What Makes Lisa So Damn Special?


What makes me so damn special? Two things: 1. I don’t know, and 2. Everything. Don’t ask me why, but I was born with an instinct for this shit. I can’t tell you where it came from, or why I was destined for such a crappy paying career. I just was. Too bad really, because despite my foul mouth, I’m actually wicked smart. Don’t get all excited, generally speaking, our society hates smart people.

I’ll give you the rundown on why I think I know better than most “experts” out there:

– I see things through the eyes of children. I remember being a child very, very vividly. I remember my thoughts and feelings. I remember how I interpreted things I didn’t understand. I remember thinking that adults were condescending, and liars. I remember being talked down to, and having my ideas and feelings dismissed. So, as you can imagine, I won’t allow myself to behave that way towards children, and I will call bullshit on adults who do.

I understand that children, no matter how young, are human beings with thoughts feelings, ideas, and insatiable curiosity, and all they want is a little respect. And adults should give it to them, all adults; parents, relatives, neighbors, teachers, the guy at the bagel store, EVERYBODY.

– I’m not a parent. Not that I don’t want to be, I just haven’t had the opportunity. But not being a parent, I can be objective. Now don’t get your panties all in a wad talkin’ about how I don’t know what it’s like for parents. I assure you, I’m intelligent enough to understand that the dynamics of that relationship are quite unique. I’ve also spent my fair share of time being a replacement parent for A LOT of children. So much so, your head would explode. But it’s all good, I learned a great deal from that experience.

– I understand best practices. Not perfection. Best practices. I know what best practices look like in the real world. More so than your average early childhood worker who; hasn’t been a teacher, a director, a nanny, a doula, a baby nurse, a developmental therapist, and infant specialist, a teacher educator, a parent educator, a program quality advisor, hasn’t potty trained at LEAST 34 very different children, and is just plain awesome.

I often defy people to prove me wrong, and remind them that the proof is in the pudding, my friends.

– It took me a good 20 years before I realized that I was really on to something, that I actually knew what I was talking about, that I had a proven track record, that I was, in fact, smarter than the average bear when it came to children. I know some other people like me in my field. They are few and far between, but they exist, and they are all considered renegades. I like to think of myself as the Dr. House of childcare, my methods may seem strange, I probably piss a lot of people off, but hot damn if I’m not right 99.9% of the time.

– Above all, I want to do what is best for children…understanding that what is best looks different for every child and every family.

-I am not afraid. I will scream from the mountain top, “YOU ARE FUCKING UP YOUR CHILD!” If I need to.

– I read, read, read, study, study, study, and practice, practice, practice. Incessantly. I live and breathe this shit. When new information comes out, I am on it! Picking it apart, putting it back together, and searching for evidence. I love it, it’s what I was born to do!

So yeah, I’m a self- proclaimed child-rearing guru. I currently live and work in Northern Indiana, where I am the director of a really amazing early childhood program. Before that I did all kinds of other shit working with children and families (see above).

I absolutely love what I do, and just so happen to have a gift for it. You don’t have to take my advice, but you should, because I’m fucking awesome.

I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from DePaul University in Chicago. I am working towards a Master’s in Human Development, so if you can help me make money off of this blog, that would be great. School is fucking expensive! And as I mentioned, jobs in early childhood don’t pay shit.

With regard to the cussing, I do not advocate cussing at children. However, I have a potty mouth, which I only curb when teaching or presenting. I don’t think it’s a horrible thing for adults to swear within a child’s earshot. In fact, there would be a lot less cussing if adults didn’t make such a damn big deal of it…but we can talk about that later.

I like avocados, reading, and John Fluevog Shoes. I have an encyclopedic knowledge of Seinfeld. I watch PBS on purpose, and not just because there’s a really hot Australian guy on Victory Garden.

I am available for consulting, training, and presenting; both with, and without profanity.

I have also created an Amazon aStore where you can find some of my favorite products for kids and families.

Thank you for reading. If you like this blog, please do share!

8 thoughts on “What Makes Lisa So Damn Special?

  1. Hi Lisa,
    love your blog! Have you considered writing a book? (Or an ebook even?)
    I think you clearly have something to say, and I’d love to hear it (and pay to hear it)

    Keep up the blog in any case, you have readers 🙂

  2. Oh man! Just found your blog this morning while searching for potty training advice, and have already eyeball-gobbled up every one of your posts so far (on- and off-topic). Yours is exactly the voice I need(ed) to hear. Pull out the sofabed, I will be visiting often.

    Please keep cussing…yay!

  3. Lisa….you have nailed it! I don’t know how in the world I stumbled upon your blog…but I did. I am a nanny too and have been for 15+ years…and you have it internalized completely. Boy, I bet we could share some stories…. I’m going to follow your blog because it really does help my insanity to hear.

  4. Hey Lisa, I have some questions / suggestions for a new topic thread. General topic: Potty Training / Bodily Privacy & Autonomy. So my kiddo is almost 2 1/2 and recently potty trained. She’s very independent and likes to do as much as she can herself, including wiping and pulling up her pants. Problem: Sometimes she doesn’t wipe well enough, doesn’t want me to wipe her, and as a consequence gets a rash. If I force her to let me wipe, she screams. So I decided to just inspect once a day to make sure she’s not getting a rash. But she doesn’t like me to do that either. The last several nights it’s been a saga of me trying to reason with her and explain why it’s important that she let me inspect her pee-pee area so she doesn’t get an “owie”. Humorously, she calls the diaper cream “scream”. “I DON’T WANT SCREAM”, she says. It takes either 15 minutes of negotiating, or trickery, or force to get her to allow me to do what she used to allow me to do many times a day without protest, before potty training, which is lay her on her back and wipe and inspect her diaper area. I don’t want to violate her developing sense of privacy about her body, but on the other hand I obviously don’t want her to get a rash either! Suggestions?

    For the record, she has a similar reaction to getting her teeth brushed (kicking / screaming etc), but in that instance I decided to just hold her down and force toothbrushing on her if necessary. However, when it’s her vaginal area in question I feel more cautious about what kind of message I might be sending by forcing her to spread her legs and let me perform some kind of operation on her against her will.

  5. Charlotte, I am SO SORRY I am just seeing this now! But I definitely want to reply, so here is my best answer as of this moment:

    -Let her use wet wipes to wipe herself, twice
    -Let her take long baths before bed, at least until she moves beyond this phase.
    -Let her run around naked after her bath, until you think her bottom is thoroughly dry
    -Maybe try a different butt cream? Or just baby oil, or cornstarch? Let her pick out what she wants to use, let her put it on herself (she can at least try).
    -Personal hygiene is a task that kiddos don’t always care so much for, but we do it, everyone does, we wash hands, brush teeth, bathe, wash clothes, clean the house, these things matter, but really take years to master
    -It’s not the end of the world if she doesn’t get her teeth brushed every night, let her brush your teeth
    -Get a groovy toothbrush, like a spin-brush, let her play with it on her teeth, while she’s in the tub even
    -Hair, teeth, vagina, toes, it is her body, do the best you can to respect that
    -Life happens, it’s not fun to deal with tantrums, but I always ask, “What is real life, and what are we trying to control?” In real life nobody wipes your butt for you (we should be so lucky), so she needs practice, let her practice. In real life we have to go to work, school, run errands, etc. even when we really don’t want to
    -She WILL get there, I promise!

    I will keep thinking on this one! Such good questions!

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