How to Be a Dad

How to Be a Dad

7 Rules for Parent Etiquette

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Charlie's laservision.

Round two of hell week for me and I’m really underwhelmed by the amount of hate mail arriving in my email thing. I did an article on non-parent etiquette some months ago and I felt like I never evened up the score about the faults parents have too.

So, here you go. Let’s go ahead and give me what you got on this one. Let the rant disco begin…

1. “My Kid is a Unique Snowflake” Competition

You have such a perfect baby. Now shut up about it.You have such a perfect baby. Now shut up about it, please.

Every kid develops at a different speed, so stop over-sharing how maddeningly brilliant your kid is. It’s driving me nuts. When you oversell how your daughter did backflips at three months old or your son learned Portuguese in seven months, I want to tell you that I have duct tape in my pocket and a blowtorch in my car.

You should be proud, don’t get me wrong, but boasting looks like you’re auditioning your kid for Star Search.

And that show was cancelled a long time ago.

2. Stop Talking About How Tired You Are…

Could I look any tireder? I look like Cage in Raising Arizona.Could I look any tireder? Yes.

My wife and I get in a discussion from time to time about how tired we feel and start playing the “who’s tireder game.”

But guess what? It doesn’t help. I’m sure childless people love hearing about it too. We chose (except for my parents with me, obviously) to have a baby. That’s the breaks, people. Talking about it probably just makes you feel tireder.

I don’t mind a comment here or there. When it becomes a mantra, I get face-punchy.

3. Unsolicited Parenting Advice

Now serving tummy punches, #24587!Now serving tummy punches for #2873!

I know I’ve already written a post about this, but to summarize:

If I don’t ask for it, it’s probably not a good time to tell me. Everyone has opinions on the best way to parent. The trick is knowing when to offer advice.

Also, people who had a baby 30-40 years ago, I can guarantee you’ve forgotten some stuff and there may or may not have been scientific advancements with children since that time.

4. Keep Your Sick Kid Away from Mine

Two babies. One is sick.Two babies. One is sick.

I don’t wash my hands until they’re bleeding. I don’t wear a tinfoil hat and think sickness is caused by solar flares. I do, however, think it’s good manners to keep your kid at home when they:

• Have a fever
• Have a neon green waterfall out of their nose
• Cough like an 85 year old smoker
• Shoot stomach juice like that geyser, Old Faithful, in Yellowstone Park

5. Telling People to Have (More) Kids

Heed warning signs. Do it.

People who haven’t had children may or may not like kids. We obviously like kids enough to want to have them, but that doesn’t mean everyone does, and even though I know plenty of people who haven’t become parents that would make great ones, it doesn’t mean I need to hound or interrogate them about when they plan to do so.

This also goes to people who ask me about having another kid. This obsession with the number of kids you have has gotten insane. Sometimes it borders on the “enthusiasm” of the circumcision and vaccination discussions. Namely, it’s none of your business how much the sex I’m having is geared toward cooking a baked potato in my wife’s broiler.

Parenting is not a cult. Let’s not recruit like one?

6. Please Manage/Parent your Child

Kids: Spiderman will hate you if you're mean.Kids: Spiderman will hate you if you’re mean.

Let’s first say, I don’t want you to be a helicopter parent swooping in every five seconds because your child has 5 grains of sand on his hand. At least try being a firefighter: spot red flags kid-crazy flare up’s before they happen and take care of explosions when they happen. Knowwhatimeanvern?

Second, don’t put me in the awkward situation of having to throw your kid down a slide after he uppercuts and kicks sand in my son’s face. It’s not my job and it makes me uncomfortable to have to jump in when you’re busy playing Words with Friends on your iPhone.

7. I DO ALL THESE THINGS TOO

Newsflash: I do all these things and talk about them on my blog. Maybe I should enact a New Year’s resolution to stop doing them or at least pare them down. The reason I can talk about them so specifically is because I’ve done most of them, in addition to having these parenting failures thrown at me.

So, did I leave any out? Are there things I do as a parent that piss you off?

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154 Comments

154 Responses to “7 Rules for Parent Etiquette”

  1. Liesbet says:

    Cool. I’m a parent and I agree with all 14!!!
    You could also just say “be tolerant and respectful of others”, but, well, that would have been waaaay more boring and less funny :-)

  2. Michelle says:

    It drives me nuts when fellow parents talk ceaselessly about their kids in mixed (ie. parents and non-parents) company. Sometimes I just need an adult bastion in which kids don’t enter the conversation for once!

    • charlie says:

      Kids definitely take up the bulk of conversation for parents. It’s tough. They are such a big part of our days. But I think it’s important we remember we were people before we were parents, right?

      • Kimberly says:

        We were people BEFORE we were parents? Wha??

      • Entropy says:

        We were also children before we were adults; individuals before we made enough connections to become people and ignorant of this parenting life before we had the honor of becoming parents.

        • SAHD01 says:

          We were people BEFORE we were parents? Wha??

          We were also children before we were adults; individuals before we made enough connections to become people and ignorant of this parenting life before we had the honor of becoming parents.

          I know right? I can not believe the nerve of these two comments. How dare you tell fibs like this: I mean honestly, we were people AND children before we became adults. I want to see scientific evidence of this! :) Ya’ll have a nice day, now.

        • Curtis G says:

          I’m not social by nature, but my son is, so every trip to the park is an opportunity for him to make new single-serving friends—and for me to decide whether to stand off to the side of the other parents checking FB, or engage in conversation. Kids are the one sure point of commonality between us, and make an easy entree into small talk for me. But yeah, I don’t just blather on about my little angel to everybody in earshot.

    • Curtis G says:

      I’m not social by nature, but my son is, so every trip to the park is an opportunity for him to make new single-serving friends—and for me to decide whether to stand off to the side of the other parents checking FB, or engage in conversation. Kids are the one sure point of commonality between us, and make an easy entree into small talk for me. But yeah, I don’t just blather on about my little angel to everybody in earshot.

  3. Delia R says:

    hats off to you and keep on writing because I love reading it! I agree with everything on this list and I’m glad you posted it!lol I’m guilty of doing some of the things on here but, so what, that’s the point, to stop and laugh at the not so appropriate things your doing. sometimes what’s inappropriate to me isn’t to someone else.
    the point is we’re all different and you shouldn’t apologize for speaking your mind! I f someone has a problem with it then maybe they shouldn’t read it.Keep on keeping on:)

  4. Aaron says:

    Freaking hilarious, as per usual.

    My big pet-peeve is completely ignoring your kids events or concerts to post on your smartphone how you are supporting your brilliant kids… then tweeting about it… and then checking in with 4square… etc., etc.

    • charlie says:

      I think technology has been a huge detractor in some ways from parenting kids directly. We take pictures instead of recording memories and being participants. That sucks. I find myself trying to balance that bullshit too. But the social media overload is too much to bear.

      • Entropic Whisper says:

        Agreed.

        I was rather certain technology was going to be a problem for parenting & the race in general the night I was out at a restaurant and the parents two tables away decided to placate their children by activating a portable dvd player.

        Not only did it become apparent that the parents and the children stopped paying attention to one another once the movie started to play but the volume stayed so high that half of Olive Garden knew what was happening to the cartoon characters without looking.

