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Sometimes they are too good to keep to myself

Sometimes they are too good to keep to myself

February 18, 2007

This email came to my inbox this afternoon, from someone who obviously doesn’t read my blog and yet felt compelled to email me their self righteous advice.

I am a family therapist. Do you have a husband to share the children with? If so, what is his role?

I would give you that F.

1. Cut out all the sugar you are allowing them to ingest–candy, cupcakes, etc. It is causing restless, hyperactive, kids.

2. Don’t be preoccupied with toilet training in a proper place at a proper time.It may lead to paruresis (shy bladder) and the inability to use school toilets and public facilities, usually beginning in adolescence.

3. Don’t call them naughty. They are children but you are abusing their brains and nervous systems.See 1 above.You are degrading their natural self-esteem.

You owe it to yourself to get proper psychiatric help, probably for OCD.

These are personal, not professional or clinical opinions

Donald, Donald, Donald… may I call you that, since it is your name. I won’t give out your last name, address, or phone number, because I am nice like that. And not only are you a family therapist, you are a pastoral counselor? What would Jesus say about this judgemental email, Donald?

Perhaps you have forgotten that the internet is not quite as impersonal as it may seem. Ooooops.

I can only guess, by the F reference, that you are referring to this post that I wrote over a year ago. A post in which I admit to having a really stressful day. Something all parents can relate to once in awhile, that feeling of being inadequate.

Though I don’t remember calling my children naughty. I may have referred to them as pains in the ass.

My children don’t just eat sugar. They eat a well balanced diet of procesed foods, aspartame, and peanut butter. Did you know that you can get jars of Peter Pan peanut butter really cheap right now?

I am not sure why you take issue with my potty training methods. I have successfully trained 6 children. Duct taping them naked to the toilet for as many weeks as it takes to get them with the program has worked just fine for me. And really I have seen no ill effects for it, other than the layer of skin they lose when the tape is removed. But hey, it’s just skin. I like to think of it as an exfoliating treatment.

So Donald, take your ever so helpful personal, not professional or clinical, advice and shove it where the sun doesn’t shine. And considering that you live in the “Sunshine state” you should have no problem finding that location.

Posted by Chris @ 12:10 am  

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  1. Playdate Susan says:

    Oh for the love of . . .

    Should I tell Donald that we duct tape the kids to their beds at night, to prevent all the I-need-a-drink-of-water visits? Nah.

  2. Amyjane says:

    Funniest response ever…people need to chill a little. Seriously, even over on my boring blog I get people with WAY too muc time on their hands stopping by to tell me how my ways are wrong. Well, of course I think my ways are better. That’s why I have chosen them to be my way.

  3. surcie says:

    Oh, my Lord, woman. So funny. I don’t think he deserved the attention, but it made for a fun post. Thanks, Donald!

  4. Ashley says:


  5. Amy Girl says:


  6. Amy says:

    Wow- he must not have any kids, been in contact with any- or even seen them in passing. LOVE how you deal with opinionated, unsolicited (haha)-”Advice.”


  7. briana says:

    I love your sarcasm here. Beautiful. Just beautiful. And I’m bummed to learn that Donald lives in my state. Go figure.

  8. Liz in Australia says:

    Oh jeez. Yet another what-you-write-on-your-blog-is-the-whole-of-your-life trolls. A big “F” for tact and common sense, Donald…

  9. Tara says:

    Duct tape hey? We’re having some toilet training issues… might have to consider that.

  10. Ashlee says:

    I have read your blog a lot lately and really enjoy your insight into parenting. I have laughed over many of your posts and gained a lot of wisdom from you. This is the first time I have posted a comment because, well, I’m lazy. I couldn’t resist responding to Donald. I am appalled that someone would comment like that. Does he just search the internet at random?! Hopefully he will read more about your life and realize how off-base he is.
    Then again, is there a way to block him from viewing ever again? Just a thought . . .

  11. julie says:

    good lord, this guy needs to get a grip!! Let me guess????he has no children…hmm, I wonder why??? Maybe Donald should ponder his own obvious insecurities. Happy Duct Taping!!!

