There is no such thing as a perfect parent. All parents make mistakes, and all parents have moments that they wish they could take back or do over. I am certainly no exception to this. But I do think that one of the benefits of making mistakes is so that others can learn from them, so as a service to other parents and future parents, I present to you the list of the worst things I have ever done as a parent. Don’t do any of these things. I’m serious.
1. Did Not Anticipate Developments
What I mean by that is this: When you are a parent you have to be prepared for whatever phase your child is going to enter into next, because you never know when it will happen. I remember when Ruby rolled off of the bed onto the floor, because she had never rolled over before and I didn’t know she was about to suddenly learn how to do that. I remember when Ruby crawled off of the bed and fell onto the floor because I had only roll-over-proofed the bed, not realizing that she had decided to learn how to crawl that day. And the list goes on and on. When she was crawling, I should have assumed that any second she would be walking, and when she started walking, I should have realized that moments later she would be running. Learn from my lack of foresight. You think they don’t know what you are saying, but suddenly one day they are parroting back curse words you said the day before and singing Ke$ha songs at the top of their lungs. You can prevent this.
2. Bought Things For the Children
I have already covered this in a recent blog, but honestly, if I had known how much stuff people give you when you have a kid, I never would have bought my children anything! Between baby showers, hand-me-downs, and grandparents (who never bought ME anything growing up, but suddenly want my children to have everything I never did), there is no reason for you to ever buy a toy, an item of clothing, or really anything else at all for your children. I don’t know if it takes a village to raise a child, but the village sure does come over a lot with stuff for your kids.
3. Revealed the Existence of the Copying Game
Saints preserve us, I have no idea what on Earth would have ever possessed me to do this, but for some reason (probably demonic possession) I decided it would be a good and funny idea to copy everything Ruby said for about a minute one day. That was all it took. Now Ruby loves to copy everything I say. Ruby, eat your vegetables. ruby eat your vegetables I’m not kidding. i’m not kidding Stop copying me! stop copying me AAARRRGGHHHH! aaarrrgghhhh
4. Failed to Pre-Screen All Cartoons
Let me tell you something that will save you hours and hours of aggravation. There will come a time that your child will be watching television and the show will end, and a new show will come on. Often you will turn the TV off, but sometimes, just sometimes mind you, you will just let them watch the next show without having ever seen it yourself, because it is a cartoon and looks cute and you are tired and the baby is throwing food at you and you can’t find the remote control and who really cares anyway. This is a mistake. Sure, sometimes you wind up with an awesome show like “Phineas and Ferb,” but sometimes you wind up with “Special Agent Oso.” Special Agent Oso is some idiot of a bear whose mission in life is to annoy me via the television, and of course after one accidental viewing, it was added to Ruby’s favorites and now we have to watch it all the time. I mean, seriously, how did that bear become a special agent? He can’t even tie his shoes! He can’t remember simple instructions given to him 10 seconds earlier! And they give him a helicopter!? He’s special all right… Anyway, even though it is annoying, make sure you watch everything your kids watch before they do. It’s not for their protection, it’s for yours.
5. Became an Opera Singer
This is the biggest no-no if you want to be a parent. Opera singers are always traveling and away from home, they don’t make very much money (unless they are international superstars, but how many of them are there, really?). Rehearsal schedules are generally inflexible, so forget about going to all the football games and bassoon concerts, and worst of all, you are required to tell embarrassing stories about your children on the internet via your blog. No, better not to become and opera singer and spare your children all the trauma involved. Although, if I just had a regular old 9-5 job, I wouldn’t get to be home with the kids all day when I don’t have a show. And the kids do get exposed to a lot of culture, and they get to travel sometimes, which I think is important. Actually, maybe it’s not so bad to be an opera singer. I guess the jury is still out on that one. I’ll ask my kids in 20 years what they think about it and I’ll let you know.