Monday, August 07, 2006

Parent Traps

10:00 PM PDT on Saturday, August 5, 2006


I don't have kids, but I'm looking into a short-term lease, maybe some kind of rent-to-own program.

Not having children makes me the perfect person to dispense some overdue advice to you parenting types.

Moms, dads, I know your automatic response: "What does he know about raising kids if he doesn't have any?"


It means I haven't gone insane yet from watching the same "SpongeBob" DVD 600 times.

Consider this a letter of concern from the rest of us, the non-breeders.

We're the ones sitting at the restaurant table next to yours, trying to keep down a $20 steak while your newborn spits up dessert like a Snoopy snow cone machine.

I'll put our grievances in numerical order, because I know how much parents like to count. Make believe it's back-to-school night!

1. Your kids are not that interesting. It's true. That "story" you told us about how little Jimmy calls it a "caw" because he can't pronounce "cat?"

The whole time we were daydreaming about something better, like that one time you just kept walking and didn't destroy 10 minutes of our lives with another boring conversation.

I'm reluctant to even call it a "story," because stories have a point and a merciful conclusion.

The only reason your kids seem interesting to you is because they're YOUR kids.

If your kids were really that wonderful, they'd have their own show on Nickelodeon, and you wouldn't have to pay people to baby-sit.

2. Your kids are twice as annoying. Just because you think it's normal for your 6-year-old to swing his legs and kick the back of my chair, doesn't mean I should tolerate it until his Kool-Aid buzz wears off.

Maybe letting him eat gummy bears for breakfast wasn't a good idea, even if it was the only way to stop him from trying to set fire to his sister.

I can only imagine putting up with that behavior 24 hours a day. But that's what Chuck E. Cheese's and McDonald's play lands are for.

Put your kid in the cage with the plastic balls and smelly diapers, and go take a break with the other parents.

Maybe they'll look at your wallet photos.

3. Peel the stick-figure stickers off of your car window -- unless the point is to have your kids traded like currency on the black market.

Not following?

Here's an example:

Let's say you have a van with five stick figures on the back of it and their names printed underneath -- two parents, Marge and Bill, two kids, Dave and Sarah, and a cat named Freckles. Now say little Sarah is walking home by herself ...

"Hi, Sarah, your cat is lost. Bill asked me to pick you up, while your mom and Dave go search for Freckles in the van."

Hey, Mensa, maybe the mall kiosk sells a sticker of the route Sarah takes to school.

You can put it next to her honor student one.