From the moment they’re born, our children are a tremendous source of pride.
First words, first steps, the gold star on their progress reports, the lead role in a school play…we are always there, cheering them on, sharing their accomplishments with anyone willing to listen. Our children are a reflection of ourselves, and our parenting skills are often defined by their behavior.
When they’re a giggling toddler passing gas on a crowded elevator, everyone thinks they’re adorable. A 16-year-old competing in a belching contest with his sibling in a five-star restaurant…not so much. The older they get, the more embarrassing they become.
They morph from the cute, cuddly puppy stage into a snapping, snarling beast that has been raised in the woods by wild boars. They curse like sailors and eat mass quantities of food that triple the grocery bill by the end of the month. Sweets and salty chips are the largest part of their food pyramid, while milk and juice are consumed at an alarming rate — usually a gallon a day.
Their vocabulary reverts to their roots — as in the cave man days — limited to grunts, groans and the occasional “whatever” shrug. The parents they once adored and respected are now a large source of their embarrassment, so it is with great pleasure (and a lack of conscience) that they choose to publicly annoy and embarrass adults. They will gleefully belch and fart in a crowded room and point a finger at the unsuspecting parent next to them. They will tell their grandparents that there are only three ingredients in their refrigerator at home — one grayish-looking egg, a carton of sour milk and a moldy brick of cheddar cheese that looks like last year’s school science fair project. The grandparents will take pity on their souls and drive them to the nearest McDonald’s.
Kids will spill tomato sauce on the white carpet and blame it on the dog; they’ll steal all the quarters out of the change jar and blame the younger sibling. They’ll use the last clean towel in the house so that you’re forced to dry yourself off after a shower with the wet towel that you used on the dog bathed earlier that day.
Every parent reaches a breaking point with their children — a time when they need to liberate themselves from the bonds of “politically correct” parenting.
Because sometimes you just have to get even. You can call it one of “life’s little lessons,” or refer to it for what it really is: Karma is a bitch.
The following is a payback list that has been especially effective in annoying our teenagers and will most likely be successful with yours:
1) Crank up the lawn mower outside their bedroom window when they’re trying to sleep in late on a Saturday morning.
2) Ask 20 questions about the TV show they’re watching, but wait until they’re immersed in the thickest part of the plot.
3) During one of their house parties, run into the room with a wet plunger dripping in your hand and shout, “Okay, who clogged the toilet???”
4) Pick up the six wet towels they left on the bathroom floor and deposit them on their unmade bed. Be sure to tuck the towels under the covers so they stay moist.
5) Allow your youngest child to bang on his new drum set while his older sibling is trying to take a nap.
6) Turn on the sprinklers while your daughter is sunbathing in the back yard.
7) At a neighborhood block party, jump up on a table after a couple of beers and play air guitar to a Bon Jovi song.
8) Call your son’s friends “Dude” and “Bro.”
9) Write embarrassing messages on their Facebook wall: “Did you eat that WHOLE package of Oreos I hid in the pantry?” “Why is all my underwear missing from the dryer?”
10) Blast Barry Manilow on the car radio while driving your kids and their friends to school. Make sure all the windows are rolled down so that EVERYONE in the car loop can hear you belt out the lyrics to “Mandy.”
11) At your son’s 16th birthday party, borrow his best friend’s BMX bike and show those young whippersnappers how to fly over a speed bump and rack yourself on the bicycle seat.
12) Write a blog about your family life and highlight all the personal stuff that will make your kids cringe and want to disown you.
Revenge has never been sweeter!
— Marcia Kester Doyle
Marcia Kester Doyle is the author of the humorous blog “Menopausal Mother,” where she muses on the good, the bad and the ugly side of menopausal mayhem. She is a contributor to the Huffington Post, staff writer for In The Powder Room and HumorOutcasts.com and a contributing writer for What the Flicka. Her work recently captured first place in VoiceBoks Top Hilarious Parent Bloggers 2014, and her first book will be released in the spring through Blue Lobster Publishing. Marcia’s work has appeared on Scary Mommy, Mamapedia, Bloggy Moms, Messy Mom’s Radio, The Woven Press, the Life Well Blogged series and was voted Top 25 in the Circle Of Mom’s Contest 2013. In 2014, she was named a Blogher Voice Of The Year.