        • Emily says:

          We bought our older two boys Nintendo 3DSs for Christmas, and I have to say they’ve been a Godsend while we’re out in public (in certain situations). It’s usually when they have to sit still in a quiet location for any length of time (in the bank lobby while I’m waiting in line for 20 minutes, for example). I always make sure the volume is down completely though. A DVD player at the dinner table is ridiculous though. The kids probably would have made less noise than the DVD player if the parents hadn’t turned it on. What **KILLS** me though is when you see kids at the playground/park sitting on a bench playing video games. Seriously people?! I’ve noticed though that they’re generally the children of the parents who sit and play with their smartphones the whole time.

        • Nat says:

          We’ve done that (not on high volume, of course), but our 2 boys are very young and very spirited, and a meal out is a rare occurrence as a result. It sucks never being able to go out with them because heaven forbid our kids annoy someone. Maybe you should cut them some slack; it might have been the only way they could get out of the house for once. Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do to get you through the meal.

          • LisaC says:

            umm, earbuds? If you are making that choice, I mean. I can see doing it, in situations where you have been on vacation and it’s the 37th meal out in a row, etc. But not so that it would bug anyone around us.

  5. lol thanks for posting this today…I needed a good laugh after the ridiculous morning I just had!

    I 100% agree with every single point. To expand on point #1 though, I also hate the parents who HAVE to out-do other parents. Like if I start talking about how baby J got his first tooth…I really don’t care if your kid has 20 and is 1 month younger. This isn’t a friggin competition.

    And unsolicited parent advice!? omg inlaws are the worst…maybe I’m a little testy because I had to endure 9 straight days of hell with my mother in law and her know-it-all attitude, but really if you’re not voted #1 parents then shut it, no one cares what you think lady! {that was clearly a little bit of a vent….mostly because I can’t post it on my own blog since she tends to read that} ugh

    • charlie says:

      I need a ridiculous laugh too. I swear I’m more stressed out than I ever have been and my son has some sort of bronchial infection, so I’m ready to punch nature in the face.

      Thankfully, my family doesn’t read this blog. It’s a blessing and a curse I guess.

  6. Becky T. says:

    I also agree totally with you.

    One that hasn’t happened in awhile (mainly cuz I don’t have toddlers anymore) is when I was in a store and my child would get all cranky and demanding about something and a total stranger would say and/or sing “looks like it’s nap time” and give that shut your kid up look to me. LISTEN. As far as I can see, “looks like you don’t like kids and don’t have a CLUE what is happening in our day,” so mind your business. Or even worse, they would mumble just loud enough how rude I was. Don’t even make me. Walk a mile in a mother’s shoes and then maybe you can make those comments!

    Whew. That one really makes me mad. Thanks for letting me share. :-)

    • charlie says:

      The condescending, “you should be parenting better” comments from strangers ARE INSANE. People say the weirdest stuff around parents and kids. WTH.

      Feel free to share any time.

    • White Chocolate says:

      When people give me or my two year old those looks/comments I look at my son and say “Stop acting like a baby”

      Then, right after they realize “Wait a sec, he is a baby…is that guy making fun of me?”…. I turn and laugh at them as er walk away.

    • Emily says:

      I agree completely. Personally, I could listen to someone else’s kid whine and cry all day, so I never give the parents with “that kid” dirty looks. I just think “Thank God it’s not one of mine.” :)

  7. Pam says:

    Love the stranger danger mustache!
    My son gives me the scariest advice..”Wouldn’t you just love another me” said in a complete 5 year old angel voice!

  8. Julia says:

    Appending to #5, I can’t even count how many people have frowned upon our decision to NOT have kids 13 months apart. My (only) child is about to turn 5, and we are just now talking about the possibility of having another.

    Chill out, people! My kids will still get along with each other/fight with each other just as much as kids close in age, even if they’re 10 or 15 years apart!

    • charlie says:

      People either get too scientific (leaving out the human element) about parenting or they get so fast and loose that there’s no consistency. Both kill me. I know I try to set up orderly things and there are days when I just can’t muster the strength to keep up routines, but the extremes drive me up a wall.

      So you want to another child in a different space of time. WHO CARES?!?!

    • Kimberly says:

      13 months?!?! HOLY CRAP! My two youngest will be 17 months apart and I am DYING. He isn’t even born yet and I’m ready to send him back.

    • StayAtHomeDad says:

      Ours #1 & #2 are 4 yrs apart. And 3 yrs apart for #3. I say don’t beat yourself up about it. We had our first 5 years after we got married out of college. Some people (my relatives) get married right after high school and popping out babies 18 months apart. That wasn’t for us. We needed those 5 yrs to be together and enjoy that time. Yes we would have liked the kids to be closer together, but we don’t dwell on that, it is what it is, and with carreers and schooling, just didn’t work out, so we move on. Our kids are great and are just fine together and with their friends. God has it a plan. Don’t stress it. ;-)

    • Sherlock says:

      Oh, that works fine ^_^ My sister is seven years older than me, and my brother is six years younger. We all get along great (which the occasional brawls), and we love each other.

  9. Kimberly says:

    These are some of the most annoying parts of being a parent. I’ve mentioned to a few people that we’ve considered stopping with our daughter and I’ve learned never to mention it again. Every time I got lectured on how that was apparently the worst thing I could ever do to her, then shoved thief heads in the sand when I tried to give my point of view. I don’t get what it is about being in controls of a child’s life makes some people think that means they have say in EVERYONE’S!

    • charlie says:

      It’s crazy how parents believe that because they have a way of thinking, it’s the right one. It’s so insular and ridiculous for people to assume they have it all down pat.

      Ruining a child doesn’t come from decisions like that. It comes from negligence and lack of love. Period.

      • Entropic Whisper says:

        To be fair, there are also plenty of people out there who have absolutely no experience in parenting who also hold insular & ridiculous assumptions which they are more than happy to shove in our faces for what they believe to be the benefit of all…

        It’s nice to find a place full of so many parents who seem to genuinely give a crap about their children, love for the win.

  10. Stephanie K. says:

    I know I’m guilty of a few of these…specifically telling you and Avara to have more kids hehe! I just love being mommy of two…but I’ll stop here before I get on a roll selling you on having 20 kids :-D

    But back on subject, totally agree with all of these!!!

    • charlie says:

      Hahaha! But I do it too! I see people who I think would make GREAT parents and I go after them about it, teasing and pressuring. It’s like I want other people to join in on my total bliss and total agony of being a parent. I can’t help it either.

      • Stephanie K. says:

        Lol! Nice :-) well you guys made one adorable baby so chance are you’d continue that stat! :-D and watching them play together is simply heaven :-)
        Just sayin ;-)

      • Nicky says:

        I know that (most of) this post/blog is for entertaining purposes, but here is another thought on rule #5:

        My husband and I LOVE kids. Plus – I work as a kindergarten teacher. So people kept telling us what GREAT PARENTS we would make and kept asking when we are planning to have children. Increasingly after our marriage.

        The thing is – we were going through infertility treatment at that time. And those questions and comments HURT LIKE HELL, especially if they came shortly after one of the three misscarriages or after the necessary abortion of a tubal pregnancy…

        We were always very open about our infertility, but many couples who are in the same situation (and there are a lot more than you would ever think of)don’t want everybody in on their medical problems/treatment.
        We are lucky enough that after only three years of treatment we are now parents of beautiful twin daughters.
        Lets see how long it takes until people ask about possible siblings. ;)

        And we have learned to NEVER pressure people about why they are not having kids. NEVER EVER.