  12. bluepaintred says:

    i would think that since all of your children are still alive you deserve an A++.

    you hande these things so well, and honestly i come here becuase you are amusing and REAL. You dont talk about how sweet little jane is she got all her spelling right ..that would be boring.

    i love your blog, you love your kids, they are still breathing. therefore you are doing a bang up job.

    the most important of course being that I love your blog


    come duct tape my almost three year old for me, he is too wiggly for me to catch

  13. bluepaintred says:

    pee ess. ive always sevretly wanted hate mail, feel free to direct donald duck to my blog LMAO

  14. Chris says:

    Okay… WTF?

    Do you get a lot of these schmoes emailing you? WTF? I don’t know why I act so stunned when I come across stupid SOB’s, this freakin world is full of them. And, I think, the mother ship chose to deposit most of them in the Sunshine State.

    Let Donald squirt a few kids out, breast feed them, then see what he does when his natural self-esteemed kids takes a crap on his teke floor. (After being “fully” potty trained for a few days.) Freaking moron.

    In my book you are an A+.

    That is a personal, not professional or clinical opinion.

  15. Jurgen Nation says:

    I don’t know any mom would get an A, because come on. Nobody gets an A unless they’re lying. I have known you for, what, over a year now? I have never once thought that you were anything but a hands-on, loving, more than capable mother. You have raised and are raising 7 children who look to be clean, happy, well-adjusted. I love therapy, but if everyone listened to therapists’ advice all the time we’d be a really fucked up world. Sometimes there’s a thing called “too much.” If someone is drawing conclusions of this magnitude from READING A STRANGER’S BLOG, that someone might need to rethink some things.

    Chris, I’ve always thought you set the bar, and I will always think that. You’re human. Your kids are human. And the best mothers understand that and end up raising the best kids.

  16. Sueb0b says:

    You only THINK you have happy, healthy, beautiful kids. Obviously some dorkwad from the Internet knows better.

    What he doesn’t know is dietetics. Sugar doesn’t cause hyperactivity. It causes a very small temporary increase in nervous system activity - for about 15 minutes, followed by a crash.

  17. Traci says:

    All I can say is OH MY GOD! Donald needs to remember the wise words of my grandmother…”If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all…especially if you’re a jackass.” Ahhh, good old grams she was quite the poet!! You have a tribe of children and they are all above ground and breathing…kudos to you. A+ in my book!!

  18. Justine says:

    OMG… coming out of lurkdom for this!
    That ning nong needs to back the truck up, and start campaigning for kids who ACTUALLY need his help… there are millions of kids mistreated in this world, and he seems to think it is your kids that need saving?? Moron….

  19. judi casey says:

    pastoral counselor?
    addditional reinforcement of my disdain for religion.
    tell ol’donald to try dismounting from his high horse once in a while.

  20. robiewankenobie says:

    is it bad that i’m secretly pleased that he wrote this email so that you would write this post? because it is the best. post. ever.

  21. Laura K. says:

    HAHAHA! I love you… Anyone who reads your blog regularly knows that you are such an awesome parent! I’d kill to be half the mom you are to m y ONE kid!

    WOW I love your post today! You have the coolest sense of humor!

  22. Chookooloonks says:

    My favourite part of Donald’s email:

    “Do you have a husband to share these children with? If so what is his role?”


    What would Jesus say, indeed…

  23. CathyC says:

    Oh my goodness!!! That’s hysterical! Clearly he has no idea what he’s talking about. Maybe it was an April fool’s day joke come way too early.

  24. Jennifer says:

    Pastoral Counselor? Yeah, that explains it.

    I love your blog and I have to admit that reading it inspires me to be more creative with my kids. I’ve also thought about using duct tape in some, um, creative ways with my kids but that’s another story :)

  25. Meritt says:

    ROTFL about the cheap peanut butter comment. LOL.

    I bet “Donald” has NO CHILDREN!!!!!!! :)

    Seriously. No children and NO SENSE OF HUMOR!

    (I suppose he would also frown about you and getting together to have a cocktail- playdate while the children played sweetly at our feet eh?)

