From what I know, the great majority of my readers are parents now, most with experience with children who are old enough to communicate effectively. But as beautiful as that sounds, it’s also a curse. In fact, it’s the beginning of the end (of sanity). You see, with communication, comes bad news. You saw it coming, you just avoided it. You denied it. Because you were guilty of the same things.
Who’s ready for another listicle? School is back in session and this discussion is long overdue. This time, let’s talk about the things kids do that irritate us to no end. Let’s talk about…
10 Things You Were Afraid To Tell Your Parents
1. “I forgot to take the food out to thaw.”
Let my mother come home from work after a hard day, ready to cook, only to discover that you didn’t take that food out. Oh and good luck telling my father that you had to run to the store and spend their hard-earned money to buy it fresh from the grocery store as a result. It wouldn’t be an issue if he hadn’t requested it THE NIGHT BEFORE. Either way, somebody’s getting’ a whoopin’.
2. “The school wants a special Parent-Teacher conference with you.”
As bad as I was in school, not ONCE did I ever tell my parents that one of them needed to come to a conference. Have MY dad stare at me while listening to the counselor? Oh HELL no.
First of all, I ain’t telling my FATHER because I don’t want to be the first kid to get lit up IN the school office. Second, I ain’t telling my MOTHER because she’ll tell my FATHER after a long, hard day’s work… …I’d get let up at HOME.
I guess I should be thankful that today’s schools are very serious about education because they call for a conference every time a child so much as farts in class. Back in my day, they just sent you to the Principal or Dean’s office, paddled you, then sent you back to class. Your parents eventually found out when you brought that “F” home on your report card. THEN they lit you up.
3. “I broke it.”
Ok, let’s get this out right now. NO one goes to the police station and turns themselves in. Same holds true at the Davis house.
Your parents teach you not to lie, but if ever there was a time to come up with a fantastic fabrication about how you were “running, but not really running”, this is it. Running, horseplay, negligence, coloring walls, touching something you weren’t supposed to touch, it doesn’t matter. That’s a Cardinal Sin and once they get down to who the culprit is, the why’s and how’s are quite insignificant. It’s the “what next” that takes a few years off of your life.
Then there’s that time my oldest took my autographed football out to play with his friends. It was the entire Indianapolis Colts football team, which I really didn’t care for, especially after they beat us in the Superbowl. But it was a gift from my brother, so I kept it. Therefore in principle, I need to take a few years off of your life…
4. “I need materials for my school project and I need your help. When? It’s due tomorrow morning.”
It’s due tomorrow morning. Oh-my-GOD!!! Telling me you need to get a very important project done, 15 minutes before the Arts & Crafts store closes, is a good way for you to appear on the side of a milk carton (for you youngsters, that means to come up missing).
You’ve known for the past 2 weeks that you needed this and you wait until the night before? KNOWING I have to get up early to go to work? As usual, my wife is exempt, more often than not because she pulls the old, “Kenny, you’re creative and can make something out of nothing”, leaving me to help him put together this Little Rascals presentation out of toilet paper rolls, broken wire hangers and a Cap’n Crunch cereal box.
The only thing worse than that is you volunteering to make something I’m totally against and ask me to help. Case in point, I am a die-hard Chicago Bears fan, as was my father, as was HIS father. My second son, Judas, decided he wanted to be a Green Bay Packers fan. For those who don’t know, the Packers are our greatest rival and I/we hate them more than Satan. You weren’t even allowed to WEAR green or yellow in my house growing up. And here he comes, asking me to make a Packers tributary football field from scratch.
Still, I must admit that I did a kick-ass job with green felt, chalk, cardboard and styrofoam. And speaking of kick-ass… (no, I didn’t, but in my mind, it was epic).
5. “I missed the school bus.”
You were told several times to finish your homework assignment. You were told last night to get your clothes ready for the next day. You were told several times to quit talking in your bedroom and go to sleep. You were told several times to get out of that bed and go wash up. You were told all morning long to quit lolly-gagging and come out of the bathroom. You were told several times to quit playing around and eat your breakfast. You were told, no, screamed at to quit walking and RUN because the bus would be here any second. Now you have the audacity to come home knock on the door and say “I missed the bus”?
