The Bad Parent Club

Hi. My name is Aaron. And I’m a bad parent.

Not bad in the sense that anyone needs to call Child & Family Services on me, it’s more bad in the form of not being a politically correct parent. And, in some cases, just being lazy. It means I sometimes take shortcuts when it comes to some of the more tedious parental duties, while all the sanctimonious self-proclaimed Parent of the Year candidates claim they take the high road at all times.

Still don’t know what I’m talking about? Let’s run through some examples, shall we?

Bath time in the Daddy Files house is the last thing we do at night before bed. And if you think bath time is as simple as just throwing the kid in the tub, you’re crazy. Will’s bath consists of no less than six rubber duckies, two plastic boats, three plastic cups and all of the bath products that can he reach while in the tub. So when I get up in the morning and wipe the sleep out of my eyes to take a shower, I’m faced with close to two dozen various bath toys all resting on the shower floor. Instead of performing the herculean task of picking each one of those damn things up, it’s so much easier to kick them all toward the drain and start my shower.

But then, I realize I have to pee and all of a sudden I’m faced with a choice. Get my already soaking wet ass out of the shower, pee while freezing and then jump back in the shower, or just let loose.

I take the path of added convenience. And before you start cringing and saying “Oh my God that’s SO disgusting,” I just want to say that everyone pees in the shower. Same as the community swimming pool and the ocean. You’ve all done it. I don’t see the big deal. The damn toys get washed in the process of the shower and the piss really only glances the toys on its way to the drain.

So yeah, I pee on my kid’s toys. I don’t see the big issue.

While we’re talking about bathroom behavior, I also let Will have free reign while I take a shower. Usually he’s already awake by the time I’m showering, so I let him roam around while I’m cleaning myself and urinating on his toys. Sure he gets into some stuff, but for the most part he’s very responsible and he knows what he should and shouldn’t touch. I refuse to be an overprotective, uptight ninny about things like that.

But when he does get into something he’s not supposed to, or when he’s being willfully disobedient, I give him timeouts. Yes, that’s right all you no-discipline-in-sight hippies, I give my kid timeouts. And guess what? THEY WORK! Anyone who tells you a 19-month-old is too young for timeouts is a damn liar. Will knows exactly what he’s doing and he knows if what he’s doing is bad. I give him at least three warnings, and if I have to give him more than that I take him to the kitchen, sit him down, set the timer on the stove and I don’t let him move for one minute. And if he does something that could harm him, he might even get a spanking depending on the circumstances.

I refuse to feel bad about this and I think trying to discipline kids without at least some form of corporal punishment is nuts. You don’t get results by sitting around in a circle singing kumbaya and playing the harpsichord.

Speaking of hippies, I do not grow or make my own food to give him. While he receives a balanced diet, sometimes I’m running around like crazy and I’m strapped for time. In those cases, he gets the microwavable Mac & Cheese instead of the vegetables from our garden that are harvested with compost to reduce our carbon footprint. Fuck my carbon footprint. When I’m gone, I want the world to know that I used up as much natural resources as humanly possible.

And guess what? I think cloth diapers are fucking disgusting and pointless. I love disposables diapers and I can’t imagine living without them. I don’t care if I fill an entire landfill with them, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Speaking of diapers, I always change Will before I drop him off at daycare. But sometimes, just minutes after I change him, the little Crap Master takes a second morning dump that I don’t catch until I’m literally on my way out the door. At that point I’m faced with a choice: Do the right thing and go back inside to change him, or don’t. So I strap his nasty bottom in the carseat, drive him over to our daycare provider, take him out of the car and then feign surprise when I sniff his butt. I love the woman who watches Will, but I’m sorry. I’m on a schedule. Not to mention his dumps are truly gnarly.