        Just saying…

        Nicky

        BTW: I LOOOVE your blog and the kids are just too cute!

        • charlie says:

          Thanks Nicky! Believe me when I say I totally understand where you are coming from. People can be incredibly presumptive and insensitive. I’m sorry you had to endure that. And congrats on twins. You are a superheroine!

        • Mom-of-One says:

          Nicky, I’m right there with you. Except I had to have an emergency hysterectomy and can’t EVER have children. To say we were devastated is an understatement. So when people asked when we’d have a kid, or told us what great parents we’d be, it hurt. A lot. And even though I’m posting this on the Internetz, I don’t exactly go around telling people “Nope, sorry — they had to scoop me out like a jack-o-lantern. Barren, that’s me. I no longer have all the equipment to be a woman.”

          Now that we’ve adopted our amazing, spectacular, phenomenal daughter, people can’t stop asking us when we’re going to “have another”…and those who know we adopted want to know when we’re going to adopt another!

          People, for God’s sake, STOP ASKING SUCH PERSONAL QUESTIONS/MAKING SUCH PERSONAL STATEMENTS!!

        • Melissa says:

          It’s also amazing how quickly people forget you had all these issues after conceiving and having your first child. The constant questioning of are you having another and what our problem is when you say you don’t know… just freaking hurts.

  11. Lisa says:

    I love this!!!
    I would like to add one!
    Having or wanting only one child is not the devil.
    It kind of ties in with the “more children” thing actually. When I say I’m done and am happy with just one I get:
    “Yeah right/that’s what they all say” reaction
    OR the “OMG, your child will be so lonely/spoiled/helpless”.
    Seriously people, I’m an only child too. Last time I checked I’m pretty awesome and my daughter is just as lucky. When I say no more, give the baby stuff away and never look back, I mean it. I don’t know why people fear the only child thing so much.

    • charlie says:

      I wrote a whole post on this subject. People weighed in on both sides, and made compelling arguments. I think that the personality of your child coupled with the resources and the sort of “life plan” you have are the key factors. I know some only children that had a great time and had deep familial connections to cousins or friends. They didn’t need a brother or sister. Others, felt like they missed out.

      More to the point, every case is individual.

      • Carolie says:

        Amen that every case is individual. There are three of us. We moved a LOT. I think that was of great benefit to us — we learned to make friends easily, learned to handle new situations, had lots of cool experiences. My youngest brother thinks we were cheated of a “Leave It to Beaver” childhood, and that we’re irreparably scarred because we didn’t go to school with the same kids from kindergarten through 12th grade.

        So — some people are going to feel that they missed out no matter what, because that’s the way they think, and others will think their experiences were the best, because that’s the way they think.

  12. You left off: Your Kid’s on a Plane, Not at the Playground.

    When he/she is climbing over the seat, throwing cheerios, screamming ‘mommy/daddy’ without a response, or punching the person in front of them repeatedly in the top of the head for three straight closterphobic inducing hours, maybe you could just once step up and exercise a little discipline before the pilot has to make an emergency stop. Your kid can go back to being a free spirit on the concourse without consequences. M’kay?

    • charlie says:

      Oh, dude. Hell yes.

      As the father of a rambunctious two year old, I know how hard it is to have a kid that wants to jungle-gym-out on the plane. But that’s my responsibility. I was talking to a friend who doesn’t have kids and uses a service dog. He had the dog on the plane and the kid in the row in front of him kept coming over to pet the dog. Not once did the parents stop her. I think manners extend to checking with people about limits. Our limits as parents have definitely changed, so we have to be mindful that we don’t assume others have the same mentality.

      • True that. It also just takes one mishandled kid to infect the entire plane like a virus. That kid’s running down the aisle without a shirt and someone’s bloody mary in hand, why can’t I dammn’t?

    • StayAtHomeDad says:

      Amen! I have a baby and 2 other young-uns. If I can keep them occupied and not kicking the person in front of me, then other people should too. Get off your computer and be a parent. I have a son who does not sit still, and I am against having them veg out to a screen to be their babysitter. I read to them, play games with them, talk to them, and also watch one movie with them if it’s a long flight.
      P.S. If you don’t want your seat kicked by a 3-yr old in a car seat, don’t lean your economy seat back all the way. There is just no room for his legs at all.

  13. Elizabeth Shatzer says:

    I don’t need a lecture/your grandchild’s health history, if you hear my kid cough!

    I was in the library one time, and my son started coughing. I had to sit through a 30 minute speech by some old lady about how her granddaughter almost died of croup! I finally managed to butt in and yell, “He had pneumonia. The doctor said he is fine, the cough just takes a long time to go away!”

    Seriously!

    • charlie says:

      Dude, this also brings up all the pseudo-doctors we have in our midst. How many parents think they are a medical professional? Seriously?

      Sorry. Acidophilus is not going to cure that cough. Rubbing sage brush on my son’s forehead is not going to fix a broken arm. Stop pretending to outthink health professionals.

      Good for you if you know what’s going on and have the right solution, but if you start to advise us on health stuff, I will ask to see your diploma.

      • Emily says:

        It really gets me when people say that one of my kids will get sick if they’re outside without a jacket, or if they’re out playing (in warm weather, of course) in a light rain fall and splashing through puddles. NO, you can NOT get pneumonia from playing in the rain!!! If you have a cold or bronchitis and you take really poor care of yourself then it could turn into pneumonia, but letting an otherwise healthy kid splash in mud puddles won’t kill him.

        • StayAtHomeDad says:

          I know. Seriously. You get colds and other illnesses from viruses and bacteria, not from being cold or wet. The barometric pressure changes might cause some sniffles, which for kids might want them to wipe their noses and touch their faces with their germy hands that they were playing in the mud with. But that’s how they get sick. Not from just being outside in the rain.

  14. tracy says:

    Yeah, #4 makes me a little crazy. I’ve had tons of kids come over to our place for a playdate and when they arrive I notice a nonstop stream of thick green boogers running into their mouths and that hacking, once every 20 seconds cough. It pisses me off. Yeah, great, they don’t have a fever so you think they’re not *really* sick. They ARE, though, and now MY family will get sick also. Thanks, dicks.

    • charlie says:

      You know more than one person named Dick?

    • Kye says:

      I’m with you on this one, Tracy. That’s my biggest parental-pet-peeve. Every time I see my niece – BAM, my son is sick with something two days later. **fume**

      • Emily says:

        This bothers me, too. I can see taking a child with a cold (COLD, not bronchitis, hand foot and mouth disease, chicken pox, etc.) out in public. You can’t sit home for 7 – 10 days like a hermit waiting to feel better, but PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE keep your sick kids out of places like Monkey Joe’s, Chuck E Cheese, and any other indoor-type areas where families frequent.

