10 Pain In The Ass Parents (plus 1)

In the 21st Century, we worship children the way primitive tribes worship volcanoes — which, unfortunately, makes parents the mothers and fathers of gods.  The irony is, of course, most parents got that way as a result of a drunken Christmas party, a back rub that got out of control or Ryan Gosling.  And the truth is most parents think being a parent gives them permission to be a total pain in the ass.  Here are Ten Pain In The Ass parents (plus one) I’m sure you’ll recognize.


Parents who take their kids everywhere — Sometimes people would prefer to enjoy a play, movie, concert, dinner or art gallery visit without your kid’s running commentary or relentless demands for juice.  Why is “Adults Only” restricted to porn?

“Gifted” parents (Sometimes called “Holier-Than-Thou” parents) — These are the know-it-all parents who act as though Mother Nature has bestowed upon them the holy insight needed to raise the world’s first Perfect Child.  You better save some money, folks, ’cause that perfect kid of yours is going to need years of therapy after you get through with him.

Parents of “gifted” children — Shut up!  Shut up!  SHUT UP!  Just — shut — up!

Parents who think you’re stupid ’cause you’re not a parent — I don’t know how many times I’ve heard, “Well, you’re not a parent, so you don’t know anything about X.”  This might be true.  However, I’m not a helicopter pilot either, but if I see a helicopter in a tree, I know there’s something seriously wrong.

Paranoid parents — These are the parents who can’t come over to your house because you have a microwave, or stairs, or sharp corners on the furniture, or peanut butter in the cupboard, or electrical outlets, or dust, or flowers in the backyard, or … Jesus! Give it a rest!  People!  If your kid is that susceptible to the ordinary world, here’s a news flash: he’s not going make it.

Parents who think you’re interested in every little detail of their kid’s existence — My name isn’t grandpa.  I don’t care when your kid walked, talked or did something messy in a pot — and neither does anybody else.

Foodie parents — These are the parents who will only feed their kid kale and quinoa harvested by indigenous Peruvians certified organic by the World Health Organization.  This kinda crap is just abuse.

Parents who are always announcing how wonderful it is to be a parent — To re-coin a phrase, “Methinks the parent doth protest too much!”

Parents who are always bitching about their job — These are the people who are forever complaining about how difficult it is to be a parent.  This might be true in Equatorial Africa, where nutrition, clean water and — uh — survival — are all optional.  But, west of the Vistula, I don’t care how you tell it, getting your 4-year-old into his GapKids clothes to go to day care just isn’t that kind of epic human struggle — unless you’re doing it wrong.

Privileged parents — We’ve all met these jerks.  They’re the parents who think because they have a 2-year-old, they’re Priority One on the world’s agenda.  Here’s the deal:  If your name is Cling Cling the Panda, then maybe — maybe — you and your kid get centre stage. But if it isn’t, you’re going to have to settle for ordinary — like the rest of us.

And my favourite:

Telephone parents — These are the parents who stick their phones in everybody’s face, making videos of their child as if she were a David Attenborough documentary.  Yeah, it’s great recording memories, but you might wanna put the electronic device down every once in a while and actually look at your kid.

Mother’s Day — And Mom Wars!

mother's daySunday is Mother’s Day, and for one brief shining moment, we’re going to be up to our elbows in flowers, chocolates and long-distance phone calls.  But it’s not all knickknacks and Netflix for mom this year.  Unfortunately, in recent history, our annual binge of maternal appreciation has taken on a darker tone.  Running just under the radar, there’s a dirty little war going on.  Moms everywhere are forming alliances, and across Social Media and the blogosphere, they’re speaking out.  Wrapped in their all-too-altruistic concern for better parenting, they’re sending each other one unequivocal message: “Hey, bitch!  You’re doing it wrong!”

Nobody knows who cast the first nasty, but it’s generally agreed that by the time Stay-at-Home Moms went public with their concerns over Working Moms’ lack of maternal instincts, the gloves were already off.  Working Moms responded by mentioning that all women face choices and some choose to utilize their additional talents to balance two jobs well, rather than one badly.  Seeing an opportunity, Hover (Helicopter?) Moms worried that downloading parental responsibility to institutions such as Daycare tears apart the natural genetic bond between mother and child.  At that point, Non-biological Moms, stung by the innuendo, pointed out that historically their image had been tarnished by fairytale depictions of the evil stepmother.  They went on to blame corporate giant Disney for perpetuating this stereotype.  Seizing an opportunity, Gay and Lesbian Moms declared their support for Non-biological Moms but wanted to raise awareness that they, too, had been victimized by Disney and called for a boycott of the corporate giant.  New Moms saw this as a direct attack on their own recent history and (while maintaining their tolerance for sexual orientation) wanted to know what was wrong with giving children positive role models like Elsa, Merida and Belle.  This was when Organic Moms and New Age Moms came together to admonish the film industry for not providing healthy snacks in movie theatres.  They went on to showcase several hundred DIY, chemical-free recipes for children and the whole family.  This resulted in an angry outburst from Single Moms who said they didn’t have the time or the money to grow their own oranges and quinoa, and somebody should get real for Christ’s sake.  Designer Moms immediately called for tolerance and voiced their concern that being a mom was all about parenting, not politics and (according to Criada, the nanny) free-range quinoa was available several places on the other side of town.  Free-Range Moms, upon hearing the words “free-range,” grabbed their kids, who had been playing in the backyard, and hid them in the basement, in fear that the cops and social services would come and take them away.