  26. Heather says:

    I am so deeply frightened that this man is a counselor of any sort. God, think of the people he is warping!!!

  27. maddy says:

    WTF is up with Donald? What a jerk. I can’t believe that you have to deal with email like that. Sigh.

    Love your blog, btw.

  28. Allison says:

    Right on, sister!

    You are an inspiration. When Donald gives birth to six babies, I want to hear from him again. Not before then.

  29. kalisah says:

    It’s almost like he did a search for blogs of parents with big families and then doled out this unsolicited advice that he learned from a book.

    Love how you handled it. Bravo. Bravo.

  30. Sara says:

    You use duct tape?! (Slapping forhead) That is sooo much easier to get off than SuperGlue. Wish I’d thought of that first…
    Get a grip, Donald.

  31. mary anne says:

    Donald clearly has no children, appreciation of dry wit, sense of humour or LIFE! Just keep doing what you do so well. You say and do what you need to do to find the comic relief in a difficult situation. Anyone who can’t appreciate that response has no business counseling anyone! Yesterday I seriously contemplated duck taping my 13 year olds mouth shut!
    Cheers and stay warm

  32. Nicki says:

    I think I would have sent him big F email back…..just not the grading system F. I love the way you respond to these people who clearly have no life, sense of humor, and way too much time on their hands.

  33. Leigh Ann says:

    I have just recently began reading your blog, upon the recommendation of a friend, and I am hopelessly hooked! You put such a funny spin on even the most mundane tasks… hats off to you! After reading your blog, I tell myself that if I could keep a sense of humor about daily life like you seem to have, then maybe I will survive (or maybe my children will) until they leave home.

    In response to Donald, I have to tell you something that happened locally this weekend. A mother was arrested for felony child abuse for pointing a gun at her children, ages 12, 10, and 9 for NOT CLEANING THEIR ROOM! She said she was tried of it! So she pointed a gun at them, demanding that they clean their room, and then called her husband told him to come home before she killed them. I really don’t think she would have killed them, she just wanted to get her point across! When I heard the story, I laughed! No, it is not funny. But for one brief moment, I wondered if that would work when my kids don’t clean their rooms. Some sugar, screaming, and lying just does not add up to pointing a gun!

  34. Mrs. Schmitty says:

    One word…Priceless!

  35. crazy8s says:

    As a resident of the “sunshine state,” I am ashamed. That being said, we sure do have a lot of pervies and child molesters down here. Donald is probably right up there on the list. Maybe you should check him out on the “watchdog” list? Let us know what you find out please.

    That guy is a piece of work! Thanks for the laugh. Again.

  36. Allanna says:


    That’s crazy that he didn’t take into account that your post was ONE DAY of your life. (Just to be all “clinical,” that’s lazy research right there.)

    I seriously say that you get an A+++++ for (1) raising such great kiddos and (2)not totally ripping him a new one.

    You are so my hero. I snickered SO much through your response. You da bomb!

    (And I think he’d probably give me an F—– for parenting. Oh well. *rolls eyes* Good thing I’m not trying to please him!)

    Keep up the awesome parenting! Chris, I salute you!

  37. Jenny says:

    Fabulous post. Clearly Donald needs to be duct-taped to the toilet.

  38. Mary O says:

    Oh my god. I can’t believe the audacity some people have. You know he wouldn’t be saying these things to you if he saw you in person, it’s just that the internet gives people a false sense of anominity to say dumbass things. I don’t see how anyone can read your blog and not be awed by the great parenting job you and your husband do! =)

  39. peepnroosmom says:

    He said that?
    What a loser.

  40. Mir says:

    That was… well. Words fail me.

    I have to go give my children their daily allowance of aspartame. Be back later, after I finish shooting up.

  41. Joan says:

    Don’t you just wonder what his sermon was about today???

  42. Keri says:

    You are so funny. I am laughing out loud. Donald can stick it. You really should write a book. HILARIOUS. Every single day I laugh.

  43. Debbi says:

    Holy, what a … I’m not even sure what to call him. Nosy? Stupid? Clearly never been the sole caretaker of children for more than 5 minutes?

