Thursday, February 3, 2011

Top Ten Ways We've Ruined Our Kids

Lydia and I got an email the other day from a mommy who was confessing that she may be ruining her kids. Girl, if you're still thinking it's a "maybe" you are in WAY better shape than we are. Not only do we have college funds and savings accounts, we also have set money aside to pay for the psychologists they will most assuredly need after living with us...we hope they get Jane Lynch as a shrink. That would be awesome.

(Editor's note: I'm still paying my off my own student loans. College funds for the kids? Maybe when I'm a real grown up.  Hangs head in shame. xo, Lydia)


10. Cursing While we may claim that we *accidentally* taught our children the A,B and C...oh, right, and D and F...uhh, H,J,M and S words, not to mention WTF, STFU and the lovely made up ones like whuck, whack and jackhole...well, probably not possible to accidentally teach them all of those, huh? Look, they were going to learn them anyway, so what's important here is that they learn to use them accurately.

For example, when McGee was three, she and Kate were headed to Texas, and in the short frame of time between leaving the house to pick her up from pre-school and returning back home, the geriatric gimpy beagle managed to rip open her little backpack filled with snacks and games for the plane and either destroy or eat all the contents. By the time we got home, he had lit out for hiding places unknown. McGee was incensed. "Dog! Dog! Where are you?!?!" It goes without saying that he was a better hider than she was a seeker. By the time she returned to the kitchen, she was mad and thwarted. She picked up the tattered remains of her pink flowery backpack. "Oh, I hate that f**king dog." Adjectives...better than verbs.

9. Food What the hell went wrong here? I just wanted to either fix them a delicious yet nutritious dinner or do something incredibly easy so I could play on Facebook. Now, they either want McDonald's or one of their kin that barely qualifies as actual food [Editor's Note: Or something they've discovered in a various bodily crevice like a nose, ear or bellybutton. -Kate] or Coq au Vin. What happened to meatloaf? And please stop picking, then eating, your toenails. One, those shards will stab your intestines, and two, you're contorting yourself into positions that are. just. wrong. Cirque de Soliel people can't even do that and they don't even have bones. Stop it.

8. Arguing Just because we taught you to question injustices and challenge wrongdoing does not mean we are the perpetrators of all things unjust and wrong. If you don't like the fact that you have to clean your room and eat all your carrots, please go live with Kim Jong Il. You might want to take some candles and bread with you.

7. Bed/Sleeping We take no blame for this. However, we're also unable to cure it, which is why it's on the list...  Kate wakes up every morning and does a bedcheck, only to find that the possible number of combinations of which-kid-can-be-in-which-bed is apparently infinite. They each have their own room. In each room, there is a bed. So why, for the love of Maude, can they not pass one entire night in that bed in that room? When they drop out of college to get on a renovated school bus and meander their way to Berkeley, I'll know that it all started during my watch...

6. Etiquette I holler at them when I'm on the phone, I eat while wandering around my house, and I say really unnecessary things while driving. I text at stoplights, I snicker and giggle in church, and I've been known to decide that a fork really isn't that important because I didn't feel like getting up. I was eating linguine. When the IHPs eventually turn into the Comic Book Store guy on the Simpsons, I'll know why.

5. Friendships I call my best friend a stupid hooker. Just throw me in parenting jail. Now.

4. Technology Kate cracks out on her iPhone. It's her Precious. And, since she works in television, she's completely capable of watching -- and comprehending -- what's happening on sixteen different channels all at once. While texting. And working on her computer. So it should be as no surprise at all that the IHPs lovelovelove all their little DSIs and Wii and Leapsters. And that we all think it's a great idea to have a bank of televisions in our house. It's also why they will probably spend a good portion of their 20s playing World of Warcraft and dressing up avatars.

3. Appearance Clearly they're in training to be on Survivor. Or Lost. Or "Are You As Filthy As a Fourth Grader?" Gah!

Dear Children, When your toothbrush bristles are crunchy, this is a sign that you need to step up the frequency. When your washcloth is missing, I wonder what you're doing in the shower. It's not a sauna. You don't just sit there. And whoever taught you "smell my armpit" in addition to "pull my finger" is going to learn a new game called "put me in traction." I'm in training for that one. 
Love, Mommy

2. Safety Kate taught the IHPs learned a little rhyme for crossing the street. Ahem:

Be very careful
When you cross the street.
Use your eyes, use your ears
And then you use your feet.

Happy has decided that's what getssaidreallyfast as he's running toward said intersection, and then he ends it with "and then you fall down and go splat and turn into a puddle on the road...and then you cry." Add in Lefty's never ending, yet self answering questions..."Mom, what happens when you put scissors in the plug thi--" [POP! and the lights go out]  "-- never mind!"

Safety FAIL.

1. Privacy Someday they will read all of this. Then, sometime after that, they will realize it's all about them. Then they'll call Jane Lynch.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011


  1. My 3 year old daughter throws a fit when I tell her she can't play with my iPad or my phone. She's addicted to it. I'm pretty sure she's ruined...or maybe is headed to have a career in technology.