This is only the briefest synopsis and, no, it’s not pretty.  Personally, I live in hope that this Mother’s Day, moms all over the world will stop, take three deep breaths, forget their differences, and remember that all moms have one overwhelming thing in common: at some point, they didn’t practice safe sex.

Honk If You Love Your Kids

Parents lie.  I’m not talking about those little Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, go-to-sleep-or-Dora-will-get-cancer-like-grandma-and-die lies that they tell their kids.  I’m talking about those supersize whopper lies they tell the rest of us.

Let’s click pause for a moment — just for the disclaimer.  I like kids.  I’m of an age where pretty much anything under three feet tall is basket-full-of-puppies cute with a double shot of “Isn’t that precious?” on the side.  I think kids are wonderful little creatures, mainly because I don’t own any.  Remember this — ‘cause it’s gonna get ugly.

Talk to any parent and, before you can get to politics, religion or celebrities, they will wheel into this sunny story about how having children and raising them is the most wonderful experience since Mary Magdalene looked into the face of Jesus.  What a load of crap!  Anybody who’s ever been around children knows that kids — all kids — are self-absorbed little savages.  Turning them into adults is a full-time gauntlet of soul-eating persistence that would make Job himself learn the words to “Losing My Religion.”  And that’s just until they’re old enough to go to kindergarten.  After that, it gets even harder.  So why do parents lie about it?  They have to.  Who in their right mind would admit that their offspring are whelps of Satan?  After all, it’s mom and dad’s DNA that produced these little demons.

The problem is people (before they are parents) think that those cute little critters in the Huggies™ commercials are children.  They’re not.  I don’t know what they are — munchkins? mutants? cleaned-up leprechauns?  I’m not sure, but they’re not kids.  Kids are nasty little sticky things who leak from every orifice, make the most ungodly noises at the most inappropriate times, and have no respect for time or space or private property.  However, once the consenting adults have made this first mistake, there is no turning back.

It starts with “We’re pregnant.”  That’s the first lie.  We are not pregnant; she is.  Dad’s just along for the ride.  Eight months from now, he’s going to be lying on the sofa, drinking a beer and watching the ballgame while mommy dearest is spending her afternoon getting the hell kicked out of her bladder by Mr. Restless who’s getting tired of solitary confinement.  The only shared experience parents are having at this point is the growing apprehension that that anonymous ultrasound image has just stamped “Cancelled” on casual sex, forever.

Once babies are born, they become Mother Nature’s most efficient food processer.  These are not the cuddly-wuddly little Churchills you see swaddled-up on Facebook.  These are ravenous, cavernous creatures who never sleep for more than ten minutes at a time and can turn any amount of liquid into the most godawful semi-solids known to exist in the solar system – and that includes the sulphurous lava pits on Venus.  You might see their sleeping little cherub faces, but the parents know they didn’t go quietly.  They passed out after a half hour screaming session and a round of gluttony that would do Henry VIII proud.  But parents never mention that — and this is the second lie.  Want to prove it?  Just threaten to wake the little angel up.  You’ll never see such headlong panic short of announcing they’ve just released Charles Manson and he’s moving in next door.

Once parents get past the second lie, it just gets easier and easier.  Pretty soon, every time they open their mouths about their kids, they’re putting Pinocchio to shame.  Personally, I don’t believe anything a parent says about their children, at all – ever — even if the kid is 57 and signing the papers to put the old man away.  But if you want some serious grins, check out the affirmations moms and dads are plastering all over the Internet.  “A child is God’s perfect gift to the world”  “Nothing is as precious as a baby’s smile.”  Puh-leeze!  Why not just “Honk if you love your kids?” and get it over with.  Methinks the parents doth protest too much.

Quite frankly I don’t really blame them, though.  If I were handed a sentence of penal servitude to a ungrateful monster who had the manners of a warthog and the morals of a goat, I’d lie too.