5 minutes in her shoes: An interview with author Karen Alpert

Karen Alpert, who pens the popular blog Baby Sideburns, is the author of the charmingly profane parenting guide, I Heart My Little A-Holes. Figuring that makes her an expert, we pulled no punches with some tricky parenting questions.

What’s your least favorite children’s book?

What? Just one?! Fine, I’m too lazy to list them all anyway. I’m gonna say Love You Forever. Creeeeeepy. I mean what kind of mother sneaks into her grown son’s house and rocks him? I’ll tell you what kind. The kind that lives in the Bates Motel.

There are so many hard ‘n’ fast rules of raising kids. Name one rule you’ve unabashedly broken.

I do all sorts of crap that’s “wrong.” I give my kids the iPad when I want to have a nice meal in a restaurant. I bribe them with dessert alllll the time. And I yell at them almost every morning when it’s time to get in the car. And not like a little. I mean like I turn into Cujo and foam at the mouth and stuff. I know we’re supposed to be all cool and collected and talk to them like they’re grownups and be rational with them, but I kind of think if we do that we’re gonna end up raising a bunch of wussies.

Quick! Name the color of first item you see on the floor, the last food you’ve eaten and the career you’d least like your kids to have.

Black, Hershey’s syrup and not a drug dealer or prostitute.

Do you have a parenting super power?

I can look pregnant anytime I want. All I do is stop sucking in and my belly goes from unpreggers to five months preggers immediately. And if I eat Chipotle, I look like I’m in my third trimester.

What’s the most surprising thing one of your kids has ever given you?

Nothing surprises me anymore. NOTHING. I mean they give me boogers on a daily basis, and they often hand me annoying crap like flowery weeds and pinecones. The trick is pretending like you love their gifts and figuring out how to get rid of them without them noticing. Oh, and my son gave me a Play-Doh sculpture in the shape of a penis the other day. I mean he said it was a snake, but what kind of snake is circumcised?

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