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By Nicole Johnson of Suburban Sh*t Show: Tales from the Tree-Lined Trenches
Yes, I have children and I love them. With my first and even second child, I was probably unable to admit the things below, but with each child came further acceptance of the harsh, though very real truth—I am not a perfect parent and neither are you. This is okay, trust me. You will grow to love and cherish your inner, though imperfect parent. Below, I have outlined my greatest sins and am sharing them with you. Confession is good for the soul, right?
BARBIE—I HATE THAT BITCH
I have a decapitated Barbie doll in my purse. Her head is in a side pocket, while the rest of her body is at the bottom of the black abyss. She was killed in a pulling match between two sisters: one who wanted to play with her, the other, her rightful owner, who didn’t care about her kid sister’s wants or needs. I am not a fan of Barbie or any of her kind. Her measurements are unrealistic and her beauty is a distorted version of reality invented by a toy manufacturer. Aside from that, I dislike her massive dream house with tiny trinkets which are lost and broken before anyone has a chance to really play with them. Barbie, suck it!
DISNEY WORLD, I’M NOT A FAN
Disney World is my least favorite place, EVER. Where else would I spend thousands of dollars to stand in endless lines, watch scary fake animals and characters maul my children, and listen to parents and children argue in the hot Florida sun? And what kind of lesson is this imaginary world teaching my kids? Princesses need to get a job and animals should never talk; it’s creepy.
KID BOP NEEDS TO JUST STOP
I want to pull my ears from my head every time I hear Kid Bop, or any kid’s music for that matter. These knock off pop CD compilations were bad enough when they came out of the mouths of the original singers. You know, boy bands and pop tarts. Do you think the creators of this ingenious little marketing scam are sitting at home rocking out to this shit? I’m all set…my kids are being raised on a steady stream of 80’s arena rock, Blondie and Joan Jett.
THEY CAN JUST PLAY
Play dates or any other scheduled kid activities make me uncomfortable. Why do I need to schedule dates for my children (and my dog) to engage in some good old fashioned imaginary play? I don’t want to and I won’t. My kids aren’t celebrities; they are kids. My people won’t call your people.
I LIKE TO EXPRESS MYSELF
I swear often and with fervor. I do it when I stub a toe, when I get angry, and sometimes for no apparent reason at all. At times, there is no better way to express myself than with an s- or (and this one I do attempt to use marginally) f-bomb. Worse, I suppose, my kids sometimes swear. Well, mainly the three-year-old who has never met an expletive she doesn’t like, though shit seems to be her favorite. And the two-year-old seems to have a newfound love for asshole.
My hatred for Disney extends to all things Disney, even the movies. Especially the movies. Disney movies are the worst. Kids walk around for months after, singing. And the characters are always the same, usually princesses in peril, displaced princesses, lost princesses or my favorite, dead princesses waiting to be revived by the prince’s kiss. I thought princesses were supposed to be happy and carefree. Oh, and one other thing: why are parents always dead, stupid, absent or evil? I can’t imagine this is really what Walt had in mind.
IF YOU MAKE A MOM ANGRY, SHE’LL YELL
I yell and sometimes I’m wrong to do it and sometimes I’m right. When I ask you five times to do the same thing and you don’t, I am going to raise my voice. When I’m riddled with PMS or am beginning the newest phase of womanhood, perimenopause, I reserve the right to raise my voice. I birthed you, wiped your ass, brushed your teeth and am basically your domestic Cinderella—I deserve to be heard!
ANN LANDERS, I’M NOT
Sometimes I give bad advice. Like the time I told the eight-year-old to tell the mean girl on the playground her mother smelled like cheese. In my defense, when I got called out on my mistake, at a parent/teacher conference, I owned it. I also told the ten-year-old the key to dealing with the dreaded and massive bus bully was to out funny him with a gem I thought was very benign. Your mom has hemorrhoids; apparently I’m fond of your mama jokes. This just goes to prove that I don’t always know what I’m doing.
I’m not perfect and I make mistakes. I wish I knew all the rules, but I don’t, and the more I watch everyone else, they don’t either. Next time you’re being hard on yourself, remember this being-a-parent gig isn’t easy. The best we can hope for is that our kids come out less dinged and danged than we did.
About Nicole Johnson
Nicole Johnson is a fiction writer, blogger and stay at home mom raising four children, a dog, a cat and a husband. She fears birds, anything with the potential to cause fire, and Disney World. She loves scary movies, books with ambiguous endings and all things dark, absurd and funny. Her work has been featured on Scary Mommy, Mamapedia, BonBon Break and other really cool sites. Her blog, Suburban Sh*t Show: Tales from the Tree-Lined Trenches chronicles her life in the sh*t show, and she can be found on Facebook and Twitter, which is her new obsession because it forces her to get to the damn point.[/nextpage]