How Not To Parent On Any Given Afternoon. Or Really Ever.

First, don’t decide to go to Staples to get organized because you read an article in Redbook which is the first real print article you’ve read in an entire year that discusses hiring a personal organizer and realize fifteen minutes into the search for personal binders and other NECESSARY accoutrement that you haven’t eaten lunch. Decide you are going to die of hunger. Also, consider acting classes.

Next, don’t tell your kids they’ll get a treat if they do GOOD LISTENING while you continue searching for tabs and post-it notes and get distracted by the CUTEST PINK DESK EVER.

Gather two children and two desk chairs and fifteen miscellaneous ORGANIZATIONAL ITEMS and head towards the checkout counter. Don’t ever say: Kids! Pick out your treats. Because you’ll keep thinking to yourself a bouncy ball or a ruler and be confronted with two giant lollipops.

Don’t acknowledge to your inner child how delicious the lollipops look. Trying to remember that you are so hungry the eraser shaped like cheese also looks appetizing. Don’t say: Yes. You can have two lollipops the length of your body.

Don’t give them the swirly lollipops in the car while you hit the drive-thru Arby’s that doesn’t have your favorite sandwich and instead has replaced everything with some version of the turkey sandwich. You don’t like turkey.

Don’t drive home while eating around the turkey and daydreaming about your organized life. Don’t glance at your children as you pull up to your home.

N enjoying her lollipop more than I had hoped

Don’t use words of encouragement to get your children to the bathroom while watching children pick up fuzzies, dirt and leaves on the way because they must touch the grass, rug and you multiple times before entering the bathroom.

Don’;t think BATH PAINT WILL BE FUN after you FINALLY getting your children’s sticky bodies into the water. Don’t try to sit down and peruse Twitter because you’ll hear: The poops touching me.

Don’t expect to remove paint-covered children from bath and not have yellow and green puddles all over the bathroom floor. Don’t leave all your cleaning supplies downstairs except for five baby wipes and a can of Lysol that your four-year-old son insists HE CAN HANDLE.

Don’t say okay when your son wants to check out your make-up while you’re scrubbing the tub.

Don’t hand tubes of paint back over to your children to remake their master piece in a clean tub because you so callously cleaned it up while collecting your seventeen month old’s poop.

Don’t expect to have clean children after two baths in the span of an hour because they will pour the rest of the paint into the tub while you are trying to decide if washable paint really DOES come out of makeup or if you can live with yellow foundation.

Maybe I should get E the acting lessons since he’s prepping for the sequel of The Shining

Don’t decide to reread your Stephen King collection, sit down to scroll through Facebook or prank call your husband until he comes home to rescue you.

From yourself.

This post originally appear as my first post on Richmondmom.com. To see all my articles over there, click here.

Alex Iwashyna

Alex Iwashyna went from a B.A. in philosophy to an M.D. to a SAHM, poet and writer by 30. She spends most of her writing time on LateEnough.com, a humor blog (except when it's serious) about her husband fighting zombies, awkward attempts at friendship, and dancing like everyone is watching. She also has a soft spot for culture, politics, and rude Southern people who offend her Yankee sensibilities. She parents 2 elementary-aged children, 1 foster baby, 3 cats, and 1 puppy, who are all Southern but not rude. Yet.

22 thoughts to “How Not To Parent On Any Given Afternoon. Or Really Ever.”

  1. I’m still getting over the fact that you read an article in Redbook. I thought that magazine died with Good Housekeeping. Wait. Is Good Housekeeping still alive too?

    Also, you may have had a horrible day with the kids, but horribleness breeds awesome blog fodder and adorable pictures, am I right?

  2. Oh my gosh, I can’t tell you how much better this post makes me feel. My kids are a total, messy disaster all. the. time. I always feel like it’s only me. I’m following you now so you can make me feel not alone often but I am not allowing my son to see this post because he will be plotting ways to turn our tub red while rubbing his face with something blue.

  3. “The poop’s touching me!” OMG, I’m dying. ๐Ÿ™‚

    WHY must all those beautiful, bright candy colors on those giant lollipops turn into that disgusting shade of gray-green when mixed with kid slobber??? And the stickiness spreads like transmission fluid. Suddenly it’s EVERYWHERE.

    We know these things. We do them anyway. Good times.

  4. I LOVE this. Damn those articles about how to get organized, right? I swear they’re the root of all evil and unleash mayhem into our perfectly disordered lives. See what the article did to you? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Bathtub paint? That’s quite genius, although, when I first looked at the picture before reading the post, I thought it was food coloring and what a great idea that was, and “I think I shall try that tomorrow.” Hmmm Maybe not.

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