Parenting is easily the greatest challenge (and reward) of all time. Mom, Dad, I salute you. There is nothing I respect more than the selfless age of parenthood.
But I’m just not there yet. Not even close. And until I face the joy and pain of child-rearing myself, I plan to sleep in on the weekends, purchase white furniture and write completely unwarranted commentary on subject of parenting.
1. The Honest Parents: The Honest Parents are self-deprecating and hilarious. They are not afraid to talk about “Little Andy’s phlegm eruption,” or that he has terrible coordination, a stutter and 12 imaginary friends. The Honest Parent will tell you how sleep-deprived and drunk they usually are, or that they haven’t brushed their teeth all day.
2. The Mavericks: This couple names their children “Garlic” and “Clarinet” based on research about “impulse control.” They find clocks “oppressive” and show up late for everything. The Mavericks live a “Screenless Lifestyle” and enroll little Garlic in basket-weaving and drum-circling instead of soccer. They are the dual-doctorate professor types and carefully expose Garlic to raw sewage and dead animals. (To boost her immunity, obviously.) The Mavericks offer their kids wine and pot cookies in order to demystify such substances at age seven. Garlic and Clarinet end up incredibly insightful and inquisitive, but deeply cynical.
3. The Overachievers: The Overachievers are ostensibly flawless, and tell you that “You look tired.” They aggressively probe, “Was she planned?” The Overachievers know it all. They will offer unsolicited advice on your post-baby sex life and judge you on your dusty blinds. They peek in your pantry and mutter something about “sugar content.” You always manage to drop F-bombs in front of them and get caught in the grocery store (with donuts) looking more heinous than Amanda Bynes on a bender. You contemplate sabotaging The Overachiever kids’ homework and hockey try-outs, just to relieve your inferiority complex for like, five minutes.
4. The Slackers: The Slackers never signed up for this. They don’t like children. You can’t really fault them; they just woke up in the wrong life. The Slackers can’t find a sitter, so they take their kids “R” Rated movies. They avoid discipline tactics because it’s way too much work and allow their children to eat virtually anything. Their parenting-path-of-least-resistance has resulted in savage kids, but it’s not their rat-bastardly faults. The kids have zero boundaries and no concept of authority. They are lunatics on sugar highs with no bedtime. They hit. These kids slowly realize that the world spins, but not around them. The Slackers’ kids end up in jail.
5. The Parents with a Completely Different Language: This mom played music to her womb and now communicates with her kids via sign language. The Parents with a Completely Different Language are overheard in the parking lot saying, “Get her Boopy. GET HER BOOPY. She just wants her Boopy, where the hell is the Boopy?” They have endearing words for routines, private parts and domestic objects. The family language was developed for survival, but now it’s just out of control. Their kid enters his teenage years feeling uncomfortable with the biological term for his own genitals.
6. The Overgrammers: Their kids are delightful little fashion stars. Somehow, these babies are forever garbed in the latest trends. You examine the heavily-filtered photo closely as you reconsider your entire wardrobe. “This baby dresses better than me. Why am I such a loser? Should I be wearing olive khakis and royal blue?” Unsurprisingly, these photos come back to haunt the babies. Also they suffer from severe narcissism upon real-world entrance. As the impromptu photo shoots come to an end, so does their self-confidence.
7. The Parents Who Have Too Much Going On: This duo sleeps about four hours a night. They have five kids in three different sports and to top it off, they coach and work full-time. With bloodshot eyes and raspy voices, they drive their cluttered minivan to games across the country because they know “Billy is going to be the next Sidney Crosby.” The Parents Who Have Too Much Going On are die-hard fans of their own children. They sacrifice their own well-being to chair committees, direct Christmas concerts and present at PTA meetings. They need a hug and a good night’s sleep.
8. The Tiger Parents: The Tiger parents are beyond overbearing. They monitor their children’s grades and obsess over extracurriculars. They leave sticky notes on all surfaces of the house, indicating how, what and when to eat. They text and weigh their children incessantly. Every second that is not spent studying, practicing or training, is spent listening to work-ethic podcasts. Their kids get into Harvard and become non-human-Olympic-phenoms. You don’t interact with the Tiger Parents too much because they are pretty busy micro-managing, but you’re sort of waiting for the day when their kids go AWOL or join a cult.
9. The Smiths: They are your parenting beacon of sanity. The Smiths are conventional, with no hidden agenda. They disclose just the right amount of info about their marriage, and offer sage advice when it’s oh-so-perfectly suitable. They share in birthday parties and carpooling. The Smiths are so nice. They help keep your family together, emotionally and logistically. Sometimes you feel like you’d wake up the gutter in a pile of raw sewage if it weren’t for the Smiths.
Admittedly, when I’m a parent, I’ll need a whole different category of dysfunction for myself. It won’t be pretty.