    Who DOESN’T have that day? Here was mine (not the only one, obviously, just the one I wrote about most): http://lookintomyhead.blogspot.com/2006/09/i-wish-i-were-catholic.html

    I think there are a lot more of us than there are of Donald. I certainly hope so, anyway!

  44. ThursdayNext says:

    Oh, and you’ve gotta love how he diagnosed you with OCD based on reading that one post.

  45. Polly says:

    WHAT THE…?!!! Obviously he doesn’t have kids OR he has a Stepford wife for a spouse. Either way, he has no clue what the reality of parenting is. Some days are good, some are great and perfect and some are hell! Thems are the facts.
    I have to know, did you write him a personal reply or just wait for him to see this post?

  46. Brigitte says:

    AHa ha haa!! You are too funny (in that bitter, sarcastic way that I love). Anyone who doesn’t get it . . . well, no need to go into it. Everyone else got that covered!

  47. Woman with Kids says:

    Here Donald, have some peanut butter. We’ve all brought some in, especially for you.

  48. Jennifer says:

    That is the strangest troll mail I’ve ever seen posted on anyone’s blog. It is insulting on so many levels. But ridiculous on more. Who is he to grade you? I couldn’t figure out what he even meant by that until I clicked on the link to your old post about grading yourself (great post, btw).

    So glad you are able to laugh at him, but what an arrogant asshole. Based solely on the assvice he gives, I’m fairly certain he has no children.

  49. Cami says:

    That post needs to come with a depends warning! What an idiot to spout such trash to a mom of many. You are the expert with your family - not Mr. I think I know enough to diagnose/counsel anonymously!


  50. Nancy says:


    Someone needs to fill me in on how to track people down like that.

  51. Heather says:

    Donald needs to get laid.

  52. Dawn says:

    OH MY GOSH WHAT A JERK!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Are you kidding me??????????????????? What is wrong with people?? I think he’s probably this little unhappy troll of a man with an overbearing wife who beats him and he surfs blogs to leave nasty comments cause he’s so miserable. What a jerk!!!!! I love your blog. I think you’re funny and you’re a great mom. If we can’t look at our lives with humor then we’re sunk. Don’t even give this guy a second thought! Man…what a jerk!

  53. del says:

    Thanks for the laugh. Just what I need on a muggy Monday morning.

  54. kate says:

    Looks like Donald The Dick has reared its ugly head! Son of a bitch! Damn it chris why are you screwing up your kids? People are so fucking rude it is really obnoxious!

  55. Lori says:

    no way…people take themselves toooooo seriously! PLEASE!!

  56. Ang says:

    Duct tape?!? Try saran wrap! It’s fun to watch them get out of it!! Just joking. Your blog is so funny, and I really enjoy your “realness”!

  57. Denise says:

    I remember that post.. and I remember crying because that is how I have felt on many days. Clearly, a person who has not walked in our shoes, should not presume to advise us on how to do it.

  58. Christina says:

    It amazes me that someone would e-mail that to someone they don’t know and judge! Wow…

  59. Kristi says:

    Hey, you forgot to address the question regarding the role of your husband. Do you actually share the children with him or do you keep them all to yourself? THAT may actually be the problem. Not the candy or the potty training or even your apparently obvious OCD. You just don’t SHARE the children enough.

    Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Donald should really get a sense of humor.

  60. Tom says:

    Ha, the peanut butter comment was great. We just took our “2111″ batch of salmonella back to WalMart yesterday and made sure to pick up a cootie-free jar.

  61. rachel says:

    you rock.

    seriously awesome reply

    must run now, 3yo mooning everyone

  62. Grim Reality Girl says:

    Donald, you have issues. Please do not project them on others. Get help.


  63. Mom101 says:

    It’s a good thing he came along to save the day before you ruined the seventh kid too! Phew. Right on time.

    Also, I love his allusion to “paruresis (shy bladder)” In response I would write back and mention his inappropriateness (douchebagginess).

  64. Fairly Odd Mother says:

    Hilarious response! I’d say that Donald is very, very naughty.