    • Liesbet says:

      Can I make a little side-note here? I understand your frustration, but sometimes you just can’t help it. My daughter is now 1,5 years old and she’s been coughing since she was 4 months old. She’s been on aerosol continuously ever since and if we try loosening up about it, she has another infection within a couple of days. The doctors say she’ll grow out of it when she’s a bit older, she just has to get her immune system up and apparently has to have antibodies for every. single. virus of bacteria around. So maybe she’s contagious, maybe she’s not, we’re never sure… You seriously can’t expect us to stay at home with her for one or two years straight? Kids DO get sick easier, that’s just normal. OK, if she’s down with a really bad cold and she has a fever and/or takes antibiotics, we keep her at home of course… But in between? I don’t think so…

  15. Micky says:

    Excellent points. I would add to #5 that some people are unable to have children, so it is painful to get constant questions about “when are you going to have a baby”.

    • charlie says:

      That is tantamount. Like every person is required to produce children as their goal in life? Come on people.

    • Carolie says:

      And it doesn’t stop when one adopts, or when one is older. I’m 47 years old, chasing my beloved two year old adopted daughter, and people STILL ask me “when are you going to adopt another, so she has a sibling?” or say “now you need to adopt a boy for your husband!”

      Jeez, people, give it a rest!

  16. Michael Gray says:

    These are great. #6 is an especially interesting one for me because I was a public school teacher for many years, and it is melded into my DNA to stop others’ kids from doing something they should not be doing. Sometimes I forget that I’m at the grocery store and not at school.

    Surprisingly, most parents take it in stride as long as you are not overly harsh/annoyed/equipped with deadly weapons.

    #2 is a big one for me too. Give me some space Mr. Ford F350!

    On another note, I recently published “7 Christmas Concert Parent Fails” that is similar in nature to this post. I also featured and linked to your hilarious Baby Sleep Positions Illustrations. Hilarious.

  17. I love you. That is all.

  18. Kami says:

    I don’t normally comment rants, but this post riled me a bit.
    [rant] It’s interesting how, as a NP (non parent), how much I relate to people asking when I’ll have kids.
    Or if I’ll ever have kids.
    Or if I like kids.
    Or…
    Stop it!!!! My father was/is the WORST, and your parents are one of the last people on earth you want to discuss reproductivity with. It drives me INSANE when people assume I just don’t like kids, or just want to travel the rest of my life. Seriously- you have NO IDEA what is going on behind closed doors, and no one seems to realise the possibility of people existing who want kids BUT CAN’T HAVE THEM. It’s torture, folks. I have zero desire to end up like the Griswalds’ neighbors in Christmas Vacation, but unless you want to hand me your life savings so I can solve my problem via adoption, SHUT UP.

    Oh, rant #2: Parents everywhere- chill out the opinions on adopted kids, like they are second rate or unwanted. *I* myself am adopted, and thank god everyday I have the parents I do. There’s nothing wrong with me, and there’s nothing wrong with my parents! SHEESH
    [/rant]
    I swear, I really am a kind, considerate, happy person! This comment just doesn’t betray that. lol

    • charlie says:

      On Rant #1: It sucks any way you slice it. The constant insistence on anything makes me crazy. Kids are a big move. Why are we trying to push people faster? We get enough of that.

      On Rant #2: Adoption is one of the most under-appreciated systems we have in this country. My wife and I have talked many times about that process and we have friends who’ve had a lovely time with their adopted children. The Catholic Church no longer handles it as much as they used to, and as a bridge to taking up the mantle, more people should get involved with supporting adoption. There are so many great kids looking for homes. Let’s make it happen people!

  19. Carla says:

    I am not one of those rubber band girls. My stomach did not magically return to it’s former pristine bikini condition after giving birth, and after having three children, I have a tummy. My biggest beef with people EVERYWHERE, is when they ask me if I am pregnant! I understand that they want to “share in my joy,” but YOU SHOULD NEVER ASK SOMEONE IF THEY ARE PREGNANT! I have weight issues and it hurts my feelings! My usual response is “No, I’m just fat.” That way we can both feel bad.

  20. Annie says:

    I have noticed that I get treated as a stupid teen parent on a regular basis. I do not have the patience to explain that I am far older than I look. I am a veteran who is three months from my degree. I am a single parent after a long marriage that ended in us choosing to co-parent as good friends. I am also very close to his soon to be wife. So my point is people need to stop judging me based off of the fact that I look young and I have a three and a half year old. The only good that comes out of this situation is people do not constantly ask me if I plan to have more children. The answer is no I do not plan to anymore. I am perfectly fulfilled with the one kid I have. I do not walk around judging other parents based on how they appear at the moment. I wish more people would do the same.

    Also when I see a kid throwing a fit in public I just give parents the “I so know what you are going through look” and move on. I take my daughters behavior in public very seriously but sometimes we have to shop when they are tired. So people need to get over it. I promise to get in and out as quickly as possible. My thoughts on this change if the parent spends three hours in the store ignoring their screaming kid. That is just ridiculous.

    On the other hand I agree that parents need to attempt to maintain their child. I do not think it is my job to step in if their child is beating on my kid. It is ridiculous that parents spend more time on their effing phones than talking to their kid. At times I wish I could destroy my phone because I hate it.

    I actually had an incident where I showed up to get my daughter from preschool. A kid walked up to me and kicked me in the knee really hard. (first things first I injured my knees in the military so it hurt.) I am not sure what I did to this kid to get that sort of response. Regardless I turned to him and gave him the eye. I then gave him the eye the entire time I was in that room. And on my way out the door. I suppose I am scary because that kid hasn’t come near me since. If my daughter did that to a parent I would expect they would do the same.

    well look at me getting all ranty… phew I think I feel better. :)

  21. Annie says:

    btw I am more tireder than you. I am almost positive that this is true. Yep very very very tired. I would like to start a score chart on this issue so we can compare. ;)

    • charlie says:

      You most certainly not tirdererer than me right now.

      • Annie says:

        haha this time you win. I was required to go to every auto show every year growing up. I am pretty sure you are currently tirederererer than me right now. I at least lived 25 minutes from it. I can’t imagine having to fly across the country and then attend the auto show!

  22. Justin Brown says:

    awesome writeup! I read once that truly gifted ‘genius’ kids spell at 18months. When i hear a parent say “my kid is soooo smart” or when my own kid says “I’m the smartest ever”, i ask him to spell ‘Police’. Then i say “Some 1yr olds can do this, and you are 6″.

  23. Jamie says:

    this might just be because i am a young mom and most of the moms i know are younger but i hate the people who constantly have a sitter/grandparents on call and expect everyone else does too. “oh cmon! we are going out to dinner in like an hour….just call a sitter!” like they’re just hanging out by the curb waiting to be invited in…and like they don’t cost more than the actual night. babysitter/night out are well planned events in our lives for the most part. quit making me feel lame i won’t out my.social life above my kid. *end rant*

    • Leah says:

      Thankfully my friends got used to another friend of mine being forced to beg out of events because of her kid, so now that I have one, too, they don’t get offended if I can’t come. Plus they’re my main babysitters, so if they’re all doing something together they actually will try to do things when we can bring the kids because they like seeing them. I’m happy that they still invite me even to things I can’t attend.

      I agree about getting a sitter for a night out being well planned in advance!