While other “good” parents ban the evil television from their homes, Will watches TV. He watches Handy Manny, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Phineas & Ferb, Imagination Movers and Tigger & Pooh. In the morning, that glowing box is the only way I can get everything accomplished. I watched (and still watch) a shitload of TV and that’s not a bad thing. Personally I think it helped with my vocabulary, my overall general knowledge trivia skills and it helps keep my pop culture references fresh. I’m going to raise my son the same way, regardless of your inane studies that say kids under the age of 2 who watch TV will be 1,000 times more likely to be a serial killer, rapist, drug dealer and torturer of animals.

So there you have it, just a few reasons why I’m an established member of The Bad Parent Club. Frankly I don’t think we’re bad, I think we’re normal. And we cop to our shortcomings instead of lying about them and desperately engaging in the bullshit posturing that seems to infect many new parents.

I know I’m not the only one with this membership card. Give me some other examples!

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17 thoughts on “The Bad Parent Club

  1. I always say that I wasn’t going to make Mother of the Year this year, anyway. And do you know why? Because they don’t hold a damn contest! And you know why they don’t hold a contest? Because no one would ever win.
    You can read every book on the planet and you can be the crunchiest mom this side of Horken Fiber Chunks, but even you cannot win Mother of the Year. We are all doing our best–where you fail, I succeed, and in the end, very few of our children will ever kill anyone. I admit, my kid might be the first one in jail due to her eating a Snickers bar when she was four, but surely the child that never saw a television is going to be the next one to break into someone’s house just for a peek at one.
    It’s all about balance.

  2. Peeing on your kids toys is the the act of a sick individual. Other than that, I’m with you.

  3. I gotta agree with the old guy, the only thing I wouldn’t do is pee on my kid’s toys. The difference is we NEVER give her a bath that often. I hate giving baths. But I am guilty of every other act you’ve done. The way I see it, my kid sleeps through the night and takes great naps, and she eats all kinds of awesome food. If that means we let her “cry-it-out” sometimes or slap her hand when she touches something she shouldn’t, then so be it. Unleash the fire and pitchforks. She is well behaved and balanced.

  4. Very interesting stuff. I’m extra guilty of letting my children watch TV. Um…for HOURS. As long as it is Noggin or Public TV I don’t give myself too much grief.

    Other than that it is the typical “Dammit” cuss word that will escape. I give into them to often and cry instead of be firm and consistant (but again until recently I’ve had no break, assistance or support) so again I’m not too much of a self hater over my past circumstances.

    Oh Daddy Files, I could go on for years on this subject BUT I’ll tell you what. Misch is turning 5 this next year and is turning into a thoughtful, sweet and helpful child. So maybe too much damage wasn’t done??? Time will tell.

  5. This is why I love you. You tell the truth. My son will be 11 tomorrow. From the beginning, I knew I had to have a tight grip on his behavior. Why? Because by the time he is 12 he will be taller than I am – not rocket science…I’m 5 ft 7, his dad is 6 ft 4. And I’m right. At 11 he is already 5 ft 3. If he didn’t respect my authority early…well, he isn’t going to suddendly gain respect when he towers over me. We used disposable diapers, let him watch tv, play video games, took him to daycare while his dad and I worked. I spank, I used timeout, I ground. I don’t let him get by with a smart mouth. We have taught him that he better not throw the first punch, but he is welcome to throw the second and keep punching until the last. He may get in trouble at school for that, but never at home. And to always take up for other kids. And he is a very sweet and loving child. But with puberty hitting…I guess we will soon see if we took the right approach…

  6. Re: 19 month-old not understanding time-outs. That’s in the same Great Myth category as the pet trainers claim that your puppy doesn’t understand when you rub his nose in his dog shit on the rug an hour after the deed.

    Oh, and I’ll see your peeing-in-the-showeer, and raise you: Once, when the downstairs bathroom was occupied and I didn’t feel like going upstairs, I got a glass out of the kitchen cupboard, peed in it, and poured it down the sink. Ok, more than once.