  65. drjeniferj says:

    Wow - that guy is amazing. I mean, if he wasn’t giving a CLINICAL opinion (much less an inappropriate off the cuff diagnosis!) then WHY did he start off saying (in what I imagine is a snooty voice) “I am a family therapist.” Wow, two years of masters training really did you no good buddy.
    LMAO at your response! As always, you inspire me as a person, a woman and a mom!!!!
    BTW - as a PSYCHOLOGIST (read seven g-d damn years of grad school) I think you and your kids are terrific - and clearly nobody should see this freak (to use a “clinical” term) Donald for therapy!!!

  66. Beth F. says:

    A mother of six TRUMPS a “family therapist” ONE HUNDRED TIME SOVER.


    Loved your response.

  67. Amy says:

    I have been a reader for about 3 years. I have never posted a comment BUT Donald is way out of line. I am a mother of 4. And I have often wondered how in the world I was gonna make it. Since I have “met” you I have a greater understanding for my children, my Husband, and my Children. You have helped me more than you will ever know. Donald, as a man, knows nothing about being a Mom. There are no classes or books about what we are doing.
    thanks for being you and sharing.


  68. Julie says:

    Beautiful reply. Thanks for making my night a little more cheery.


  69. Toni says:

    I’m with Heather, Donny needs to get some, and shut the F up! How does his wife parent their children? No doubt he is uninvolved!

  70. sarcastic journalist says:

    Where would the Internet be without all the judgmental emails? I mean, hello, how could it survive?

    I hope your homeschooled children don’t get scared to use the toilet at school because, man, you’ll be in for a load of trouble.

  71. Elizabeth says:

    That “person” brings up so many questions with his message - he appears to have read a bit of your blog, but be unfamiliar with it at the same time. He says he’s a pastoral counselor, but sounds like neither a pastor nor a counselor. You know how they say you never know what someone is really like online, and that sweet 15-year-old girl your teenage boy is chatting with could be a creepy old man? I think “Donald” is really an awkward, uneducated person (man? woman? mother? father? who knows?)with an envy of large families who uses a few pieces of pseudo-science that he/she/it has picked up from other sites to try to elevate his own position in regard to yours. Hmph. Well, maybe yes, and maybe no, but you just don’t know where that really came from, do you?

  72. qtpies7 says:

    Oh my gosh! And I thought it was funny when someone thought I was ridiculous for getting my couches taken care of under their warranty that I paid for because I wasn’t watching my kids! I PAID for the service they SOLD me, why wouldn’t I take it?
    But this totally takes the cake! LOL

  73. Penny says:

    Oh thank you Chris!! I’ve had such a crappy day and you made me totally crack up!!!ROFL!!! Especially the duct tape comment, we are forever making duct tape comments here!!hehe!!
    God bless you!!

  74. Linda says:

    Don’t you feel sorry for his wife and children (if he has any and if he isn’t estranged from them)?

  75. Amah says:

    Having different children with us constantly sometimes brings me way down. It’s not in the type or quantity of parenting - it’s just plain parenting. Your children are so lucky to have PARENTS!!

    I love your stories - I read them to my DH so he doesn’t think I’m the only one with a rather warped (his words) view of the equality of life.

    Keep writing!!

  76. Jean says:

    Poor Donald. You only had to put up with him for a few minutes, but he has himself 24/7. What a small, narrow, self-righteous life he has. Add him to the list of pastoral counselors who are neither pastoral or counselors, not to mention nothing like Jesus.

    I went back and read the post you referenced, Chris. Thanks for being honest. ALL moms have days like that, and we need to know that there is grace, and forgiveness and another day to try again.

  77. Kim says:

    Wow. It is really scary to think that Donald is actually advising families on their relationships and how to raise children. I can’t even imagine how many families this man may have harmed. Sad. Very sad. BTW Chris, you are awsome! You are the mom I wish I could have been. You are incredible with your children.

  78. Maria says:

    OMG…that is the funniest thing I have read in a long time. Count me in as a loyal reader. Love your humor, OCD and all.

  79. Mary W says:

    BAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA I’d LOVE to see Donald dealing with seven children!

  80. Maureen says:

    Bless Donald for inciting that post from you, because I laughed about that cheap PB remark for 5 minutes. Thank goodness for trusty email — humor fodder and free psychiatric diagnosis all in one.

