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Published December 13, 2011

I found something we all need for the protection of our loved ones, but I don’t want you to think I’m going overboard.  I mean—I try not to be an overprotective, helicopter mom.  My kids have independence; they get up on their own for school and take responsibility for their homework.  They have as much freedom as any other suburban kids.  However, I’ve taken the typical precautions.  I’m just a normal mom who has warned my children about the potential detriments lurking in almost every negative scenario or so I thought.

For reference, I made this handy Action and Consequence table for my kids:

Crossing street w/out looking = Hit by car, causing broken legs or instant death

Falling down stairs = Broken neck

Drunk driving = Wreck, death of others, embarrassing news story

Bear attack = Head ripped apart

Sex = Gonorrhea

Not doing homework = Homelessness

Cooking without supervision = House fire

Eating & walking at same time = Choking on carrot and death

Not getting enough sleep = Pneumonia, death by senseless accident

Drugs = Horrible teeth followed by gang murder

Failure to wash hands = Staph infection of flu, followed by pneumonia

Unsafe internet surfing = Computer viruses and stalking by pedophiles

Walking without shoes = Tetanus or some kind of worm found in pigs

Being rude to friends = Every mother in the suburb will talk about you

Food in room, general filth = Roaches crawling on you at night, peer rejection

Carelessness w/ pocket knife = Amputated finger which will be eaten by wild animal

Airsoft guns in the house = Loss of eye(s)

Chapped lips = Lip infection, rejection by peers

Descending into mine shaft = Contact with dead bodies, crushed by falling rock

Excessive video gaming = Transformation into loser, epilepsy

Liquid near any computer = Ridicule and punishment by parents

That’s the first page of many, but you get the idea.

I just ran across a book that is truly a necessity for any careful parent.  You should buy this book for the loved ones in your life: Never Smile at a Monkey: And 17 Other Important Things to Remember.  Apparently there is a whole realm of animals out there just waiting to kill us!  I was unaware of several of these threatening animals, and therefore unable to warn my children—until now.

This book will shore up your children's knowledge of horrid consequences.

Here’s a summary: “When it comes to wild animals, everyone knows that there are certain things you just don’t do. It’s clearly a bad idea to tease a tiger, pull a python’s tail, or bother a black widow spider. But do you know how dangerous it can be to pet a platypus, collect a cone shell, or touch a tang fish? Some creatures have developed unusual ways of protecting themselves or catching prey, and this can make them unexpectedly hazardous to your health.
In this dynamic and fascinating picture book by Steve Jenkins, you’ll find out what you should never do if you encounter one of these surprisingly dangerous animals.”

Page  14: “NEVER jostle a jellyfish.  A box jellyfish, that is. Most jellyfish can sting people, but the box jellyfish, also known as a sea wasp, is in a class by itself.  Even the smallest contact with its stinging tentacles causes intense pain. If you are unlucky enough to become really entangled with a box jellyfish, you can die very quickly.”

Be afraid: jellyfish are deadlier than you probably thought.

Buy this book for Christmas, if you can wait that long.  Did I mention that you’ll find it in the children’s section?  Houghton Mifflin is very concerned with your child’s well-being.

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