So regardless of whether you have or even want kids, you have vague ideas about what you’d be like as a parent. We ALL had ideas about what we’d be like as parents and most of those ideas were about how we’d be a thousand times better than the idiots we saw walking around being parents. Except that guess what—all those things you swore you’d never do once you became a parent? You’re totally going to do them.
And you’re reading this going, “No way. If I had a kid I’d do everything totally differently from how most people do things. YOU HAVE NO IDEA.”
Except I do have an idea. A really good idea. Because all those things you swore you’d never do? They’re totally inevitable. Here’s what you’re going to wind up doing once you become a parent whether you want to or not.
“NO WAY,” you’re saying. “Maybe some other parents have a kid and immediately wind up dealing meth, but even if I came down with some freakish cancer diagnosis and wanted to make sure my family had enough money to survive in the case of my death, I’d get the money in a much more responsible way than by becoming a meth dealer.”
Everyone says this before they understand what it’s really like to have kids. You are absolutely going to start both cooking and dealing meth. Sorry if you’re in major denial about this.
Putting your kid on one of those kid leashes
Look– I’m not saying you’ll definitely put your kid on a leash, I’m just saying that after having a toddler who would, without a second thought obliviously run over the edge of the Grand Canyon, the idea of anchoring them to something seems much more reasonable. I’m not saying you’re 100% definitely going to put your kid on one of those kid leashes, I’m just saying that I’m 99% definitely not going to judge you for it.
Being late for something because of your kid
Please try as hard as you can to be on time for things! That being said, to get a feel for what getting a kid ready to go outside is like, go to the sloth exhibit at your local zoo and stand next to the sloths while screaming, “RUN! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!! C’MON! GO GO GO, MOVE MOVE MOVE RUUUUUUNNNNNN!!” and e-mail me the results.*
*Fun fact: one of the results will probably be, “zookeepers escorting you off the premises.”
Letting your kid eat at least some junk food
Getting together with other parents to corner and set fire to a local child murderer only to have him return as a bloodthirsty dream-based serial killer
Who hasn’t done this, right??!? I used to hate how parents got all riled up about something so dumb like school board elections or common core math or the vigilante justice of setting a local child murderer on fire because he should totally be in jail but was somehow released on a technicality. And I swore I’d never get caught up in that horrible mob mentality but it’s a different story when those parents are suddenly my entire social circle and peer group and they casually approach me going, “Hey, we thought we’d all get together and murder this guy and we just want to make sure you’re definitely in?”
Spending your kid’s entire childhood preparing him to lead the human resistance against Skynet, a highly advanced artificial intelligence that sees humanity as a threat to its existence.
If there’s one thing I really have a hard time with, it’s those parents who, instead of letting their child sort of figure out his own path, turn their kid’s entire childhood into a training camp for the day a computerized superpower deploys an army of Terminators against humanity. Why do so many people wind up doing this?? It’s like geez, just let them be kids for a while???
Coming up with some sort of cohesive theme for this list.
“Hi– I’m a reader trying to make some sort of sense out of what you’re writing here and I just wanted to check in to see if this is supposed to be a real list of things people who have kids are going to do or a list of outdated movie references?”
Hello! I have no idea what this list is supposed to be! I think it started out as one or the other but what with trying to control both a three-year-old child and an international Meth empire (so stressful!) it’s become a lot like the actual experience of having a kid, i.e. sort of all over the place. I’m so sorry about this! To get back on track here’s one I’m sure you are so smugly positive will never happen to you!
Accidentally Shrinking Your Kids (WE’VE ALL DONE IT)
Get off your high horse, non-parents! I’m sure you’re all like, “If I had a dangerous experimental shrink ray in the house I’d set firm limits with my kids about rooms where they were and weren’t allowed to be,” but look, things don’t always work out like you think they will. Before I had kids I swore this would never happen, but I’m toooootally guilty of this one.
Letting Your Kid Cry in a Restaurant
Please don’t do this. I KNOW it’s hard (It really, really is) and kids cry for literally no reason but any time you’re able to take them to the bathroom or outside to calm them down it is so appreciated. If you’re upset because you had wanted to enjoy your dinner and now you’re stuck in a dingy restaurant bathroom, shoot me an e-mail while you’re in there since there is a 70% chance that I am also sitting resentfully in a dingy restaurant bathroom and at least this way we can vent about having children and/or compare meth recipes.
Absolutely firmly sticking to everything you said you were going to do before you had children
“I’m not going to be one of those parents who plops their kid down in front of the TV.”
I’m not going to be one of those parents who constantly posts photos of their child on Facebook.”
“I’m not going to be one of those parents who organizes a giant, extended-family-trip to Paris and is literally boarded onto the airplane and flying across the ocean before realizing that I left my 8 year-old at home in the attic.”
The gist of it is, our intentions are always terrific, but once you become a parent there are some things that are hard to predict. You’re positive you’d never get your kid an iPhone but suddenly all the other kids have iPhones and yours feels left out. You swear your house won’t be a toy-strewn mess, but you no longer have the energy to constantly clean it. You can’t imagine that you’d ever fight your child in a lightsaber battle in which you wind up cutting off his hand but LOOK– sometimes you’re being completely reasonable about the merits of going to the dark side and your kid is, as always, totally tuning you out and eventually you hit your breaking point. Like they say, it’s all fun and games until somebody loses a hand.
And I know people without kids are shaking their heads going, “You’re a monster! How could you cut off your own kid’s hand??? People like you shouldn’t be allowed to have children!!”
I know, I know, it seems awful, but it’s just one of those things that happens. I know you’ve heard this a million times, but you just can’t understand until you become a parent.
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If you enjoyed this post, please follow The Ugly Volvo on Facebook or Twitter or scroll to the bottom of the page and sign up by e-mail to find out when I put up new posts (spoiler alert– not as often as I’d like to). If you read this post and got really angry because you think the things I wrote are definitely true and not satire, you are right! I absolutely deal crystal meth and cut off my child’s hand and am insinuating that you will do these things also! All these are totally true things that are really true and super real and any resemblance to popular film plots is just a totally crazy coincidence!
Also, I have a book coming out this fall. It’s either a graphic novel about over-caffeinated office workers who have sex with broken fax machines or a book about the first two years of parenting but either way, you can pre-order it here!