  24. Brian says:

    Veery good post. Like you I hate all these things but I find myself doin them sometimes. I think I saw an instance for a rule number #8 the other day. Don’t “parent” your kids so loudly that everyone in the restaurant or other public place can hear you. My wife and I were at one of those fancy-ish cook your food in front of you places the other night and there was a lady there with six kids ages 2-12. She couldn’t get any food because she was talking so loudly about everything under the sun as well as telling her kids things like “You are cold because you are over tired. Ask your grandpa, I have always been like that. You shouldn’t have stayed up all night playing games with so and so.” luckily they were about done eating (well everyone but her) when we got seated. Loud Know it all parents really annoy me.

  25. Emily says:

    Well actually, since other people are ranting, I think I will too. My two older kids (both boys, ages 7 and 6) have ADHD, and my 7 year old as Asperger’s Syndrome. He’s medicated for the ADHD, but I don’t give it to him in the afternoon because he won’t sleep at night if I do. He’s more of the spacey/won’t pay attention ADHD, and the Asperger’s isn’t treatable with meds. My 6 year old is impulsive/hyperactive ADHD, and is constantly going 90 mph (everything–legs, brain, mouth, you name it). I *try* to keep a rein on them when we’re out in public, but sometimes they just act out, and nothing works. So far we haven’t had any horrible accidents (running down the aisle and does a face plant into someone else’s shopping cart, etc.) I get dirty looks from people when my oldest is doing his spacey-ADHD thing and isn’t paying attention and blocks the aisle, or when my 6 year old pops out from the paper towel shelf (the big ones on the bottom at Walmart) because he’s been hiding in it and is finished). I guess my point is, when it comes to kids behaving in public, people need to chill out because you never know what special needs the child may have. I’m terribly sorry if my 7 year old is on the left side of the aisle, staring at the shark shaped Cheerios holder and doesn’t see you standing there. If you’re in that big a hurry to get your All Bran cereal, just say “excuse me” and I’ll gladly stop trying to keep my two year old from climbing out of his seat belt in the cart to reach the glass bottles of honey on the top shelf, and I’ll pull my oldest out of your way and even throw in an apology to you! Don’t stand there clearing your throat and giving me eat shit looks. Thanks. :)

    • Silvia says:

      Emily, I totally get where you are coming from and before I had children I did wonder about why parents let their children scream in the supermarket, but now I totally get it. Even children without special needs have meltdowns, and there is nigh on nothing you can do about it. Also, I have a child with a tracheostomy, who can’t swallow so he has (1) a thing in his neck and (2) spittle around his mouth. I just ask that you don’t stare and treat him as you would any other child. I also have non-special needs children and sometimes they behave worse than a child with ADHD. People’s dirty looks don’t help, they just make me angry and then a worse parent as I take it out on my children. I’m only human after all!

      • Emily says:

        I think it’s *awful* when people stare at children with physical disabilities (I’m not trying to offend you–I don’t know what else to call a tracheostomy!). I’ll occasionally see someone (children and adults alike) in a wheel chair, a halo brace, etc. out of the corner of my eye and I’ll quickly look away. It’s disgusting how many people I see around me whispering and sometimes out right pointing. And these aren’t kids–these are adults! My 4 year old niece has two large hemangiomas–one on her right cheek and one behind her right eye (you can’t see it, but it makes her eye bulge a tiny bit, and it’s also crossed/turned in slightly). My sister is constantly getting stares, whispers, and all too often, someone who walks right up to her and asks her, “What’s wrong with her?” and points to my niece. She’s gotten used to it now, but it used to really upset her. She started out by telling people what it was, all the medical lingo, etc. I went to visit a few years ago and this happened while I was with her. The woman said, “Oh bless her little heart, what happened to her face?!” I looked at the woman with a confused look on my face and said, “What do you mean?” She said, “Her eye and her cheek.” I looked my niece over thoroughly and said, “I’m sorry, but I have no idea what you’re talking about.” and shrugged. The woman sort of turned up her nose and walked away. The rudeness of some people never ceases to amaze me.

  26. Pamela says:

    I’m completely talking about how tired I am constantly! So guilty. This was an awesome read, ty!

  27. Novaculite says:

    Extraneous apostrophe in #6. The remainder of the post was great.

    • charlie says:

      Why’ did’nt I see that’? Your’e so right. Which word’s was ‘it’?

      I should probably have stopp’ed writing this post at 4′am and just deleted it.

  28. Dad Versus says:

    I think you nailed it. When the news spread in the office that I became a new dad, I got a crap load of people asking me if I get any sleep. How I should take care of my baby. When will #2 be on the way.

    I don’t even think I’m guilty of doing these because I like to poke into another person’s life with questions they haven’t heard yet.

  29. Except for #’s 5 & 6, silence and the “social smile” pretty much work for me in those situations. I have a real pet peeve about people thinking it is cute that their snotty nosed kid is reaching for my child’s sippy cup. When they stand by as their little cherub COUGHS REPEATEDLY in my kids’ faces……..yeah don’t get me started. I’m the mom with the wipes and the antibacterial gel.

  30. Kathleen says:

    Here’s a rule addendum to rule #5

    As I’m struggling to get my 6, 3 and 1 year olds buckled in their respective carseats and facing some considerable resistance… a woman (with a +/- 8 year old girl and a =/- 10 year old boy) says “didn’t anyone ever tell you the rule that you should only have one child per hand?” Luckily, I didn’t have a free one… that’s all I’m saying. If you already HAVE the kids, that conversation is a bit late, INDEED!

  31. Pedro says:

    I completely agree with all of them… but I have to confess my imperfections… forgive me father for I’ve sinned. I guess from time to time we all fall in the trap of some of thoee (well, I do)

  32. Christina says:

    In defense of the hounding friends to have kids thing…

    My husband and I are the only parents in our circle of friends and we are uncomfortable inviting friends over who have no clue what parenting is like =p Non-parents can be very unforgiving of less than perfect kids and its not fun being the people to expose people we actually like to the perceived torture of peas flying across the dining table or the two year old who keeps appearing at the top of the stairs demanding more water because he just doesn’t want to sleep =p

    So…we want our friends to have kids so we can invite them over guilt-free for a fun night of joking about parenting and playing games like cranium and drinking beer til midnight =p Or at least 10pm because that’s more realistic as a parent…lol.

  33. Gale says:

    Amen to the not asking parents to have more kids! It was less than a week before I was out of the hospital with my first when someone asked if I planned to have any more. My first thought was “Can’t I let the episiotomy heal before I decide that?”

  34. Gale says:

    (But I’m so guilty of the talking about being tired on that I literally made a t-shirt about it…really). That was a while ago. Just found your blog. My husband and I were laughing so hard we were crying over the sleep positions…ah, the memories. Bad, bad, memories.

  35. Love your blog! Also (don’t) love the who’s tireder game (we have a 15 month old). My hubbie and I play it all the time. Nobody wins :(

  36. samli says:

    u look cute on your tired-pic
    you should always be tired!!!! :DDD

  37. Kate McAtee says:

    You’re my hero. Yep, this one is going on the fridge.

