1. When your child/client makes unreasonable demands, such as “But I want to eat toilet paper!” or “Can you score me some crack?” – you don’t say no- you just find diplomatic words that sound like yes, but essentially mean no.
2. Fall gracefully on child/client’s grenades. If they show up for an important meeting 4 hours late & Xanaxed out of their brain or holler at a woman in snug yoga pants ‘What a big butt!’ – You apologize and deliver a humble speech about how it’s all your fault.
3. Invent opportunities for client/child to win. Imagine being three: you have no filter, no fear and want to experience the world by putting every piece of it in your mouth. Similarly, imagine being rich, famous, bipolar, over-celebrated and a smidge under-medicated. Hence, no harm in pretending they fixed the printer, brushed their teeth or answered all that fan mail.
4. Lead from behind. If they appear sane when they show up sober and in actual clothes to The White House Correspondents Dinner or to a playdate, you remain employed (or tantrum-free).
5. Always let them think your decent idea – whether it’s Tupperware in the bathtub or bathing at all – is their unbelievably amazing idea.
6. When they whine about eating food or having to be interviewed by Katie Couric, just put your ‘I’m empathizing as hard as I can’ face on and make them believe they already promised to do it.
7. Whether they are mad at the wooden floor for being hard or mad at Oprah for not answering emails in a timely fashion, apologize as profoundly as if it were nothing but your entire fault.
8. Connect and redirect. Sometimes, like the crow, a client/child merely needs a shiny diversion- like car keys, a cat video, or a fake fan email from Annie Liebowitz (that you wrote).
9. When someone is being a crankypuss or threatening to fire you, try frozen yogurt. A spontaneous trip to In N’ Out can alter any disastrous afternoon – unless you’re with the client who binges- in which case, offer to listen to their monologue about how food equals love.
10. As long as they think they are the center of your universe, client/child is happy. Whether you comply with this assumption due to salary or non-paying love is your secret to take to the grave.