I’m not in any way a perfect parent, and I will never, ever pretend to be. But I’ll admit that there are times when I quietly judge other parents. Not because they make decisions that are different than mine or even because they make bad decisions. But because they do things that I just can not understand in any way, shape or form.
There are 5 things I’ll never understand about other parents:
I’m going to make a confession that’s probably going to make you question everything I’ve ever written: Caillou has never graced the face of my television screen. Seriously. It’s partly because my kids watch very little TV (not because I’m a martyr mommy but more because dealing with their regular nonsense is easier than dealing with their cutting-off-screen-time nonsense).
The real reason, though, is because every other parent on this planet hates Caillou. So why on earth would I subject myself to his assholery? If you don’t like him, don’t watch him! Oh, little Johnny likes him? If parenting revolved around making decision based on what toddlers liked, my kid would eat cat food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But because I’m the parent and I’m in charge, he only gets cat food for occasional snacks. And Caillou isn’t welcome here.
Elf on the Shelf
It’s that time of year again: when parents get to spend the entire holiday season complaining about the damn elf. And the 3 am wake-ups to move the elf because you forgot. And the stupid elf’s constant messes that need to be cleaned up (that you made!)
So how about you just don’t do it? I know, it’s a lot of fun for kids. But there are plenty of other great holiday traditions that don’t involve modeling bad behavior and that take way less parental effort. Why not try an advent calendar, tour the lights, read holiday books or work on a gingerbread house instead? Or just do nothing. Because, really, the holidays are magical enough on their own.
Pinterest lunches and snacks
I used to see those Pinterest bento boxes and snacks that look like animal faces and think “that’s cute,” but now I see them and laugh. Out loud. Because who does that?
Really, who has time for that nonsense? In the time it would take me to make “ants on a log” (the classic snack that probably started the trend and made celery kind of edible), my toddler could have an entire roll of toilet paper in the loo. Plus, most kids are either going to eat the food you give them or not, they’re not much concerned about presentation and I, for one, am not about to set the standards too high.
The “it” toy
Every kid wants a Hatchimal. Or is it Fingerlings? Or LOL Surprise? I have no freaking idea. Because my kids aren’t getting any of that overpriced crap. You know why it’s overpriced? Because people pay for it! Because kids want it so bad and parents want so badly to please their kids that they’ll pay anything to make their kids happy.
But in 10 Christmases, my kids have never gotten the “hot” toy of the season. You know what they do get? Whatever I find on sale or clearance on the day I can get away from them long enough to actually shop for presents. And you know what they’re not? Sad, disappointed, angry people. In fact, even without the outrageous price tag, my kids will still be happy on Christmas morning.
High-end kids clothes
I’m fairly certain my children aren’t the only ones who ruin everything they touch. I can’t be the only mother with piles of clothes stained beyond salvageability. And I like to believe that “naked pasta dinner” is normal in most houses.
But luckily for me, those piles of ruined clothes mostly came off the clearance rack and only cost us a few dollars apiece. I cannot even imagine the stress that would be endured in seeing a pricey shirt getting ruined. Even if you have the money to throw away, why not save it instead for family trips, fancy restaurants or therapy? Kids grow so fast I’m not going to spend big bucks on something they’re going to wear a few times, spit up on, poop all over and then outgrow.
What things do other parents do that you’ll never understand?