  7. Dude!! Wicked not supposed to pee on your kids toys! Weren’t you just complaining about him peeing in inappropriate places? Ppfft.

    As for spanking, don’t even let any one lie to you. When I went to the police department to file charges against the teacher that choked my kid, the officer was explaining that parents can hit their children with open hands or with a belt as long as it’s not the buckle end, lmao. And he was dead ass serious.

  8. OK so put me in the bad parent file also. You saw some of my great skills with our monster, what, a week ago?

  9. Hiii, Aaaaron. I am a bad parent, as you say you are, but I am worse by far than all of you. I take my children through the McDonald’s drive-thru with some regularity. Mysteriously, they have maintained a very healthy weight, despite the fact that McDonald’s cows may have been given the occasional dirty look in their handling. I stand by this decision, as the portion size is often smaller than the one at my dinner table, and Julia Child herself had once touted the McDonald’s cheeseburger as a successful creation. Then again, she’s probably just have a lover of ground cow eyeballs and penises in her meals. Who, except Pamela Anderson, internet researchers, and everyone who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, isn’t?

  10. Thankyou sir, for diciplining your child. I applaud you. Too many times I’ve had to deal with absolute brats in our store, running around, knocking *everything* off the shelves, screaming because “Mommy, I want a hamster NOW!” (to which the mother invariably caves, and then when we refuse the sale (yes, you do need to buy a cage for that animal ma’am, no ma’am, it cannot live in a tupperware container) she goes absolutely apeshit because her four year old is throwing a tantrum). So thankyou.

    And I’m all on board with the disposable diapers. Cloth diapers – yuck. Just…yuck. I mean, I recycle my bottles and cans. My hairspray is a non-aerosol. I try to conserve on gas, and I do what I can to reduce my carbon footprint.

    But there’s a line, and cloth diapers? Yea, that’s crossing it. Television is a device sent from the gods so that parents can have a moment’s peace in the mornings to accomplish all that they need to.

  11. I couldn’t agree with the tv thing more. My daughter is about to turn 3 and has the vocab of a 6 year old. Also, Phineas and Ferb is friggin hilarious! Have you had a chance to watch it with Will?

  12. I agree with you completely on the punishment, diet, tv, and diapers. I hate all the hippies with a white hot passion. I just mentioned disposable diapers as one of the top 10 things I am thankful for this year in a post Friday. I however can say honestly that I have never pee’d in the shower. It is a line that I have decided not to cross, but I don’t judge. As George Costanza once said in defense of his shower peeing, “It’s all pipes! What’s the difference!”

  13. Hmmm. Where to start. Peeing in the shower? Really try not to, but occasionally there is no choice, however not on my kids toys. And to add to that, I KNOW what my husband does in the shower, which is why I soak my tub in bleach at least once a week.

    TV, video games? I would go insane without them. I can only personally entertain them for so long.

    I attempt to feed them balanced meals, but I have to say instant oatmeal is one of my all-time favorite inventions. It is warm, the kids love it and it fills them up. Dinner done.

    We tried the spanking with our oldest but it really did nothing so we gave up on it, I promised myself a long time ago to never threaten anything I wouldn’t follow through on. And it works – my kids know that when I say, “do this or you will lose that toy for the next 24 hours” that I mean it so they listen, or they lose the toy!

    Wait until you have another one Aaorn! I let my 7 yr. old do things that I should be doing for my 1 year old all the time because I am lazy and then I justify it by saying it makes her (the 7 yr. old) feel big and important and teaches her responsibility.

    As far as the hippie thing goes, well that is another thing that definitely puts me in the bad parent club, but I won’t publicly go into details….. :)

  14. And I bet when you strap his stinky butt into the car seat it is forward facing too?

  15. DAMMIT! Thank you Jessica. How could I forget forward facing car seats???? Because anyone who doesn’t keep children rear-facing until the age of 13 cares nothing about the child’s safety!

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