The Game of Parenthood


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?

Reason Why Hanging with Preschoolers is Cool #4


There’s No Such Thing as Stranger Danger Anymore

 At the playground, kids you don’t know will come up to you and tell you the most interesting facts. Like, “My mommy didn’t have a husband when I was born.”

Who says kids don’t share?

Within a two minute conversation with this little girl (we’ll call her Ansel, because that was her name), I learned that she’s moving to Alabama, her dad could be one of three different gentlemen, and she likes apples. She could eat a whole bucket of them.

Of course, it makes me wonder what “facts” my kids are telling random people around town. “Sometimes daddy likes to give mommy special hugs.” or “My daddy says he writes articles but he just watches cartoons all day.” or “we had chocolate cake for breakfast.”

I suppose it’s only a matter of time before my kids out me for the half-ass parent that I really am.

Have your kids ever outed you in a big or small way?