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?