  81. Mama T. says:

    What an ass.

  82. Jordana says:

    Oh my goodness! What a jerk!

  83. Jenna says:

    Ah, unsolicited advice is the best!

    Apparently this family therapist chased all of his paying clients away with his superbly helpful advice and now needs to seek out new clientele via the intrawebz! WEEEEEEE

  84. Erika says:

    you rock chris, we all know it. we all also have bad days, and sometimes yea I do wanna duct tape my 2.5 year old to the wall so she’ll stay out of the dog food and water. YOur blog is funny. Donald your an ass

  85. Heather says:

    Donald needs to get laid in an “un-missionary” position and a good hair transplant, possibly even a penile dysfunction implant. ;)

  86. TB says:

    Can I get an AMEN!?!?!?!?! GREAT POST CHRIS!

    I agree, the next time HE has seven kids, breastfeeds, potty trains, homeschools and raises them to be intellgent, responsible adults (as you and Rob are), then HE can give advice. Until then, he should mind his own business.

    I wonder if Donald has kids, after all, the ones who don’t ALWAYS know best. BTW, I myself don’t have kids, and keep my “this is what I would do if they were my kids” opinions to myself… why would anyone want my crappy advice?

  87. Holli Smith says:

    That was HYSTERICAL!!!!!!!! I love your response. Here’s my question - what was he doing surfing blogs anyways? Shouldn’t he be warping someone’s mind in his office?
    You keep up the great work! You seem to be an awesome mom. I only have one kid and a 3 bed. house - I only wish I had the patience that you have!

  88. Darren McLikeshimself says:

    I’ve got some personal opinions of Donald.

  89. J. Fergie says:

    Please. Clearly Donald doesn’t have kids.

    We love you Chris! You get an “A” simply for speaking the truth and helping to keep the rest of us sane.

  90. Maddy says:


  91. debby says:

    Duct tape?

    My kids would have loved that. In my house it was always the staple gun.

  92. Laurie says:

    Though this is very hard to admit, I had to really concentrate hard to not wet myself after reading this post. And you should know well that, at 32 weeks pg, that’s not a stretch in any form, especially on pgcy #4. Tears rolling down my face, husband wondering if there will be a puddle to clean up on the floor as he watches me laugh myself silly all the way to the bathroom and back again while hunched over from the sciatica. Oh thank you thank you thank you for this post Donald. I really needed a good belly laugh.

  93. Donna says:

    Ok, I’ve read your blog off and on for about a year..and i remember reading the referred to post and cracking up then. Why? Because we all have those crazy chaotic days where we’d rather hide out eating Pumkin Pie (or Oreo’s in my case) in the bathroom than hear our precious offspring ask ONE MORE QUESTION. So, this makes Donald’s very well timed and appropriate (insert raised eyebrows, eyes rolling and sarcastic tone) response all that much better! I say, we’d all like a blog link for him so we can search through his posts, find one we don’t agree with and let us blast him. please?

  94. Sarah says:

    What if this guy does have kids?? (shudder) Donald if your reading this, get help!

    I have read your blog for over a year. You are really thick skinned to put your life out there for people and be honest. Thank you because you make me laugh and feel better. Don’t let these misguided people discourage you. It is cathartic to read such an honest account of a day in the life of a sahm.

  95. Lisa says:

    Where do people get off, offering completely asinine and unsolicited advice like that? Makes you want to reach through the computer and poke their eyes out!!

  96. Steff says:

    Coming out of lurkdom to say that I adore you! I love to read about the day to day things on your blog and have for over a year. I have three children who drive me to the edge of sanity on any given day and think you are amazing with your kids. I’m sorry Donald feels the need to troll your blog, sounds like he may need some counseling himself!! Love the duct tape, why didn’t I think of that?!!

  97. brookem says:

    oh man is that bad! although i bet it was probably your ode to lysol which tipped him off about the OCD.

    keep up the great work chris- there may be a lot of crazies out there but there’s still plenty of people who would give you an A+.

    even if you do duct tape your kids to stuff. lol