    And we don't have college accounts for the kids either. Husband's outrageous law school loans and nonexistant retirement fund means the kids are on their own. :)

  2. I qualify for all makes me so, so happy i'm not the only one!

  3. Our kids are on their own for college as well, I'd rather be able to retire before I am 90. OMG, the cussing thing! Yesterday we were trying to do something really fun, and FREE and memorable by going to the Atlanta Braves players caravan. You stand in line, get some autographs, see the players. The friends we were meeting called to report that they handed out all 400 "place-holder" numbers well before we got there. So I said, "sounds like we're SOL." The kindergartner asks, "what does sol mean?" damn learning to spell! Quick on my feet I said, "it stands for "so out of luck." Einstien replies, "that would be S-O-O-L." How will we ever have a conversation in front of him again if he learns to spell???

  4. "If you don't like the fact that you have to clean your room and eat all your carrots, please go live with Kim Jong Il. You might want to take some candles and bread with you."

    OMFG. I think I just ruptured my spleen laughing.

  5. LOL - I am so with you, especially on the college funds! No one paid for mine - I had to work for it and wait until I decided for myself I was mature enough to go. I don't believe in handing them something they'll only be ungrateful for! Earn it for yourself and you'll value it more!

  6. My 5 year ol child informed me that I "suck at mommy" last night.

    Wondering where she got that from as 'suck' isn't one of 'my' words.

    So glad she isn't using 'my' words.

  7. To MusicClassMamma: once they learn how to spell, you have conversations by spelling backwards. It takes them a really long time to figure that out, but you do have to think, a lot! My hubby is much better at it than I am.

  8. Bwahahaha!

    Ahhh my little one is 18 months old and becoming highly corruptible. I can't wait.

  9. Jane Lynch as a shrink = best idea ever. This post is great!

  10. This summer my 4 year old FIRED me on account of not letting him have doughnut for breakfast, pizza for lunch and Chinese take out for dinner while playing video games all day.
    Good Times, Good Times...

  11. THANK YOU! I thought I was the only one whose kids migrated nightly. Everytime I think I've figure out the pattern, it changes.

    And of course, my son much prefers the FLOOR instead of the $200 Disney Cars bed I got for him just to bribe him into staying in his room.... so I have resigned myself to further mommy guilt resulting from the brain damage I know I inflict every time I step on his face in the wee pre-dawn hours.

  12. I keep saying that my kids will get over it (usually when I'm being "mean mommy") or get therapy. Think I'm on to something?

  13. I haven't laughed this hard in weeks! To hell with Tiger Mom, this is real parenting! When my son was three he would run around shouting "Oh, SHOT!" whenever he was stymied by something. So his dad comes home, hears this, looks at me, and says, "Is he trying to say what I think he's trying to say?" When my kids were 8 and 10 I volunteered to pay them $1 for every cuss word I said and plowed through my weekly martini allowance in a matter of hours. PARENTHOOD IS NOT FOR SISSIES!

  14. So true! Love the list - I'm so glad I'm not the only one with hygiene - challenged children! And my boys just learned the art of sniffing their pits and then blowing the stench towards me. Disgusting creatures.

  15. Great! I'm not the only one ruining my children. Especially with technology! The DVR = THE DEVIL! So, I can record anything I want and watch whenever I want? Hmm, maybe I didn't need that power. It's just added to my list of shows. And my 4-year-old also goes a little coo-coo when I don't let her play my iPhone. I've created technology monsters. Thanks gals for not leaving me hanging! This is awesomesauce!

  16. My mom always said she would pay for therapy or college....that is my plan too!

  17. OK, hilarious and true - I was reading the 1st one about cursing (in my head, not out loud, I promise!) and my 3-yr-old leans over my shoulder and and says out of the blue "goddammit"! LOL!

  18. Yeah wait until they are teenagers. I NEED a ahirt that says "Parenting FAIL" because, obviously.... disclaimer!

  19. The pic of "Kate" watching allllll of those shows... hilarious! And I totally feel like that too...and am completely cracked out on my iPhone... as are my kids. My son asked for his own laptop for Christmas. A real one. So he could email. Seriously. My daughter has more apps on my phone than I do!

  20. After a particularly frustrating drive to school one morning, I asked my 9y.o. what new words I had taught her.
    She smiled oh-so-sweetly and said: "What's a douchebag?"
    Another proud Mommy moment.

  21. ok, you see the bed sharing thing is a nightmare! because our 3 year old toddles out of his room at some point in the night and climbs into bed with us. He does it so quietly that we don't even realize he's in there until the baby wakes up. So my husband and I want to FIX it, but really, it doesn't interrupt us. So, no harm no foul? How can you solve a crime when there is no body? That's what I want to know.

    The cursing. Oh the cursing. I'm so scared of public school for this reason. That's when I'll be outed as a parent who curses.

  22. Um, I have to share. I just have to. If (and when) my children go to therapy and it is for *different reasons than I did* then I am a success as a mom. That's the bar I have to get over. Is it happy hour yet?

  23. college funds? are you kidding? I'm still in school racking up my own. And "shit" was one of my daughter's first words. I think probably number 10-ish; I told her "no eggies, we're out of eggies" and she stamped her tiny foot that she'd just learned to walk on and said "aw, shit".

  24. I want to have #8 framed and posted on my kids' bathroom mirror. Seriously. They both have the idea that somehow they are being wronged when asked to take care of their stuff daily.

    Technology is great - as a lever for better behavior. Our son was grounded from all tech and video stuff for a couple days earlier this week for his extreme disrespect. "Welcome to the 19th century!" I told him. He's been much nicer since then. . . .

  25. None of u wankers should be parents, ur breeding weekness!!!!




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