Monday, 16 March 2015

17 annoying things parents do

As a demographic mass, parents are possibly the most annoying group in society. Not only does the government always pitch their tax cuts and free money to us every budget cycle (as though 'working families' are more important than people who live alone with cats) but we also clog up the roads every morning and every afternoon when we're doing the school run. (Because heaven forbid our precious bundles should be made to use their legs for purposeful walking as opposed to enriching extracurricular activities.)

Let's face it, we are annoying.  Here are 17 annoying things parents do.*

 1. Talk about their kids

I don't mind hearing about my friends' kids and I don't mind hearing a story that is a GOOD story about your kids. But don't tell me incessant banal sh** about your kids, because guess what? I have my own kids and incessant banal sh** is MY LIFE!

If it's a story about how your toddler obsessively licks the bin every morning, then I'm in: that's funny. But if it's a story about how your kid is 'taking learning risks' and 'hitting every milestone right on the button' *loud snoring noise*

 2. Volunteer photos of their kids when no one asked

If I ask, show me. But don't shove your phone in my face and volunteer a photo of your kid for me to admire, appropos of nothing.  As above: I have my own, I know what a baby/toddler/kid looks like and if I don't know you that well, yours are inconsequential to me: they just look like  curly-headed potatoes with eyes.

So, unless I know you quite well and am interested in what your kids look like, don't make me pretend to admire photos of your potato-with-eyes kid.

3. Block footpaths/shop aisles and access to sales racks with their GIANT Mack-truck sized prams

Something about having a pram seems to make people think they are hard done by and therefore deserve right of way.  I know this, because I used to be one of those people.

But since then, I have been run off the footpath by the Mummy Mafia, two-abreast-and-chatting-a-mile-a-minute in their Lorna Jane too many times to forgive.

I have also had precious, PRECIOUS access to a sales rack blocked too many times by a mother with a giant pram.  She just parks it right near the 'Extra 30% off' rack and then goes about her business rifling through the cheap stuff before I can get to it.  I can't go around her and I can't approach from another angle to get to that blue and white striped top BEFORE SHE DOES because she's created a road block with her Bugaboo.

 4. Let their kids do cartwheels in between the tables at restaurants because if the kid isn't bothering them, they're not bothered

Guilty as charged.

 5. Talk about where they're sending their kid to school/high school

Despite the fact that this is possibly the most tedious and boring topic of conversation in all of Christendom, I have found myself initiating this conversation too many times to mention. And then I get deep into it and I suddenly realise what a deeply boring person I have become. I hear us blah-blah-blah-ing  on about our kids, and how the school has to be right for the kid and as long as the kids are happy ... and OH MY GOD SHUT UP!!! What a boring bunch of people we are.

 6. Secretly think their kids are more awesome than yours 

Guilty as charged.

 7. Talk about their kids' NAPLAN scores as though NAPLAN scores actually MEAN SOMETHING!!!

Let me say this once: NAPLAN scores are not a test of your kids' intelligence, they are a test of how well the school is teaching your child according to the national curriculum.

And sure, this may be sour grapes because none of my kids ever end up in the pointy section of the graph, (except for punctuation and grammar which is just some weird anomaly and see what I did there? I HATE MYSELF FOR IT.) But seriously, it's not the HSC.  It's a basic skills test to make sure the school is teaching your kid properly.  So stop quoting me the 'band' your kid is in for numeracy skills. I’m. Not. Interested.

 8. Trail their kids through Target or Kmart leaving a slipstream of chaos and destruction in their wake

Guilty as charged.

 9. Let their kid hog the swing at the park because it gives them a chance to check Facebook/emails while they push

 10. Think it's cute for their toddler to play peekaboo with you over the back of the plane/bus/train seat THE WHOLE WAY

It's cute a few times, then it just gets exhausting. Know when to quit, people. Know when to quit.

 11. Say 'use your words Portia' when Portia is having a major meltdown in public and is clearly completely BEYOND words

Just pick that kid up, put her under your arm like a football and wing her out of there NRL-style.  Now is not the time for 'right-on' parenting.

 12. Invent dumb spellings for standard names to make their kid 'different'

Tyffannee, Lee-arne, Blayke, Ezmay, Me’Chell, Kareena etc. etc.

Two things:
a) Remember primary school you doofus?  Being different is not AN ASSET!!
b) You have just bought your kid a lifetime of having to spell out out their name for people, over and over and over again.

 13. Create annoying disorganised bunching chaos at the airport

This was me, about three weeks ago, herding my kids through Sydney Airport. I was aware of how annoying we were, we just couldn't stop being annoying. Everywhere we went. We were annoying.  We were THAT family.

 14. Let kids use an ipad without headphones in public

On a plane, on the bus, on the train, in a cafe.  You find yourself subjected to the perky generic sounds of Peppa Pig or the incessant "BOING BIP BOING BOING!" of the latest educational 'Find that fruit game' because some bint won't make their toddler wear headphones.

 15. Take toddlers to a fancy schmancy restaurant and then demand a kid-friendly menu

In fact, let’s just limit that one to the first half of the sentence.

Parents of toddlers: it’s two or three years of your life when you can’t go out to fancy restaurants (unless you shell out for a babysitter) and I know it’s hard. But please, take one for the team.  Just accept that your lifestyle has changed for a while and be gracious: either stay home or leave that kid at home.

For those of us who have lived through that phase and come out the other side, we don’t want to eat our fancy food while your toddler wraps spaghetti round his entire body, squeals intermittently and makes dough balls with bread in a water glass.

(To be clear: I'm talking about FANCY restaurants, not your local kid-friendly bistro.)

 16. Let their toddler rough up your dog/cat indiscriminately because the toddler  'needs to learn’

Yes, he needs to learn that dogs are unpredictable and don’t like being ridden rodeo-style by some 30 pound toddler. But if your child then gets bitten, don’t start calling for the ‘dangerous dog’ to be put down.

(Again, to be clear: I’m talking about dogs on leads here, I am not talking about uncared-for dogs that roam the streets and are a menace to society.)

 17. Get their outrage on in the comments box about listicle-style articles that have anything to do with parenting and kids

The internet rewards articles that have lots of comments: even 'Shut-up-YOU-are' style comments that are barely decipherable due to bad spelling. So if you don’t like it, ignore it and Facebook/Google will assume the article is not interesting to anyone. As a result, it will disappear. Don’t get your outrage on in the comments box, you’ll only make that sh** rise to the top of the feed again.

* Disclaimer: in the interests of full disclosure, the writer acknowledges that she has been guilty of most of these annoyances in her time as a parent, not including numbers 7 and 17.

1 comment:

  1. Love it! Especially #12 - example friends and I came across: "N-a" is "Nadasha, as the dash isn't silent"... Get a book of 10,000 normal baby names and learn how to spell!