How To Raise A Person Of Interest


It’s been a while since we’ve had a good boogeyman.

Charles Manson is old and in jail. Jeffrey Dahmer is dead. Football players at Auburn are busy with their summer conditioning.

If the lack of creepy men roaming our neighborhoods and cities has left you feeling a bit down, fear not! You can always add more drama to our lives by raising your own little person of interest. All it takes is one simple step.

Disregard your child’s capacity for evil.

There’s this dog at the end of my street. She’s evil. When I walk in front of her house, she barks real loud and chases me with her teeth showing. The kid who lives there always says the same thing.

“She won’t bite.”

True. She won’t bite. But only because I can outrun her.

But if she was younger and faster, she would bite.

Humans can be the same way.

Some parents refuse to discipline their children until they’re old enough to walk. Or drive. Or join the military. Their reasoning sounds simple enough. Babies can’t do anything wrong. Just look at them. They’re so cute.

Simple. But wrong.

Babies lie. If you don’t believe me, put one in a crib and leave the room. (Editor’s Note: Only do this to your own baby. Don’t just find someone else’s baby and tell them that you need a baby for an experiment you read about on some pastor’s blog.) When you leave that room, there’s a good chance that your baby will cry. And not a cute cry. It will be more like the kind of cry you would expect if the baby woke up to see Charles Manson, or an Auburn player, standing next to his crib.

So you run in to check things out. You pick the baby up. Suddenly, all is right in the world.

Babies are cute. But they’re also liars. They get it from their parents.

Have you ever tried changing a baby’s diaper when she didn’t want to be changed? It’s like a wrestling match. And it’s not cute. It’s rebellion.

That doesn’t mean that you need to beat your baby. It just means that you need to realize her capacity for evil. Just because she can’t roll her eyes, huff and cuss at you doesn’t mean that she’s not trying to do those things. Never mistake inability for innocence.

Well, unless you’d like to see your kid on the news someday. And not for getting first place in the county-wide art contest. In that case, just ignore their cute rebellion until they turn 13. And then wonder where things went wrong.