Shit Cats Like

 

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You know what cats like? Surprise parties. Thrown by 4 year olds. Take my cat, Murray. Murray loves it when the kids wrap milk cups and action figures up in construction paper (like presents), put on costumes and party hats, then hide behind the couch cushions all quiet like ninjas, only to jump up and yell “SURPRISE!” when Murray saunters through the living room to get a drink of water. Yeah, cats love shit like that.

My kids have recently discovered how much fun it is to fuck with the family cat. On any given day, they’ll spend a total of 3-4 hours coming up with new ways to “play with” the cat. Here’s one of their favorites: they like to collect acorn tops, then find the biggest one and make Murray wear that acorn top as a hat. It’s humiliating. I can see it in Murray’s eyes.

They also like to try to wrap him up like a present. They’ve gotten the bow on, but never been able to tape all the corners of the paper down because of Murray’s spirited protests.

My cat also loves impromptu breakdance sessions, which my kids call “meow meow dance parties.”

They love to see how Murray looks in their mother’s jewelry. (He looks pretty).

My daughter has figured out that she can pick the cat up now (“look daddy, he loves it!) and she’s drunk off her newfound power, placing Murray in awkward places (in the bathtub, on her pillow, on her pillow in the bathtub) just because she can. It’s only a matter of time before I find the cat in the refrigerator, wearing a fabulous bracelet.

Seriously, watching my kids have  a “play date” with Murray makes the water boarding scenes in Zero Dark Thirty look like a damn Saturday Morning Cartoon.

But it’s all done out of love. Whenever we’re out running errands, the kids spend most of their time trying to get Siri to get in touch with Murray because they miss him so much, screaming from the back of the van, “text Kitty.” “Text Kitty.” “Siri, text Kitty.”

 

 

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The Game of Parenthood

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Does anyone else think the Man in the Yellow Hat gives Curious George a little bit too much freedom? If you leave your monkey home alone while you run laps around the park, he’s going to turn his bedroom into a worm farm. It’s gonna happen. Maybe I’m just a helicopter dad, but what kind of a parent lets their monkey take a rocket into space to resupply the international space station? I understand the laissez faire parenting style is a key plot device, but still, I think social services should pay the man a visit.

As you can see, I’m highly judgmental of other parents. But let’s be honest, one of the great joys of being a parent is that we get to secretly judge the parenting skills of our peers.

I mean really, what kind of a parent lets their kid climb up the slide?

Judging other moms and dads is like a sport for me. If I spot a parent giving their kid juice instead of water, that’s one point for me. If I see a bag of chips with a kid’s lunch, that’s one point. What’s that? You don’t feed your kid all organic, locally raised poultry? Two points for me. Your kid’s bedtime is “fluid”? Three points for me.

Should parenting be a competition where we keep score and declare a winner? Hell yeah, it is. And don’t start throwing stones—you all do it too. If we didn’t judge other parents, how would we know that we’re doing a good job ourselves? By raising healthy, happy kids? That’s too subjective.

And don’t worry, if you’re playing by the same rules and point scale that I use, there’s a good chance you’re beating me in the Game of Parenthood.

I have a good friend who lives down the road—he’s another stay at home dad—that can’t help but be a better dad than me. He rarely uses the microwave, cooks breakfast every morning, has his kids in bed by 7:30 nightly, and doesn’t use lollipops as currency. The bastard even bakes. He’s definitely winning.

Little does he know, I get the most satisfaction out of judging people who are obviously better parents than me. Why are they trying so hard? It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Right?

Alas, my judgmental days may be over. My kids seem to be picking up on the habit, and they’re not quite as subtle as I am. Recently, when my daughter saw a college kid with a pink mullet, she smugly informed the room, “that girl has weird hair.”

So I think I’ll take it easy on the Game of Parenthood. I mean, I’ll still judge the hell out of all of you, I’ll just keep it to myself.

Okay people, what habits of other parents do you secretly judge?