Dear other parents who make my job harder:
Hey. How’s it going? That great, huh? Me too.
Listen. I’ve been meaning to talk to you about something for a while now, but between going to work and telling my kids NO every 5 fucking seconds, I haven’t had a lot of free time. Good news is, tonight I think I can squeeze this in between preparing my kids’ super unhealthy but super fast dinner and mediating the 7 temper tantrums that will occur before bedtime this evening (and only one of those being mine). Oh, and between washing dirty undies. Apparently everyone needs fresh skivvies for school. (God, they’re so picky. AMIRIGHT?)
So anyway, I was wondering if you could stop spoiling your fucking kids for one goddamned second.
There. I said it.
Really, though, stop it. It’s making my life a crap ton harder than it should be. Not because I have a problem telling my children NO, but because soon, all those things to which I respond NO will have an impact on their self-esteems and their sense of belonging in their peer groups, and I only want to be responsible for 85% of their psychological damage (not the full 100).
What I mean is, don’t buy your kindergartners kiddie iPads and your 3rd graders smart phones, maybe. Because now mine wants one of each. And he can’t have them. And he doesn’t understand why Billy down the street gets them but he doesn’t.
I don’t even have an iPad, so there’s no way my kid’s getting some cutesy-themed gadget marketed for children even though the adult ones work just as well and children don’t need these things all to themselves so they can ignore their families and friends and playgrounds to stare at “learning games” all evening. They can borrow their parents’ once in a while.
Perhaps most disturbing to me about this whole thing, though, is what my kids are going to ask for when they’re teenagers if at this point their peers are already getting their own tablets and cellies. I’m not buying them NASA when they’re 17, and that’s final. I don’t care how left out they feel.
Furthermore, could you not let your kids play their video games and/or text all through dinner at a restaurant? I mean, I get it if you have little kids or kids with special needs (fellow special needs mama right hurr!) because when the shit hits the fan in public, there’s no reasoning with these little monsters. Any port in the storm for sure. But do your middle and high school-aged kids have to do it?
Because now my 5 year old wants to look at pictures and watch TV and color on my phone when we’re supposed to be having a nice family dinner, and then when I say NO, we have to have a 20 minute back and forth about why your kid gets to and he doesn’t and how it’s not fair and I’m a meanie, and I’d rather use that time to talk about what they learned at school and what their favorite activity at recess was, if it’s all the same to you, because once my boys reach the teenage years, it’ll be all I can do to get a caveman-like grunt out of them, especially if I have to rip a hand-held device that I sure as hell ain’t paying for out of their paws first.
Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention devoting the entire living room to your kids and stuffing it full of more toys than they’ll ever be able to play with ever in their lifetimes.
It looks like Toys R Us threw the fuck up right there next to your dining room, and then my kids come home all wild-eyed and crazy looking, wondering why they don’t get the entire second floor to fill with crap of their own, which in turn makes trips to the grocery store a damn nightmare because they want me to buy this and buy that and when I say NO, they come back at me with the but-Susie’s-mom-buys-her-every-new-toy-that-comes-out and the well-why-can’t-you-be-as-nice-as-Johnny’s-mom, and I can only take so much of that. The grocery store managers tend to dislike it when parents go ape shit on their kids in public, not to mention the fact that this will only lead to brand-new-sports-car envy at 16, and that shit Ain’t.Gonna.Happen.
I’ve desperately needed new tires on my 8 year old vehicle for, like, 4 months, so there’s no way my kid’s getting a fresh ride while still living under my roof. Their friends might be Tokyo Driftin’ their way through junior year, but mine will just have to settle for Tow Materin’ their way to a grown up job.
Finally, if you could not let your kids do whatever the hell they want whenever the hell they want, I would so appreciate it. I’m sort of a tight ass about things like bedtimes and getting enough rest, especially because I need a fucking break myself to drink alone after a long day, and when other kids are still screaming and playing outside well past 10 and ringing my doorbell trying to sell me shit I don’t need and peeling through the neighborhood with their bass cranked after dark on a school night, it makes it kinda tough to convince my kids that it’s time shut those sleepy eyes and leave Mommy to her Merlot.
I’m not putting up with requests to stay out late during the week and go on spring break to an island in some 3rd world country without adult supervision so they can get drunk and murdered when these boys are teenagers. It’ll make it so much easier to say NO and not have to argue about it for 7 months if you do the same.
Look. I’m not saying I’m a perfect mother. I’m far from it. In fact, I’ve sent my kids to school with processed bologna on white bread, chocolate chip cookies, and juice boxes for lunch the past 2 weeks, and I’m pretty sure it’s been a solid week since anyone’s eaten veggies.
Basically, I’m saying I don’t want to put up with the arguing and shit that comes with not letting one’s kids do what their friends are allowed to do, and I especially don’t want to deal with the guilt that comes with making choices that I believe are in my kids’ best interests long term but that will isolate them in their most vulnerable years.
So, yeah. If you could do me a solid, that’d be great. I’ll even throw in a complimentary bottle of booze.