Parent Judge: List the Offenses!

The Parent Court is now in session! The Parent Judge is now in session.

Opening Arguments in discussing the case of judging bad parenting begin!

One of the things you learn after having kids is that it’s pretty darn distasteful to openly talk about poor parenting.  The Parent Judge realizes this and sets it aside because the Parenting Court is now in order. Put good taste aside for one moment to talk about things some idiots do. Now, this excludes parents who solve their discipline problems with a switch, a leather belt or a karate chop.  Those people are the bad guys on the Lifetime Channel and we can all hate them (or pity depending on how open minded you are).  But when it comes to regular, run of the mill parenting that doesn’t involve a tall dramatic arc like The Burning Bed, we learn when our little kids run around that criticizing other people’s parenting is pretty gauche.  A fellow parent sent me a message about this sometimes trait and I thought about it and the politics of parenting.  Her code name/nom de plur is Wired Momma (no she didn’t pay me/send me products or invite me to BlogHer! because I mentioned her) but she brought up an interesting point. If you see if a parent doing something stupid, you can’t or shouldn’t in our society call them on it. Why? Because any idiot can be a parent in this country without a license, examination, test, prep-course or whatever else makes you somewhat improved in something you’ve never do in your life. It’s just “not done”.

Now, when is this really necessary, you know..to criticize other parents? Yes! The Parent Judge must list the offenses! Here is my abrievated list updated daily!!!!

  • Any child over the age of 3 stuck with a pacifier in their mouths out in public.  I can’t tell you how many 5 year-olds  (I estimate) that I’ve seen who have a pacifier in their mouths and are grunting, pointing and moaning. Why? Because the can’t frigging learn to talk with a piece of plastic in their mouths! OR they have this ghostly disembodied look to them as if they are trying to tell their parents something telepathically.  My kid still uses a pacifier to sleep for naps, not for nighttime, just naps.  She’s 2.3 years old and talks faster than Joan Rivers and more crazily than Pat Robertson but at least she talks.
  • Parents on their cell phones or texting while their kids are trying to talk to them, play with them or just generally need a parent.  Yesterday at this indoor gym there was a dad with headphones on apparently listening to something while his kids were coming up asking him to play.   Is Arcade Fire more important than you daughters? Hello, I’m still listening to the same shit I was in high school – it’s not going away.   Don’t get me started on the Blackberry, IPhone or probably now the IPad.  More ways for idiots to zone out at the park and avoid having any interaction with their kids.  The message sent: this small piece of plastic deserves my attention and you don’t.  Now, if your kid is 10 at the park you don’t need to monitor them, but younger kids need to feel like someone gives a darn about their playing. Do it.
  • The braggart who talks about how great their kids are and never dishes on their annoyances. You know the type, their kid is simply an extension of them and they are insecure boobs who need validation and eternal love, therefore their parenting is perfect and their children are perfect.  Listen, I think kids are great and they are taught to live as we teach them — what choice do they have? But on the other hand, they are fallible and their fallible nature causes chaos, destruction, sleeplessness and general pain-in-the-assness.  Don’t deny it.  People who admit their kids can be a pain in the ass (especially toddlers) understand that growing up is hard to do and it need not be done with parental pressure or fear of failure.   Failure is what makes us human rather than machines who end up with a first class ticket to the psychotherapist’s office because their parents never let them do something incorrectly.
  • Following that, it’s really the control freak who makes me want to kill.  They are the parents telling their kid how to play, how to talk, how to do this and how to do that.  They are always correcting, hovering and forever interrupting the play and joy that is childhood.  They fear bumps, bruises, crying, anger and especially mutiny! A control freak fears the child that turns on them the most, an independent child that wants to do their own thing rather than things “their way”.

My list grows as I see more parents in gym classes, at story times, out at the grocery store or the playground.  I’m not saying my parenting is the best way, hell, it’s probably a B- on a good day, but it’s far more humanistic to the way I think children need to be raised which is an acknowledgment that they are annoying and lovable little dough balls which need constant attention, love and appreciation for the trails and tribulations they undergo to be successful in life.  Life is a hard road to hoe, let’s not make it more difficult to by being lame parents.   I call upon a new age where we can call lame parenting for what it is: lame.   Would that lower the number of people who decided to have kids? I dunno but it would make for some great blogs! The Parent Judge is now adjourned.  I invite you to send in your examples of annoying parenting.

