By: Shannon Ralph
There is quite a bit that I do in my day-to-day life that probably falls into the category of “bad parenting.” Refusing to read my children bedtime stories because “TMZ” is coming on is one example that immediately comes to mind. Or feeding them Fruit Loops for dinner when Ruanita is out for the evening. Or “accidentally” misplacing and subsequently forgetting the reminder card from the dentist because I am still suffering from post traumatic stress disorder from the last visit, and cannot fathom the thought of taking three children back for more fluoride fun. I could go and on and on. Really, if I’m being honest, the depths of my parental depravity know no bounds.
I have decided, however, rather than flogging myself for all of my shortcomings, I would allow myself a bit of leniency in certain areas. I mean, these little creatures do wear on the nerves sometimes, don’t they? Therefore, to all of you parents out there, I do hereby declare that you may do any of the following with no guilt whatsoever. All of the below actions are well within the realm of reasonable parental behavior. No guilt. No judgment. No need to explain.
1. Taking the batteries out of the noisiest toy your child owns and telling them it is broken. Forever.
2. Telling your child that it is bedtime when it is only 5:30pm (this is only feasible up until about 2nd grade when teachers insist on teaching children how to read an analog clock).
3. Allowing your child to exceed his daily allotted video game time by several hours so he will leave you alone long enough to have an adult conversation with the childless friends who were brave ( or naïve?) enough to come to your house for dinner.
4. Pretending you are asleep.
5. Pretending you are deaf.
6. Pretending you are blind.
7. Pretending you are mute (laryngitis?).
8. Pretending you are deaf, blind, mute, paralyzed, and catatonic.
9. Blaming all gaseous emissions (from both ends) on your child.
10. Bribing your child with ice cream to please, for the love of God, be good in Target.
11. Loading your child up with Tylenol and sending them to school despite having a mild fever because you need…really NEED…adult interaction after an entire weekend spent at the zoo and the park with your lovable children and half the unruly preschool population of greater Minnesota.
12. Drinking a beer (or four) at your child’s birthday party.
13. Telling them that your cell phone/Nook/iPad/laptop are dead despite having just charged each and every one of them.
14. Closing all the blinds and telling your child that it’s raining because you can’t stand the thought of spending another hot summer day sitting on scorching concrete while your child splashes around in two feet of water at the local wading pool repeatedly saying, “Watch me, Momma. Look at me. Watch me. Look, Momma.”
15. Hiding Oreos in the back of the cupboard and eating them only after confirming via the pinch test that your children are completely and unconditionally asleep.