Seeing as how I had a one-hour drive to work, I missed all of this, but you can best believe she told me EVERYTHING on the phone or when I got home. If you think I’m bad, you ought to see Momma Bear when she has to put winter clothes on and drive him/them to school.
6. “What bag?”
If you really want to piss me off, let me drive home and find out that you left one of the grocery bags in the store or in the shopping cart when we left. Now I have to drive back to the store with the receipt to prove I bought it or worse, have to ask them to review parking lot security footage to prove I’m not lying and that these items were left behind. Remember, the store isn’t obligated to replace your item(s) once it leaves the building. If you’re lucky, they’ll replace a food container you dropped in the parking lot, made of glass. To me, leaving something at the store is as bad as not taking food out to thaw.
7. “I forgot my _________ at home/school.”
Why are these kids so forgetful??? It’s bad enough when one of your children calls the house from school because they need you to bring something they forgot, but when you have to go to the school after hours and ask the janitor to let you in because they left something important. Dude.
But it gets worse. My son called us from college because he forgot his laptop, causing us to drive (Thank God it was only-) one hour away. And yes, they could care less about the time and gas you have to sacrifice because of their forgetfulness or incompetence.
And I’ll never forget the time we broke down on a lonely road, high up in the mountains of Pennsylvania at 2 a.m. The wrecker got there first, so we had to get out of the van, waiting for transport. It was ok until I learned that my third son left the house without his coat. He figured because the heat would be running and we were headed to Nana and PopPops’ house, we’d be safe and warm the entire time. Guess who had to stand up in the cold for 30 minutes without a coat as we waited for pickup? Not my babies… Before you ask, the tow truck had to leave right then with our vehicle because they were short-handed with a heavy workload. I just stood there, in the night snow, staring at my son who was snuggled up in a coat that was taller than him, standing up.
8. “Mom/Dad, are you HOME?”
In and of itself, there’s nothing wrong with asking that question. However, it is COMPLETELY ill-timed and not allowed when you’re standing with the phone in your hand uncovered on an incoming call. Not only have they heard you, which means that I’m compelled to get the phone (I’m broke and hiding from bill collectors), but now you’ve told whomever is on the other end that I duck calls!
And before any of you say that I shouldn’t be hiding from phone calls, ask yourself if you’ve ever done it. Then, mind your own business!!
I guess the only solution to that is technology and its evolution. We don’t use house phones anymore, I just ignore the Caller ID on my smartphone. That is, if I paid the bill and it’s still on…
9. “Can So-And-So spend the night?”
If you all know me, you know that this is The Party House and all are welcome. I take pride in being the “Cool Dad/Parents” in the neighborhood. It means the children love and respect you and the parents trust you. Every now and then, that comes in handy.
But sometimes I just want to sit around in my underwear and gross the family out. When you ask a question like that, it puts me/us on the spot, almost forcing us to accept.
I know, I know. We can easily say that now is not a good time or we should wait to coordinate it with their parents, but I’m not crazy about being forced to be the bad guy. Doesn’t mean I won’t do it. Just look at the 8 aforementioned unforgiving sins on this list.
10. “I thought we could eat that.”
I picked up a custom-made cake, took it home and put it in the refrigerator to take to work, first thing in the morning. Imagine my surprise when several poorly cut squares had been removed.
You never once saw us put it on the table after dinner as dessert. Nobody called you all to come and get some cake. In fact, inscriptions like “Happy Retirement”, “Happy Birthday” or “Happy Boss’ Day” should be enough for you to figure out that it wasn’t for you or anyone that LOOKED like you. Potluck, home party, delivery to a friend or relative, it doesn’t matter. If we don’t gather you around the table to eat it, you shouldn’t be putting your grubby paws on it. Finish your homework, wash up, put your clothes together and go to bed so you won’t miss your bus again.
And there you have it. 10 things you were afraid to tell your parents. Yeah, I know. Every home is different. But I’m quite sure that you can agree with the great majority of the items I listed. And believe me, there are many more.
Maybe we can discuss those next time around…
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