1. Your toddler screams bloody murder in an upscale restaurant, causing disapproving glances. Do you:
a. Get on the long waiting list for that moody teenage babysitter, Cruella, with the scary, bulging eyes.
b. Talk loudly about how children are God’s little blessings, with the perfect right to self-amplify and co-exist on an equally lateral plane of humanness. Then pop more Xanax and get plastered.
2. Your four-year-old kicks you hard in the supermarket. Do you:
a. Roar, in your most fearsome Hulk voice, “DESIST!” (For added emphasis, burst out of your clothing!) It might not know what “desist” means, but you’ll scare the bejesus out of it, and anyone within earshot!
b. Talk about how you understand its need to disengage from effortful control via self-exploitative, pseudo-neediness at this difficult time. How mommy/daddy is so sorry for causing such upset. And perhaps, if it lets you, you could work in tandem with its assimilation, vis-à-vis, self-regulative, bilateral hostility?
3. Your six-year-old squirts mustard over Aunt Mabel during dinner. Do you:
a. Hand it a soapy sponge and ask it to clean Aunt Mabel.
b. Effusively praise the result, comparing it to Pollock. Say it’s perfectly okay to self-manifest, using food as its medium, on the family home and any dinner guests.
4. Your eight-year-old daughter bites the family dog, an easy-going pit bull named Timmy. Do you:
a. Buy her a chew toy, and enroll her in an obedience class at Petco. If the biting continues, “encourage” her towards other activities, like being shot from a cannon, or, if you can afford it, a one-way trip to Mars.
b. Talk about her need to self-project in whatever way she sees fit. However, emphasize that though Timmy might be a lower creature, he’s still family. So perhaps, to avoid injury—say, having her throat ripped out, which would then disable her from further self-projection—she should be kinder to the dog.
6. Your ten-year-old threatens to kill you in your sleep if you don’t buy her the latest iPhone. Do you:
a. Realize sleep is no longer an option. Then what? The solution is obvious. Buy her an iPhone!
b. Talk about her need to negate variably from you. Ergo: her mindful dissociation that stems from this form of anticipatory coping, and how it’s obviously your fault she feels this way. Moreover, if your parents had refused to buy you the latest iPhone, you’d probably want to kill them too. Nevertheless, maybe she could self-dissuade. Then buy the iPhone!
c. Forget crying! Buy the goddamn iPhone!
7. You catch your fifteen-year-old trying to sell your Adderall to his friends. Do you:
a. Warn him the revamped formula has peculiar side effects on underage boys, and within a short time, their penises will disappear and their by now itchy, rash-covered testicles will swell to the size of coconuts. Underage girls will grow a penis—BUT IT WILL BE SMALL!
b. Tell him you comprehend his desire to generate finances beyond his miserly allowance. You truly appreciate his action potential and understand he’s drive-driven, and if entering the pharmaceutical industry proves to be his growth trajectory, commensurate with this oft-complicated thing called life, that’s fine with you.
8. Your pregnant, MEAT-LOVING, forty-year-old daughter appears at your one-bedroom apartment, with yet another skinny, banjo-playing boyfriend. This one has a serious overbite, the breath of one-thousand farts, and a curious obsession with kangaroos. Accompanying them are her nine kids, two dogs, three cats, and a vicious ferret that tore a hole in your cheek last visit. She expects to stay for the summer. Do you:
a. Say you have a rare, HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS form of Zika virus, whereby your head will eventually shrink to the size of a walnut–before exploding. According to your doctor, the explosion ALWAYS occurs when there are houseguests.
b. Give them the run of the place. Because it’s her normative right that she should self-claim, in your stereotypical problem space of conflict avoidance. However, as boss of your kitchen, you only serve VEGAN!
9. Your deadbeat, fifty-year-old son moves into your basement. Do you:
a. Release a sixty-pound raccoon into the basement. Should he get all “snuggly” with it, try offloading them on distant (Australian?) relatives (check quarantine laws!), or sucker friends. If they refuse, release more raccoons. One is bound to want to eat him.
b. Give up! Some contextual risk factors, such as psychological trauma (plainly caused by you!) is why he’s never worked or had a girlfriend. On the bright side: With all those crazy, fun-loving raccoons living in your basement, there’ll be parties, party hats, and much merry-making—ALL YEAR LONG!
CORRECT ANSWERS: There are no correct answers.