School’s back in session. The clean crisp notebooks are just beginning to show stress on those wire binds. The intoxicating scent of ink bleeding into the pulpy pages still emanates every time you hear that magical crack of a textbook spine. And Bic has even made a special pen – just for my fairer sex! (Oh read the comments. You won’t be disappointed.
What’s that? Kids these days don’t take pen to paper and read Chapters 1-3 of the state approved textbook (copyright 1992)? GET OFF MY LAWN.
It’s Friday. And when I was a young whippersnapper, that generally meant a pop quiz. Inconceivable!
Have you been paying attention?
1. Your friend asks if your sons ever fight. You reply:
- NO BITING! (As Child A lunges forth, crunching down on Child B’s forearm with skill heretofore only seen by a Velociraptor.) The first rule of fight club…
- Nope. They’re little angels. I’m really lucky to have good kids. But we read “Hands Are Not For Hitting” and “Teeth Are Not For Biting” every night. We’ve also had in-depth discussions about appropriate behavior.
- Oh don’t be ridiculous. They’re adorable and perfect.
2. Your son is throwing a full-blown exorcist tantrum while clearly compelled by the power of Christ. You:
- Stare at the writhing child so you can remind him to breath when his head inevitably begins spinning 360 degrees, while chanting the Finding Nemo mantra developed for this precise situation. “Find a happy place. Find A Happy Place. FIND A HAPPY PLACE!”
- Remember that your child’s tantrum is a means of manipulation, but the result of frustration such as lack of needed attention from you. Discuss coping mechanisms in a calm voice.
- Think the tiny screams are just beyond adorable and, quite frankly, the little monster is just dishing out pure karma.
3. You find yourself uttering the phrase, “Put down the shiv and hand mommy the gas mask.” You respond with:
- At least he listened and handed over the pointy object…then you get distracted by ongoing activities and yell THE TOILET IS NOT FOR SWIMMING. WASH HANDS! WASH HANDS!
- A chuckle. You are obviously watching an over-produced dramatization at a parenting seminar while Junior receives pre-elementary educational stimulation.
- Oh my goodness. What on EARTH are you teaching those impressionable angels? Kids sure do the darndest things.
4. Peanut butter and jelly is:
- A sandwich serving as the staple of all successful students K-12. Loved by children and adults alike. Multi-faceted. You want to add pickles or potato chips? Go for it.
- A complete waste of calories. May also cause allergies. It is much preferred to create organic well-balanced meals from scratch.
- Acceptable for my cutie pies only if the crust is cut off and cut into cute shapes.
5. Friends and family of older children smile knowingly and say, “There really is no such thing as the terrible-twos. Three is when it gets really bad.” You think:
- Let me tell you something… You know what. Strike that. I have nothing nice to say to you people.
- It is really simply a matter of parenting. My children understand polite behavior and are kept under control.
- Tell me about it! Their mother was IMPOSSIBLE through the terrible teens.
6. Your children “decorate” the living room while you’re in the bathroom. You:
- Take away the crayons. Take a picture. Tweet that you’re a moron.
- Know this would never happen. My children are always properly supervised. However, they are already coloring at a third grade level. And always in the lines.
- Immediately notice that Child A consistently prefers blue with his left hand, while Child B paints next-gen Picasso’s in green. They are obviously little geniuses.
7. Someone has clearly snuck sugar into your little ones. With happy glass-shattering screams they are a hurricane-force whirling dervish. Your move is to:
- Hand a wriggling tiny one to your spouse saying, “It’s yours. You handle them.”
- Calmly suggest everyone sit quietly to read a book.
- Combat the sugar rush with salty snacks.
8. You’ve recently been called a helicopter parent. This is because:
- You fly a helicopter for a living. And you have kids.
- You took it upon yourself to request an interview with the Harvard admissions counselor. Your child is 2.
- You were trying to use The Google to see what the newfangled parenting buzzwords are.
9. For the moment the world is quiet. Children are asleep. You use this time to:
- Muster the energy to pour yourself a (large) glass of wine. Then collapse on the couch.
- Wash the dishes, fold laundry, vacuum the living room, catch up on outstanding work, prepare ingredients for tomorrow’s bento box school lunch and read the latest motivational book for your bookclub.
- Get misty eyed while looking through old photo albums. Threaten to wake up sleeping children by going in to stare at them.
10. The main goal of parenting is to:
- Keep offspring alive 18+ years. Producing productive members of society is a bonus.
- Provide all of the best options and opportunity for your children. And protecting them from any evils or disappointments life may put in their path.
- Become a grandparent where you can enjoy them and then give them back.
You’re a parent or totally ready to be one. Please share your own headaches and hilarity in the comments. And also commiserate with me that karma is a bitch.
Liar liar, pants on fire! You are SO not a parent. You are an idealistic youngster who thinks you will raise perfect children. Legions of actual parents pity you.
Ha. Ha. Funny. We get it. It’s better to be a grandparent. Don’t undermine my authority – My house. My rules. Because I said so. Oh my god, I am my mother.