Here is a fun game to play with friends. Make sure your group is only comprised of seasoned parents, with kids aged teenager and beyond, because this group needs to see (and judge) everything through the gauzy mist of humor, forgiveness and alcohol.
The game is called “Worst Parent Ever.” Go around the room and tell what you believe now to be your best example of poor parenting. You cannot rat out your spouse, or your friends, it has to be something you yourself did. The game usually starts mildly. Someone will confess to letting a baby crawl out of their crib and splat on the floor. Then someone will add the story about their toddler eating something slightly horrifying off the ground before they could employ the universal parent mouth/finger swipe and remove said object. Keep going around the circle while adding a glass of wine with each round.
Stories start getting better. One mom confesses that since babies don’t actually know the words you are saying, just the loving tone, she often employed lullabies with very questionable lyrics to amuse herself while soothing baby. I decide to confess that my older son’s rather forceful personality was probably my fault due to what our family refers to as the infamous two cookie incident. One four year old, one infant, no naps, dinner to be cooked. Four year old: “I want a cookie, I want a cookie, I want a cookie!” “No honey, it’s almost dinner, you can have dessert after you eat a healthy dinner.” “I want a cookie, I want a cookie, I want a cookie!” “Honey, if you are hungry, you can have some carrots or grapes.” “I want a cookie, I want a cookie, I want a cookie!” “Sweetie, cookies are treats. You can have one after dinner if you eat lots of good healthy things.” “I want a cookie, I want a cookie, I want a COOKIE!” This keeps up for a good twenty minutes with added leg tugging, pleading, crying, and his taking the baby’s toy away just to add more chaos to the mix. I finally caved from the relentless pressure. “Fine, here’s the cookie, see if I care!” Darling elder son smiles angelically as I hand him a cookie and says… “I want TWO cookies.” And that is why he is in law school as I write…
Another glass of wine, another confession. So my husband is a darling man, sweet, loving, usually even tempered, but for some reason he just has to curse in two instances: while watching football and when driving. I often chastised him when the boys were young. “The kids are learning from you. You need to stop using bad language around them, or they will use it, too.” I would go upstairs during football games, and frequently call down “language!” when it got particularly bad. Same with driving. “You %@#$ moron!” was a favorite. I really tried to model and not use bad language in front of the kids. I am sure an occasional “crap” or something slipped out, but I tried, I truly did. I patiently told my boys that bad language does two things, it tells people you are not very smart, and/or you cannot control your anger. I also said that they were very powerful words, and if you used them too often, they lose their power. So boys grow into tween and teen. I know they know most if not all of the standard curse words. We are driving and yet again Hubs lets loose with another standard “$#*$ moron!” “Yeah, you mother*$*$**$ing *$**%*sucking blankety blank” I shout, using language possibly unfamiliar to even some of the saltiest sailors. Stunned silence, then elder son quietly says “Well, that was certainly powerful.”
Still none of these above incidents won this particular round of “Worst Parent Ever.” The win was a tie between my “Big, Giant Spider” story, and a friend’s “Where’s my BABY!?!” Stay tuned to the next blog for the conclusion.