    Simply,
    Kate

  38. Lia says:

    hahahahhahahaa they’re sooo true :) you’re hillarious…though I must admit, I sometime too… unconsciously violate those 7 rules :D

  39. StayAtHomeDad says:

    #6. The other day, a gaggle of kids and their mom get out of their car and toss an empty milk carton my way on the ground. I call to the tween boy and ask him to pick it up (the trash can is just 20 feet away on the way to the store they are heading for). He does but then his mother starts berating me for this. I simply reply, “yes, I had to say something”. I wouldn’t have to be the parent if you would. It’s unlawful to litter and disrespectful to others who have to walk over your trash because you are too lazy. A lot of the times these kids learn it from their parents.
    If I have a turned head, I welcome someone to come to me or my kid and bring to their attention what they did wrong. I can’t be everywhere at once. And afterwards, I will have something to say to my child about the occurence, not to berate the person who is trying to help the child be a better person.

  40. Jennifer says:

    they are all so true. i also had a problem with how many “adults” stare, point and say stupid things about children that don’t look “normal”. my son wore a doc band for 3 months and it amazed me that some people would say “what’s wrong with him?” i’d try to respond without screaming at them with “nothing, what’s wrong with YOU?!?” i do have some additions though :-)…

    #1 – STOP telling me that we’re DONE having children…my husband, myself and GOD are the controllers of our egg/sperm. If we decide to create yet another child with it (mind you we only have 2) then so.be.it!!

    #2 – If I am alone, with a buggy FULL of groceries, and my 2 kids under 3, I will most definately be taking my time putting them all into the car. I will not hurry for you while you wait and block the row with your vehicle.

    That’s all for now… lol

    • Emily says:

      That kills me when someone idles and waits for me to put the kids and groceries into the car and has the nerve to give me a dirty look. I’m usually pretty fast but when that happens I purposely take my time. To add insult to injury, occasionally I’ll take out my cell and sit on the bumper and make a call. :)

  41. [...] Think I’m grumpy about NON-PARENTS? Try this same article about annoying PARENTS! [...]

  42. Beth says:

    what about other parents telling you that you cannot have just one child. You must have at least two so the first one doesn’t get lonely, or so you have a spare in case something happens to the first child. I’m sorry but having a child as a replacement for the first born is not a reason to have another child. If I only want one child then I’m only going to have one child. If I decide to have another child then it’s not because I want a replacement child or a spare or a must have companion for said first born, it is because my husband and I have decided we want another one. So, stop insisting I have a spare child. phew, that felt good :-)

  43. Jennifer says:

    I preface this by saying I give a wide berth to kids in public or on playgrounds, generally allowing for spastic behavior or typical toddler/preschool shenanigans. But please PLEASE don’t coddle/defend your child when they are behaving in a bratty/obnoxious way. Recently watched a heated exchange between two mothers when one mother dared to swat (in a remarkably retrained manner) a little girls hand when she quite viciously took hold of and refused to let go of her daughters hair (pulling to get her off a toy) and the mother of the hair-puller freaked out about the hand slap. I had a tense interaction with a father when his son attempted to climb into the little car my son was driving that was attached to our shopping cart at the grocery store. My son (2.5) first said “No!” and as I attempted to intervene and ask him not to climb into the car, the child (2.5-3) dove into the car, head first into my son, my son pushed him out and the little boy fell on the floor. The father said “That was uncalled for!”, I told him I hoped he was referring to his son’s behavior. A few tense words later, we parted ways until we me them in the parking lot as we were driving away…his son jumped in front of my car and I had to stop suddenly as the father yelled at ME for…? Ugh. I am always the first to apologize if my son causes an inconvenience for someone else. I make him apologize for bad behavior. I apologize for my own failures if he does something wrong. It’s the right thing to do and when other people don’t it burns me.

  44. Megs says:

    My husband and I do not want to have kids. That’s not to say that we don’t like kids, we just don’t want to have them for ourselves for a variety of reasons. Telling me that I’ll change my mind as I get older (I’m 28 and made this decision a few years ago — I don’t think time is going to do it for me) or that it’s different when it is my own kid is just patronizing and disrespectful. You don’t know why we made the descision so BUTT OUT!! ok, end rant on that one. It’s been a sore subject for the past year or so, can you tell??

    I think my biggest thing with parents is probably the lack of supervision I sometimes see. In my neighborhood, there are a LOT of kids but I never actually seem to see any parents watching them. And some of them seem young to me to be outside PLAYING IN THE STREET with no supervision. Like maybe 5 to 7 years old. Again, I’m not a parent so maybe that’s an acceptable age to be outside with no supervision? I’m concerned for their safety. I drive pretty slow through when in the subdivision because I know these kids will not get out the street (and onto the sidewalk) at the sight of a car or out of my driveway when I pull in. I’ve had to stop completely before for a few minutes to wait for these kids to get out of the road. Is that unrealistic? We have teenagers in the neighborhood that have just gotten their license and I know they aren’t going to be as careful all the time as I am. I really do not want to see these kids get hurt.

    • Emily says:

      I think the age kids should be allowed to play on the street depends on each individual child. My boys are 7 and 6 and I let them play outside unsupervised. Our 8 year old neighbor has absolutely NO business playing outside unsupervised, but his parents just toss him out and let him fend for himself. Our neighbor’s 5 year old grandson comes to visit occasionally and he plays outside alone. He’s better behaved than my kids most of the time, lol. Some of the other neighborhood kids come to our street to play/ride bikes because we live on a cul-de-sac. It really burns me up to see these kids behave the way they do sometimes. If I had a nickel for every time I pulled out of the driveway in the car only to have one of the kids dart out in front of me on their bikes, I’d be wealthy.

      Just out of curiosity (and I am only being curious–not trying to be unkind), if you’ve made the decision not to have kids, why do you read a parenting blog? :)

      • Megs says:

        That’s a totally legit question! I read a bunch of other blogs and often check out the ones they have linked on their site. I can’t remember which one sent me here butI stayed to check it out. It’s pretty hilarious even if you aren’t a parent. It’s also been really interesting, a lot of my friends are pregnant or have kids already so this has given me more insight into what they are dealing with.

  45. Emily says:

    You should check out scarymommy.com. The confessional is AWESOME! :)

  46. qatheworld says:

    Worst repeatedly received unsolicited parenting advice:

    1) “If he were my kid I wouldn’t let him run around like that, I’d be afraid someone would kidnap him.” What is this, a threat? We’re in a contained environment, we can see each other, do you know how fatiguing it can be to hold hands all the time?

    2) “You’re walking too fast for his little legs” (Usually by elderly, slow-moving great-grandparently types). Trust me, if I’m going too fast, or if I’m going too slow, my son will voice his own opinion. Generally it changes from one moment to the next “Faster mommy, run run! Nooooo…. not faaaaster”. When I receive these comments we are just walking! Just because we are walking faster than you are does not mean he “can’t keep up.” Does every other kid nowadays under the age of 7 get strapped into a stroller?

    -Parent of active kid, thank you very much. And glad of it.

  47. JeninCanada says:

    “Second, don’t put me in the awkward situation of having to throw your kid down a slide after he uppercuts and kicks sand in my son’s face.” This made me laugh out loud. I’m that parent sometimes, the attentive one at the edge of the playground keeping an eye on the kids while the other parents are off doing something else or just not paying attention. If/when there’s a conflict and it starts getting heated or heads into out of control fast, I’m there intervening, and then getting dirty looks from the other kid’s parent because I reprimanded their precious darling! Probably right after I did the same to my own. :P

  48. Alex says:

    Well… Being Russian, leaving in Moscow… I thought it is a real huge difference between us and dads in US… But I’m so glad to understand, once again, that we all are really the same – with same problems and questions! And together we are able to change the whole world, by starting with ourselves! Thank you for your great international job!

