I'm an OK parent. I've seen really good parents. I'm not them.
I am A Parent, though. There is a pass/fail aspect to it, and I defy any person to say I don't pass. I think that many parents fail because they are not satisfied with passing; they are determined to be THE BEST PARENT EVAR. And they mess up their kids trying.
There is only one way to demonstrate that you are THE BEST PARENT EVAR - your kid must be Bruce Lee/ Buzz Aldrin/ Tom Brady/ Albert Einstein/ Steve Jobs. Unless of course you've got a female of the species, you know, the ballerina/astronaut/CEO/oarswoman/scholar/runway model. There will be no finger painting. You will learn Mandarin Chinese while listening to Bach fugues and eating free range organic watercress sandwiches and drinking only water collected from terne metal gutters from French cathedrals, while waiting for your violin lessons to start.
While wearing a helmet.
I'm not THE BEST PARENT EVAR. My children get three squares a day, and can read and write after a fashion, and their peers don't point and giggle after they walk by, and other parents ask their children: "Why don't you invite that Sullivan boy over, he's nice and polite." They sleep all night in their beds untroubled by adult cares. We don't watch slasher movies together. They go outdoors occasionally. They won't get mumps or whooping cough because they have THE BEST PARENT EVAR who won't let them be immunized because immunization leads to being average! Like everybody else!
NO WIRE HANGARS!
Sorry, I was channeling a bit. My kids are not extraordinary. You know, like Michael Jackson or The Olsen Wraiths...oops I meant Twins, or Paris Hilton or River Phoenix or Screech or Danny Bonaduce or Gary Coleman or ... well, you get the picture.
Anyway, I'd like to set your mind at ease. Take the Sippican Cottage Parenting test. Don't worry, it's Pass/Fail. Watch the following video. If it doesn't look like you and your children, then you're probably fine.
How'd you do? I thought so.
I wonder how many kids that woman had before she started the act.