Parenting comes with a lot of rules.
Whether you’re a strict mom or a cool dad (or vice-versa!), when it comes to raising kids, there are a million dos and don’ts. Some of them are universal (do feed them, don’t show them pornography, do brush their teeth, don’t let them drive, etc.) and some of them differ by household (for example, you don’t let your kids watch TV, whereas my 6-year-old woke up with nightmares about last week’s Legion; to each their own!)
But in our weakest moments, and we all have them, every parent wants to ditch the rule book. Every parent wishes there were certain things s/he could get away with, if not for society and laws and potentially scarring/endangering our kids.
What kinds of things? I’m glad you asked!
I am by no means a perfect parent. I think I’ve made that abundantly clear (right, angry Facebook commenters?). But there are some things even I won’t do. Which isn’t to say I don’t occasionally want to do them.
Like these things.
Things Parents Wish We Could Get Away With
- Telling Our Kids Off – I gotta be honest. There are days when I want to go full Denis Leary on Detective Munch. I’m no stranger to swearing, and neither is Mom and Buried, so he’s already heard some of the words I dream of unleashing, but he’s never had them directed at him with great vengeance and furious anger. But holy jeez do I want to tear him a new one sometimes! And don’t even get me started on The Hammer. If that kid smears banana all over the walls/his clothes/his face/my face one more time, I’m going to lose it!
- Leaving Our Kids Behind – I threaten Detective Munch with this all the time. If he’s taking too long to get out the door, or refusing to get on the school bus, or throwing a tantrum in the middle of Target, I’ll tell him I’m leaving and just start walking away. Slowly. And eventually I’ll stop and turn around to check on him and make sure he’s following. I don’t have the balls to simply bail. (Or the money to afford a lawyer when I do.) But holy jeez do I want to leave his annoying ass behind sometimes! And don’t even get me started on The Hammer. Just kidding, he’s usually strapped to my chest like Kuato. I’m trapped!
- Throwing Out Toys – I’m not talking about donating old toys or secretly trashing stuff that annoys you. I’m talking straight-up retaliation for bad behavior. You wanna get nuts? LET’S GET NUTS! Here comes the trash bag and there goes your iPad! Say bye-bye to your 50 LEGO sets, give one last hug to your I-don’t-even-know-WTF-this-thing-is-but-you-clearly-love-it, because it’s hasta la vista, baby! My hesitation here is less about being too harsh and more about wasting my own money – these things cost a fortune! But I swear, the next time he talks back I’ma take a FLAMETHROWER TO THIS PLACE!
- Shanking Our Kids – Despite the fact that this gig can often feel like prison, this was actually a typo.
- Spanking Our Kids – Calm down, this is a list of things I don’t do! But sometimes I wonder if a spank or two might be effective. Not the spank itself, really – the Fear of The Spank! I remember being afraid of being spanked, and I’m not even sure I ever was spanked! Time-outs are lame and useless and sometimes I wish spanking were a viable alternative. Sometimes I wish punching my six-year-old in the face were a viable alternative! (I may need therapy.)
- Spoiling Movies – This one is pure spite, and it’s not something I would ever do. I love my favorite movies too much, and I love the experience of sharing them with my sons too much, to rob them of experiencing them as purely as possible. But holy jeez do I want to scream the truth about The Crying Game at my son. SHE’S REALLY A MAN! Boom: roasted.
- Showing Our Kids The Crying Game – This is too cruel to even joke about. I’m sorry.
- Shattering Our Kids’ Dreams – Detective Munch just lost his first tooth and got rewarded by Tooth Fairy. Eventually, that fantasy, along with Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, leprechauns, and being able to afford college, will be dashed. And sometimes, in my most evil moments, when he’s being his most unbearable, I want to whisper the real truth to him, just before he closes his eyes for bed. Because those things are make-believe, but monsters are real! (I definitely need therapy.)
- Locking Our Kids Outside – Last summer I put together a play house in the backyard. I was quite proud of myself – I’m not exactly handy – and then a friend referred to it as a doghouse. After I’d finished crying I realized she was onto something! I should use it as a doghouse – for my kids, so I can get some peace and quiet once in a while. But no! Apparently that’s child abuse. What isn’t child abuse these days, am I right?
- Dropping Our Kids At The Fire Station – I don’t know what the cut-off is or abandoning your infant at a fire station – no questions asked! – is these days, but I am almost positive six years old is well past it. But holy jeez do I want to ditch that little smart-ass sometimes, and head off for an unencumbered life riding the rails with a baby strapped to my chest goddamnit I keep forgetting about the stupid baby.
Don’t look at me like that. Like you haven’t daydreamed about some of this stuff too!