By Samantha Wassel of Between the Monkey Bars
It’s 2 a.m., and your childbirth-ravaged pelvic muscles are threatening to succumb to the building pressure in your bladder. Not wanting to wash yet another set of pissed-in sheets, you climb out of bed, shuffle to the closest bathroom—
—and trip over one of the filthy tennis shoes you told your kid to put away A THOUSAND TIMES before bed last night.
We’ve all been there. I mean, at least I think we have. Please tell me my kids aren’t the only ones who seem to go temporarily deaf every time I scream at them to put their fucking shoes where they fucking belong.
Seriously, it’s like when God was working on His Grand Design for Humankind, He said to Himself, “Hmm. How about we instill the little humans with the deep-rooted, inexplicable desire to leave their ME-damned motherfucking footwear in random and inconvenient places? That’ll be good for the big humans: It’ll teach them patience, which is a virtue, after all.”
Come to think of it, I don’t recall Moses slipping his sandals into any kind of organizationally-sound cubby when he found himself in front of that burning bush. And he was a grown-ass man.
But I digress. My point is, if you’re a mom, you can probably relate to the struggle of getting your kids to put their shoes away.
But rest easy, fellow frazzled parents, for there is hope. Dr. Barbara Burnam, Psy.D. at the Pediatric Psychology Clinic of Chicago, claims she’s developed “an effective, fool-proof parental disciplinary method that’s guaranteed to end the unhealthy adolescent behavior of leaving random shoes all over the goddamn house.”
“Just burn those motherfuckers,” she stated in an article recently published in Kids Psych Weekly. “Preferably while your kids are watching. For real. If they don’t have shoes, they can’t leave them all over the place. That’ll show those ungrateful little shitsicles who’s boss. Bonus points if they cry while you do it. That’ll really teach them.”
Burnam said that in addition to clearing your house of annoying displaced shoes, her self-dubbed “Burning Soles Method” also offers the added benefit of “toughening those little brats up.”
“When I was a kid, we played outside barefoot all the time,” she said. “No one complained about stepping on rocks, getting splinters, or their feet freezing as they trudged the five miles to school in a blizzard. Kids these days are too soft. They could all use a dose of hardship in their lives. It develops character.”
When I reached out to Burnam for details on how she developed her ingenious “Burning Soles Method,” she told me she was inspired by a combination of Marie Kondo’s famous KonMari method, as well as a personal experience she had when visiting her brother and his family over the holidays.
“I was making coffee one morning, and I actually twisted my ankle after tripping over one of my niece’s Elsa boots in the kitchen. The fucking kitchen! So I asked myself, Does this bedazzled piece of shit spark enough joy to make up for the pain it’s caused me? Nope. So I threw it in the fireplace. Problem solved. Her parents haven’t officially thanked me yet, but I’m expecting an Edible Arrangements basket any day now.”
Burnam says her method may also be effective in dealing with the myriad discarded socks many men habitually shed and toss virtually anywhere but the fucking hamper.
“I’m still tweaking the sock thing,” she said. “I’ve found that burning my husband’s socks tends to make the house smell like absolute shit, so I’m experimenting with Odor Eater powder in the fireplace. I’m hoping to have the method perfected by summer, when his feet tend really sweat.”
About the Author
Samantha Wassel is a sarcastic and slightly unhinged SAHM to three energetic boys and three lazy AF cats. She enjoys running, writing, kettlebelling, reading, nerding out, and eating exorbitant amounts of goat cheese and Peanut Butter Halo Top ice cream (but not together, because barf). You can find more of her work at Between the Monkey Bars.