  49. Jenn says:

    To go along with the more kids, how about comments about having too many? I know that my mom does not approve of me having a 5th child but ya know what? Just because she only had 4, doesn’t mean that’s the max for me. My hubby and I want another child, what’s she gonna do? Sleep between us so we can’t try? Haha, there is such a thing as the couch… :)

  50. Lindsay says:

    I am glad to see this surface.. cause I am pissed about the first installment, but my pissed off-ness came way later and I felt stupid going back to an old post to give my two-cents…

    RESPECT THE STROLLER! I am (now 8months) pregnant.. I am an obvious pregnant at 100lbs pre-pregnancy and 125lbs now.. there is none of that ‘fat or pregnant’ debate from couples at the super market, it is ALL baby.

    and I have been hit 3 MFing times now by a stroller. FOR REAL. So here is my question.. who deserves the space respect? the pregnant woman or the god damn stroller?

  51. Dan says:

    As a smoker and a parent myself(No, the two never meet…), I had to come to this one to see if there were parenting tips about smokers. I think you missed a major one that parents need to know. Parents, if you see people in an area obviously marked as a smoking area, and there are smokers there, DO NOT take your kids over there, and then complain about people smoking around your children. I understand both sides of the argument here, but smokers are now relegated to specific areas outside, and it’s the only places we have to enjoy our legal addictions when in public. Whereas, you can take your screaming little monsters anywhere you seemingly want.

    Which leads into another rule for parents you missed. I like that you mentioned not complaining about loud kids in public areas. It’s nice. But, at restaurants, and I mean the nice sit down ones where it cost at least $15 for the main course not a McD’s with a Funland, if you can’t afford a sitter, then you can’t afford to eat there. I understand the need to go out and have a nice dinner, especially when you have kids. But, until those kids understand that they need to behave at some places, you need to hire a baby-sitter for your hellspawn. It ruins the mood to listen to a toddler wail about not liking sushi, and wanting a happy meal instead, and it doesn’t accomplish anything from a parental standpoint. The kid doesn’t understand or even desire the fine dining experience, and you won’t get any enjoyment out of it. So just stop it. You can entrust your kids to someone else for a few hours.

    • Marshall says:

      Agree on your first point (same here…and the two never meet, despite how hard it is for others to apparently believe). This is a moot point for me most of the time now that smoking has been moved outside of all restaurants (now you have to walk through it to get in…good job).

      As for the second, where do you draw the line? I’m not about to take my kids to a fancy/expensive restaurant (not for them and too expensive), but there are people out there that think I should basically be relegated to drive-throughs and curbside service until my kids are in the double digits. The way I see it, if they’ve got a kids menu and crayons for the kids, it’s fair game. I promise to not be irresponsible, but I’m not about to be treated like a second-class citizen on account of the fact that we chose to have children. My oldest needs to get out every bit as much as (stay-at-home) mommy and daddy do…

  52. Jaya says:

    Whoo hoo! The sick kids one hits a nerve! I can deal with things people say, but green boogers piss me off! I was doing childcare the other day for a mom’s excersise class and one kid had green boogers I kept having to wipe! My baby was with me. I kept going to wash our hands and was nervous when he touched stuff the other kid touched. I know the mom and she’s nice enough. I mentioned he had green boogers at the end of class. She laughed and said, “Sorry, I forgot to blow his nose with him before class.” Eww! I would skip class and focus on my sick son! I guess it’s all immune system building…

  53. Kirstin says:

    You missed one – quit over-sharing on Facebook. Pictures, videos and written posts are cute on a limited bases….. But I don’t want to see 40 pictures of your Kid playing with an iPad. Or to hear every single day about your pregnancy symptoms. Milestones are great, but come on!!! Some people over share.

    • Nicky says:

      And never forget: the internet NEVER FORGETS.
      How do you think your 15year old wanna-be-cool son likes it, if his friends find pictures of him butt-naked on the potty or smeared with mashed carrots or else, print them in large and display them in school? Pictures and information we think are cute or funny, they think are embarrassing.
      Plus they have a right to decide themselves which pictures of them are to be seen by the world.
      We have two pictures of our girls on facebook: On one you can see their feet and on the other one they are pictured from behind.

  54. Troy T says:

    Good stuff, Charlie! You’re doing good things for all Dads, keep it up!

  55. Troy T says:

    Great stuff, Charlie! You’re doing great things for dads across the board…keep it up! – Toronto, Ontario

  56. Anna says:

    Don’t talk about your kids in front of them… as if they are not even there. Especially comparing them to each other or someone else’s. How would you feel if a group of people started discussing your latest challenges, habits, weight, or cute (or stupid) things you did or said… while you are right there!
    Little people have ears and hearts.

  57. Michael says:

    There needs to be a message to all airline passengers without kids. If there’s ever a situation to make me in your words “face-punchy” it’s doing everything humanly possible to comfort my infant daughter so she doesn’t cry on a plane only to be met by people giving my wife and I death stares while whispering insults. Yes my baby is crying and no it’s not because I think it sounds soothing.

  58. Tiffini C. says:

    Except for #4, the list is pretty spot on. Frankly, kids are gonna get sick. You can blame the kid who has a green Niagara Falls coming out their nose, but it’s more likely the kid who looks fine and is still incubating that made your kid sick. With three young kids, there are times where they are sick for weeks on end, and hell if I’m not gonna get them out of the house occasionally to save the sanity of all involved. And frankly, people aren’t allowed to call into work any more (even though that’s an asshole move, too) so you may as well get them used to being sick and active so they don’t grow up to be giant babies.

    • charlie says:

      Inoculating yourself and getting rest is not being a baby. It’s prudent advice. Also, I know (BECAUSE WE DEAL WITH THIS) that not everyone can stay home with their kid, but it’s kind of your responsibility at the end of the day. If your child has a fever (and aren’t teething) with green snot, guess what? They’re sick. I’m not doctor. But that’s just what I’ve noticed.

  59. Marshall says:

    Almost as annoying as the parents complaining about how tired they are (especially when it’s the one guy who had his one between your two and a half year old and now one-year old twins), are the people who have to point out how tired you look despite the fact that you’re not complaining about how tired you feel. Maybe the complaining is a defense mechanism for that?

  60. Lynann says:

    Just a variation on #3: Just because you have made a decision to parent in a certain way, does not mean it’s the only RIGHT way.” In other words: “Back off bitch!”. Said to no one in particular…except maybe two people that will remain nameless.

  61. Gayle says:

    Love all of them!!! I have four and I hate it when people says ” Don’t you know what causing that?” So I say “Well HELL YEAH that is why I keep doing it!!!!” lol If I have 4 or 10 it is nobody’s business! Unless you are paying my bills and putting food on the table!!!!! So that means it is between me and my hubby!!!! Who by the way wants more!!lol lol lol

  62. miss brown says:

    Re: the special snowflake. I don’t understand why people don’t want to hear stories about other kids and parents – a.k.a. talking about how “brilliant” your kids are. People who truly do understand that kids develop at different rates wouldn’t be pouty or envious that a parent is excitedly talking about their kid’s latest firsts in life, or the cool thing they did today.

