. In order to ensure a smooth transition of power and optimize for your survival and the boys’ happiness, we have put together some instructions for their care and appeasement.

A Note on Parenting Style

As you may well know, we are fully invested in Shamanic Parenting. As such we take great care to not only provide continual and constant empathy for our children’s current “self-ness” but also for their past selves and embryonic alternative selves. Should a past life be revealed in our absence, please contact our parenting guru, Leaf Shanti Om, whose cell-number is on the fridge. For more information on Shamanic Parenting, please read the attached article from in which Gwyneth Paltrow explains the basics using only vowels. Love her!


Auden is an adventurous five-year-old who will eat anything you give him as long as it is a noodle. Please see attached instructions for use of the spiralizer. The fridge is stocked with a variety of root vegetables and squashes that are easy to turn into noodles but feel free to experiment. We’ve found that the softer fruits can be made into noodles if you’re willing to work very slowly and carefully. Meats are easier, but the process does get bloody. Soylent, unfortunately, is a no-go.

Unfortunately, Auden is gluten intolerant so please don’t feed him spaghetti.

Miles is a fruitarian. His preference is that fruit comes by the foot, but he’s willing to haggle. He does, however, struggle with the metric system.

Screen Time

The boys will demand television. They are allowed 45 minutes a night of approved nature documentaries on Netflix. To work the A/V system use the light gray universal remote to turn on the television and the dark gray universal remote to turn on the receiver. Then push the button on the PlayStation 4 remote and navigate to the media icon, under which you will find our Netflix account.

If you accidentally use the dark gray remote first you will have to turn on the television by hand using the square button behind the TV. You may have to fish around a bit to find it. If you accidentally touch any other button while powering the television on, you will see the television navigation menu that can only be closed using the small black remote which is in an old coffee can in the laundry room. After closing the menu, turn everything off again and start over until you get it right.

If the children become agitated by this, place them in a quiet room without sharp objects where they can scream. If you cannot get the system to work, do not call us. We will not be sober enough to explain it. Instead, take the children to Buffalo Wild Wings. Have them face a non-violent sport.


In order to facilitate a peaceful bedtime, we bathe our children in a slightly crunchy solution of three parts tepid water and one part Epsom salts. In order to make the experience as soothing as possible, please light the beeswax candles on the sink, turn off the lights and sing “Abends Will Ich Schlafen Gehen” from the nineteenth-century märchenoper by composer Engelbert Humperdinck.

Note that when the boys are nude, they have a habit of spreading their buttcheeks and farting at one another. This is harmless behavior as long as they don’t feel judged on the aroma.

At 7:30 pm sharp the boys should be read a chapter of Robert Anton Wilson’s Leviathan. They will insist that you read Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, instead. Tell them you will read it after a chapter from Leviathan. They will fall asleep before it comes to that.  

At 11:45 pm, Miles will have a night terror. Don’t be alarmed by the screaming. It will stop once he is placed in bed with his brother. At 3:30 am, Auden will wet the bed they’re sleeping in. Please change their pajamas and the sheets and let them sleep with you, their knuckles white with fear as they cling to your arms like desperate monkeys in a hurricane.


We take a non-interventionist approach. That said, we have our limits. If one of the boys or you is rendered unconscious. Please call the police. The number is on the fridge. If you simply say “capsaicin” they will know what to do.

Play Time

After school, the boys will expect a period of play-time. This is their favorite part of the day, and as such, should be cherished by you as much as it cherished by us. To start playtime, remove all hard objects from the family room. You will notice most of the furniture has already been padded, so there’s nothing to be done there. Once the room is more or less secure, unlock the costume box. At that point, the boys may choose from their selection of culturally-authentic armor.

Please note that, should Auden choose the Heraldic Knight armor, he will need help with the outer closures as his little hands are not yet strong enough. Miles will likely choose Zulu warrior as is his want (yes, we’ve tried explaining how this is ethically problematic, but the boy does love spears).

Once the boys are dressed in the play clothes, lock the family room door and sound the outer alarm to let them know their time has begun. You will hear terrible things. Things that will creep into your dreams. Things that no parent should rightly have to hear every day for many many years without stop. Do your best to ignore these sounds. We recommend listening to a podcast.

It should only take two hours for the children to exhaust themselves into a general compliance. If the noises stop before the two hours have passed DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR! This is likely a trap. We’ve fallen for it too many times. Far too many times.

In Closing

Thank you again for taking care of our angels. We will be back on Thursday evening. Sometime. Probably. Don’t wait up.