All right, you maggots, listen up! Now, I know you think you know it all, because you've been parents for a whole month now. You've mastered the basic techniques of everyday parenting. You've done the Burp and the Bottle, the Rapid Dress. Some of you have even tried the No-Cry Shampoo and the One-hand Diaper Change. Remember that one, Jones? Ha ha. All right, settle down! What happened to Jones could happen to any of you. And it will. Nobody graduates from my class before they can do a One-hand Diaper Change on a moving bus under heavy fire from the yentas in the front seats.

But enough about that. Today I'm gonna show you the deadliest, most powerful Under-Three Parenting technique of all. This is the one that makes a Parent more than just another slob with a squealing kid. Those uncles and aunties in Bachelor Corps think they're as good as you, don't they? But they're wrong! Because with the technique I'm going to teach you today, you - yes, you, you worthless maggots - will become full-fledged parents with gen-u-wine Magic Powers! Course, you'll still be maggots to me.

I see some of you know what I'm talking about. That's right! Today, I'm gonna teach you slobs about the Parenting Corps' secret weapon - the Magic Kisses! Shut up, Braunstein, or you'll be on 3 A.M. Feeding duty for the rest of the week. Now, I don't expect you newbies to get it down in one day, what with you having no brains and all that. But at least you can learn the basics.

Your Magic Kiss is a multi-purpose emergency measure that can heal any wound. Most commonly it will be applied to invisible bruises, scraped knees and other minor boo-boos. Do not assume that this is the full extent of its power! A Magic Kiss can heal cuts - bumps - burns - bruises, barnacle bites, and broken hearts! There is practically no limit to the power of a Magic Kiss when wielded by a determined and skilled parent.

The basic technique is so simple, even you maggots can do it. Step One - declare your intent to deliver a magic kiss. You must declare your intent! Without the declaration, the power of the kiss will be greatly diminished. Letting the child know that she is about to receive a magic kiss is half the job. And remember - you must announce your intent in a language that the child understands!

Step Two - spread your arms wide. Not like that, Kugel! You want to scare the child away? Spread them nicely, warmly. Make a circle. Envelop the child in a well-formed Human-pair Unification Grip. You remember the HUG, dontcha?

Well, well, well, let's all take a look at what Private Jansen is doing. God DAMN, Jansen, that's an outstanding HUG you've got there! Dropped down to the child's eye level and all! I bet you're pretty proud of yourself, aren't you? You make the rest of your class look bad! Do you want to make the rest of your class look bad? Well, do you? Then why are you dropping to one knee for your HUG? Did I ask you to drop to one knee? Did I? Didn't think so. Good work, Jansen. Stop crying, I'm not gonna expel you. I need at least one maggot in the platoon who knows what she's doing. Had a lot of little brothers and sisters on the farm, didn't you? Thought so.

Listen up, maggots! You want to release the fullest power of the Magic Kiss, you do like Jansen here. Crouch, kneel, whatever makes you comfortable and gets you down to the child's eye level. Bending over for the HUG works too, but it won't be the same.

Now then, Step Three - the actual kiss. Do not waste time trying to find the exact location of the injury. Your child will sense your vulnerability and demand kiss after kiss as you try to locate the injury. This is a waste of firepower! What you want to do is plant a good, solid kiss in the general vicinity of the wound, with a nice loud popping noise. If the child cannot hear the kiss, its effect will be greatly weakened. And, contrary to what you may believe, Combat Parenting School did not supply us with unlimited kisses for your training. We have a budget, and I damn well intend to send half of these kisses back unused. So don't waste kisses. Make them audible. None of those long, wet smacks, mind you - just a little pop.

Step Four, now. Wrap it up, Finkelstein. Jesus God, the kid's gonna have scar tissue by the time you finish kissing it. Are you with us? Good.

Step Four is the incantation. Repeat after me - All Better. That's it. Just All Better. You can throw in a "Sweetypie" or something if you want to. Whatever works. But don't make it too long. We're not grading you for style here.

Step Five - mop-up. Throw your arms open, and release the child. If you've done it right, the child will now be All Better, and will run back to whatever she was doing before. Simple, right?

Remember, massive injuries, such as falling down stairs or flattening a bike, may require more than one M-K. So keep a couple in reserve, and reload as soon as you are out of immediate danger. Reloading is accomplished with the basic HUG and CUDDLE procedure we covered last week. I hope you maggots remember HUG and CUDDLE. Now pair off and practice! We'll have dry run trial at 1800 hours, dry run in darkness later tonight, and tomorrow you'll be doing it with live M-Ks and real kids in front of the Grandfather! Let's go now! Tighten up that HUG, Braunstein! You look like you're holding a weasel!

Jansen, come with me. I wanna talk to you about the TWINS program. You ever consider enrolling? Sure, it's a challenge, but somebody's gotta do it.... Anyway, I have to pick two of you maggots to recommend for TWINS training. You haven't embarrassed me too badly yet, I want you to be one of them. Think you can take it? All right, all right, don't get all sloppy on me. Get back to your practice before I change my mind.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.