    I have a friend with a freakishly science-genius four-year-old, and a friend with a developmentally disabled child. I totally want to read their Facebook posts, whether it’s because the former started telling her 7-year-old sister the basics of physics or because the latter has learned to nod his head to indicate he’s hungry.

    Same with the thing about being tired. People complain about stuff in their lives — their shitty boss, their failing eyesight, the fact that they haven’t slept in two months. In the latter category, they might also be apologizing while telling their woeful tale, because they know they’ve lost their memory and are probably not being a good friend/spouse/employee and they are half psychotic.

    Basically? It sounds like you’re competitive and projecting that onto other parents. It’s not a tiredness war. We do each have a special snowflake. Deal with it.

  63. Ryan says:

    We are officially burnt out on # 5. Our son Dylan is a cute kid. This seems to be a good enough excuse for people to lay on the guilt about not wanting to have another child? We are the done at one family. SO what if our kids is cute, does that mean we’re supposed to have another one solely bases on cuteness? I think not? But what do I know i”m just a uterus with legs?

  64. I am soooo guilty of the man-I’m-tired one – but to be fair, mine were horrendous sleepers and we never got more than 4 fractured cumulative hours a night, for like 5 years, so allow it, yeh?!

    Love your expression ‘face-punchy’. I think you’ll find I’m going to be stealing that, a lot, ok?

  65. I thought this was a parenting notebook, so I’ve diligently done every one , that’s right isn’t it?….In the most tired game… the wife always wins.. mkay?

  66. Kate says:

    Where’s the link to the story about why your parents didn’t decide to have you?

  67. Erin says:

    I am so guilty of #3. When my son was born, I used to tell everyone that he wasn’t going to watch TV until he was at least 2 because of the research that linked it to ADHD. And then I stayed home with him for 2 weeks when he was 14 months old. We started watching baby TV then (when I needed to cook or do the dishes without having a toddler pulling out all of the knives) and haven’t looked back.

  68. Aneta says:

    Love all these rules and would like to contribute with a few pregnancy induced laws: No its not okay to tell me I’m getting ‘big’ or ‘tiny’ or how long you wore your regular clothes….weight comments are still off the table people; No its not okay to ask if someone is pregnant…..i would reserve the question until crowning really; No its not ok to touch me…don’t ask to touch me either I’m not an experiment..and no its not ok to tell a pregnant woman how you empathize with her about anything if she’s not sharing any woes with you…stop asking about pregnancy ailments all together really…you are not a doctor so zip it.

  69. Mike G says:

    Wait… you has lazors for eyes?

    Will you come over and entertain my cats?

    P.S. DO NOT HUMP

  70. Mary says:

    How about: stop parenting my child when I’m standing right there and watching over him? If I’m okay with what he is doing then it’s not your place to tell him,’no’!

  71. Louise says:

    I agree with these totally! My mother-in-law drops unsolicited advice every time we see her. Her youngest son is 29 and still lives at home! Irony, much?

    And people, please stop doing pouty faces when I tell you I am not having more children. Not only are you wishing several pregnancy-related illnesses on me, but in order for us to afford another child, I would have to work five nights a week, never see my husband, and miss two children grow up. I would much rather not be sick, not have pnd, and be there for my one, very loved, child.

  72. Tony says:

    Oh man. #6 is so freaking true. And it’s awkward when it’s one of your child’s classmates/playmates he hangs out with and you stand there with his parent small talking while his kid goes Hulk-Smash running around the whole place and your kid wants to have fun but looks at you like a dog on a tight leash knowing that behavior is just over the top. And you keep looking at the parent, his kid, back at the parent, his kid and you expect them to say something but they don’t. Then when I make the decision my kid’s not going to hang out with that kid again you feel like an ogre. Sheesh.

  73. Krysta says:

    This was a great read! Just the other day I overheard an older gent talking to a new mom…the first question he asked her was if her babe was sleeping through the night yet, I wanted to jump over the counter and tackle him to the ground and shout hey buddy do you sleep through the night all night every night?!? He then went on to tell her about his kids wonderfully perfect sleep patterns (his kids would prob be about 20 or 30 now!)

  74. Whitney says:

    I am a parent and have been found guilty of ALL of these. My son was two months premature, and I find myself constantly bragging about his milestones and how early he accomplished them. Its nice to be proud of your children, but it can go a little far when having conversations with people.

    I can definitely relate.

  75. FroatFace says:

    Ugh. Tonight at soccer practice, I brought a bubble wand, toys, snack and drinks for my 3 year old and 1 year old. This particular father never brings snacks or drinks for his children and he lets them run effing AMUCK! Every week the children do something to top the last hideous thing they did. Tonight they stole my snacks, tried to steal my kids drinks (every week this happens) and stole my baby’s bubble wand, dumped out the bubbles and proceeded to beat on another parent’s iPad with it WHILE he was innocently playing candy crush sitting with his family, trying to absorb what was left of the day’s heat. Yeezus!!!! Maybe I just needed to vent. If the parent absolutely refuses to do ANYTHING at all about it, what can I even do? Not like I can put my hands on them.

  76. CapitalBabs says:

    I would love to throw out a corollary to #5 – not only is it rude to tell someone they should have (more) kids, presuming you think you know when someone should STOP having kids is also mind-bogglingly rude whether it comes from a parent or not. But somehow, it seems more excusable from a non-parent that they would have a hard time imagining that someone is actually TRYING for kid #5 since they don’t have a frame of reference but yeah from other parents, it’s just obnoxious. I say this as an observer since I’m a “late bloomer” and only on my first at 41 but I’ve seen it more than I can count… how many kids someone else has is their decision and your opinion on their situation simply doesn’t count unless you’re asked for it.. sheesh.

  77. Kimithee says:

    I have to agree with the respectful thing. Don’t bring your kids to my house and let them dance on my coffee table or jump on my couch and think it’s cute. Just because you let them do it at your house doesn’t mean they can do it at mine.

  78. Natasha says:

    “Neon green waterfall” lmao I just love showing up for a play date and getting the “by the way my child has Ebola/plague” or they ignore that their child has a snot stream down the zipper . I can’t leave because my child is already hand in hand with sick child. So awkward and unnerving !

  79. Greg says:

    #3 there’s a reason why this is typed with the same key. My mother is constantly assailing me and my wife(alternating texts to make it seem less frequent) with “Can I help? Let me know”. What she really means is “Can I barge in while you are both in the shower enjoying some well-earned and casual intimacy that really is just a shower and pick up your child and manhandle her like she is an under-worked ball of pizza dough while you gasp in terror and bite your tongue with all of the mean-spirited criticisms that have built up over the last six months of your child’s life”

  80. Christina says:

    Completely agree with all of these as a parent and as a kindergarten teacher. I especially agree with #4.

  81. Trixie says:

    I just stumbled across this post and it is great! I experienced every one of these… Love the expressions you use too! I would literally get nauseous when kids with the constant green nostril faucet were in my kids general vicinity. And the other kids at the playground? Don’t get me started! I used to go home from that little gang land so angry some days! Both of my ‘snowflakes’ are teenagers now (14 & 16), but I have to say – I’m still tired (for different reasons, of course…) The details change, but they never disappear… :) Neither does the all-encompassing urge to protect!
    I miss the days when our biggest concern was that kid at preschool with the nose faucet.

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