The Answer is NO!

This darling princess must have abusive parents! Note indications of sadness. NO!

My darling daughter is now 2.3 years old and smart as the dickens (can’t hide my pride Internet Readers!).  Yet I’m troubled by a continuing problem that comes up whenever I ask the sweet little thing a question — the answer is always and unequivocally no.   No Cheerios for breakfast, no jacket to go outside, no nap, no dinner, no bath no, no, no a thousand times no!  For those keeping score at home, that means no.

Punditdad has been doing this ‘lil old thing of staying home with the kid for 2.3 years so I’ve seen every poop, pee, scream and whatever else happens in her life up until this point.  I’ve been “available” if that is how you want to put it.  Now, to a person who has witnessed all this, it’s easy to be frustrated when you know that your child likes to dip her pasta that’s she’s eating for the trillionth time in ketchup and ranch dressing but refuses it for dinner even though she is hungry and tired.  Does Punditdad beg,  cajole and negotiate with the  daughter to convince her that eating her disgusting concoction is a great idea? Sometimes. But only when another parental or grandparental unit is on-site.  I abhor such negotiations.  Let ‘er starve. If she’s hungry, she’ll be back. I guarantee it.  Negotiations are for hostages.

But back to NO! It’s started me to ask less questions and make more “commands” as in COMMAND AND CONTROL. You know, the army jargon? Well it works wonders for your ego, but when it dissolves in the grocery aisle because you said no chocolate bars at 9:00 AM.   At that point, you really have to do a gut check. Did you mean it or do you give a sh*t what the woman with the beautiful and obedient daughter thinks of you while pushing her cart down in the aisle trying to find the ingredients to the Turkish EggPlant Frittata that her daughter JUST LOVES and eats every time?  Her daughter is an ANGEL and your daughter is clearly a mean-spirited spoiled brat (putting it nicely).  I’m just trying to set some rules and who really needs chocolate that early in the morning? Say yes to that and the next thing it’s a thong and a Mercedes for her 16th birthday.  No, the rules have to be drawn somewhere. Right? Are you with me?

More or less, discipline at this toddler age is an art rather than a science and Punditdad doesn’t beat himself up over the choices made (win or lose) that he makes and neither should you! Lift your head up even if your kid is drinking ketchup at the Denny’s or throwing his poop in the public restroom.  Someday you’ll laugh about it and feel so much better than you do now.  I know I can feel it coming any minute.  NO! No?

Gloom and Doom

Brought back to the blog because all I ever read about is how tough, terrible, and generally horrible the following things are:

  • Being a mom –NOBODY understands  how tough it is being a mom, especially being a stay at home mom. No respect, no love, no nothing. Even if you’re richer than 99% of the world population, have clothes, shelter, a mortgage and great health insurance, the world is a pile of dog poo and nobody understands what you are going through and all the transparent sacrifices you have made in your attempt to raise good kids.
  • Being a Democrat — Obama is a spineless POS who had betrayed all the progressives and destroyed health care. He’s broken every promise made on the campaign trail and damnit I’ll never go door to door for him again! The Republicans and the Tea Bag Party are going to take over the world and win every seat in the midterms and return us to the medieval times we had for 8 years under George W. Bush (at least we could hate him with real vindication!)
  • Being Sandra Bullock — OMG is she the crummiest actress in the world to get a Golden Globe for some religious right wing crap football movie where the black guy needs the rich white woman to take care of him? At least Avatar had blue people as code in an “artistic” way for different “races” and the chosen people who the White Messaiah will lead to the way to victory, a drop top Benz and maybe a super bowl ring.
  • Being Hatian — Do Haitians really care what Pat Robertson and the slug Rush Limbaugh think of their country? No, but when you sit at the right hand of GOD, you have a great view of the world and why it is so messed up.  Has ANY Republican disputed their words? Can Scott Brown pose naked in a magazine and still be Senator? YES!

These and other fine myths will be discussed ad nauseaum further on the pages of Punditdad and his newly resurrected blog.  Have a nice day.