This week in Parenthesis, Kelle Hampton goes dancing, Joanne Bamberger offers Marissa Mayer advice, Heather Armstrong tries in vain to get better sleep, and more.

Shall we dance?
Dancing is many things: a Saturday night staple, something happy ladies do in movies -- and sometimes a secret parenting weapon. Kelle Hampton goes as far as to call it a "universal language" -- and in a post on Enjoying The Small Things, she reminisces about the experience of dancing at her own wedding (where "The Hokey Pokey" made everyone smile). Then, she describes a recent excursion to a dance party for people with special needs. "I can't deny the fact that my love for Nella" -- Hampton's daughter with Down syndrome -- "is partly what brings me here," she writes. Because no matter what differentiates Nella from the people around her, "There's something about dancing that immediately strips us all" of the things that set us apart. That's one reason Hampton is proud to say: "My kids are bilingual, you know. They speak English and Dance."

More from the Marissa Mayer files
A single line from Marissa Mayer's interview with Fortune about her pregnancy has become the comment heard round the world: "My maternity leave will be a few weeks long and I'll work throughout it." Punditmom blogger Joanne Bamberger, who's "been down the 'all-having' road" before, is not the only mother to issue advice to the new Yahoo! chief -- but her six tips (e.g. "Be honest with yourself about the possibility that your thinking might change once your new baby boy arrives this fall") are all solid. And she saves the best suggestion -- paradoxical as it may seem -- for last: "Don’t listen to me ... or other critics. Don’t listen to anything but your inner voice."

Postmodern moments in parenting
What do you do when your daughter's imaginary mother tells her she can't kiss you? Blog about it, of course.

There's a healthy debate about whether it's appropriate for kids to address their parents using first names. But Robin O'Bryant's daughter recently took the matter a step further, issuing her mother directives by way of an invisible, mysterious "Mom" contactable primarily (of course) by imaginary phone. The result is a hilariously postmodern exchange that leaves mom at a genuine loss:

I’ve heard it said that living with children is like living with a bunch of short drunk people. But with Sadie’s imagination as of late, I’d say it’s closer to someone on an acid trip. ... It’s gotten to the point when she actually calls me Momma, I don’t even respond the first time. I assume she’s talking to someone else.

Sleep training Rambo
Sleep. We all need it, and very few parents get it -- even though people raising toddlers arguably need it most. Heather Armstrong has joined the ranks of the chronically sleep-deprived, after her 3-year-old daughter Marlo -- until recently "a fantastic sleeper" -- figured out how to escape the confines of "prison her crib." Trying to put Marlo in a new bed has been "a total disaster," Armstrong reports, adding with more than a note of despair: "I have to teach her that she cannot get up and wander around the house. This is not going to be easy or pretty or fun for either of us. I mean, let's face it. I have to sleep train Rambo." Let's all send advice (and a few patient babysitters?) her way.