My book, Guide to Pirate Parenting, just goes to show that even the stupidest idea can become a book. Here’s how I decided to write a book that provides everything you need to know to turn your little powder monkeys into happy, healthy buccaneers! In it I answer questions such as:
* At what age your child should be able to remove a bottle cap by taking out his glass eye and using his eye socket?
* Which offense requires administering The Flying Dutchman Wedgie?
* How do you prevent sogging the quartermaster?
* What is the best place to maroon your disobedient child?
* How do you remove chewing gum or a giant octopus from your child’s hair?
* What’s the difference between “plundering” and “pillaging?”
* How do you convert your minivan into a pirate schooner?
* When should you smack your teenager in the side of the head with an oar?
A few years back, while I was on vacation at my parents’ house at the shore, we were doing typical vacationy things. We went to the beach, got too much sun, ate seafood, and built a fully-functioning pirate ship in the garage.
My brother-in-law, Elliott, crafted a three-foot-long galleon built entirely from driftwood. It was a sturdy vessel, complete with a sheet — decorated with skull and crossbones — for a sail.
Elliott launched the pirate ship and we watched through binoculars as it sailed for a quarter mile before marooning itself on an island. Elliott’s only lament was that he forgot to sign his work of art.
I’ve always been a great supporter of the arts, so I encouraged Elliott to build another ship.
I rushed into the house and found a small plastic doll that no one had played with in years. The doll was naked and all its hair had fallen out. I quickly fashioned a black eye patch out of electrical tape and whittled a wooden peg leg. Baby Pirate was born. Elliott was ecstatic. I think I saw a tear of joy come to his eye.
“Are you sure the doll is a baby?” Elliott asked.
“Question me again and I’ll throw you in the brig!” I barked.
“Aye, aye, captain!” Elliott bellowed, while saluting.
We gave Baby Pirate a ration of Shipyard Ale, and stuck him in the crow’s nest I fashioned out of the bottom of a plastic water bottle. We were ready for our infant buccaneer to begin his life of plundering merchant ships, but it was an adventure that wasn’t meant to be.
As we marched to the ocean, singing our favorite sea shanty, “Blow the Man Down,” Elliott’s five-year-old daughter saw us with the doll. It was then my suspicion the doll was a baby was confirmed.
“What are you doing with MY BABY!” she screamed.
“See, I told you it was a baby,” I told Elliott. Before we knew it, Baby Pirate was shanghaied and our pirate ship lay unmanned. Or, to be more accurate, “unbabied.”
Baby Pirate is now recuperating far from the smell of salt air. I’ve been informed that Baby Pirate is really a girl, although I tried to argue he is a small pirate trapped in a girl doll’s body. No one would listen. Baby Pirate has new red yarn hair. Reconstructive surgery involving super glue replaced his peg leg.
But then I started thinking about what would happen if you really did raise a baby as a pirate. What would you feed a baby pirate? How could you tell if your pirate was normal? How would you discipline a young pirate?
The idea festered in my mind for a while and then splashed onto the pages of a book and Guide to Pirate Parenting was born.
Tim and Cap’n Billy are the authors of the pirate parenting book, GUIDE TO PIRATE PARENTING. You can visit their website at www.pirateparenting.com.