In The Parent Crap, Alice Laussade chronicles life as a mom in Dallas. Worried you're screwing up your kid? Tweet questions to @thecheapbastard and she'll confirm that, yes, you're screwing up your kid.
Being a mom is amazing. It's a gift. But parenting blows.
You're being a mom when you're bonding with your kid in a rocking chair by sweetly whisper-singing lullabies into her sweet, little ear. You're being a parent when you're whisper-yelling at her, "We do not wipe poop on the walls at Target."
Why is parenting so awful? This should be obvious: Because kids are assholes, because they were born that way. And if you just said to yourself, "Not my little angel," you're the worst offender.
At age zero, babies are the biggest assholes on the planet. It's science. They cry all the time, they shit themselves and expect you to clean it up, they insist on eating your boobs, they don't lift a finger around the house unless it's to fuck something up, and then they smile at you and you don't even blame them for being super lazy all the time because they're beautiful and perfect and the whole world is new in their eyes and they're The Future.
One way that we absolutely turn our kids into even bigger assholes is by catering to their every kid-whim by taking them to special retail stores that are supposed to be "just for kids." It is my hope that as a parenting team, we can agree to stop going to these places so that our kids can be less a-holey as a demographic:
Snip Its If you like overpaying for a mediocre kid haircut while feeling like you're stuck in a never-ending scary tunnel scene of Willy Wonka (Gene Wilder version, duh. I can't believe you even asked), when his eyes are bugging out like Large Marge and he's all, "Is it raining, is it snowing, is a hurricane a-blowing," then Snip Its is the perfect place to take your kid. I hope you don't die from fluorescent happy exposure. But you might.
American Girl When I was a kid, American Girl dolls were this awesome thing that came in the mail with a book about how your particular doll chick and all chicks are badasses and they can survive wars and shit. Now, it's all pink. And one million dollars. And upstairs, you can have real tea time and brunch with your doll. Who in the hell puked dumb all over this brand?
Gymboree It's a kids clothing store! It's a kids gym! It's a Chucky sequel waiting to happen!
Inside the Gymboree at NorthPark mall, they only play crazy loud kid songs (including kids singing the ABCs and "Row, Row, Row Your Boat"), and they sell a variety of mix-and-match outfits available with either cats, dogs or cats and dogs on them.
Note: If you happen to be a nice, normal person without kids who's looking for a baby shower gift for a friend, avoid Gymboree like the plague, unless you'd like to never want to have sex again. Related: If you have a teenager at home, this place is the perfect birth control.
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The concept of Build-A-Bear terrifying to a kid. "OK, now's when we put the heart inside the bear and you kiss it and then he knows you love him and now we'll fill him with stuffing and sew his back together in front of you!"
Even worse? Everyone who works at Build-A-Bear talks to your kid in a baby voice while they help you. Awful. Why talk in a baby voice to a baby ever? Your kid doesn't have a speech impediment, he just fucking thinks the word is "wittle" instead of "little" because you're teaching him English wrong. Stoppit. I'm looking at you, helmet-duck from Wonder Pets.
Parents, let's stop treating our kids like they're not regular people. If you keep taking kids to these obnoxious "just for kids" places, they're always going to expect special treatment and they're going to grow up into that giant turd who takes forever to order in restaurants because he has to ask for everything on the side or with lemons. Nobody likes that guy.