This Is Why You Never Turn Your Back on Your Kids

naked barbiesOnce you are a parent -- or, really, once you have even just conceived -- the advice starts rolling in. “Don’t leave the baby on the changing table unattended.” “Use ‘natural consequences’ to discipline your children.” “Don’t tell your child that he will go blind if he touches himself.”

Well, I could probably write a blog post about any of those, but I’m here to say that those don’t really matter. I’ll tell you what matters. I’ll tell you the one thing you need to know about parenting.

NEVER, and I mean NEVER turn your back on those little bastards.

If you are already a parent, you just nodded gravely. Or maybe you suddenly realized that you’ve been on Facebook too long, and it’s strangely quiet in the house. But if you are not a parent, I will explain myself.

Young children have a lot of energy. They store it up. They eat approximately the same number of calories each day as your average lumberjack. They sleep for 11 to 18 hours, depending on their age. And you know what they need all this energy for?

They need it to WEAR YOU DOWN. They work their fingers to the bone to exhaust you. When they are babies, they play the old “I’m teething so I must keep you up all night” routine. When they are toddlers, they play “Even though you are 5’4″ and I am 2’8″, I can outrun you in a parking lot.”

Why do they want to wear you down? I will tell you why. It’s so that you will space out, maybe lie down on the couch and doze off, maybe go check a couple of emails. And because you are in this perpetual state of fight or flight, you get a little off your game. Your brain, it gets forgetful. It (perhaps willfully) forgets that you have these little people you are trying to keep alive in the other room.

Then the children can DO WHATEVER THEY WANT. Oh, and they will. The other day, I did this exact thing. I answered some work emails, and I thought really hard about work, and I forgot that ... the children were there. How? I know, right? But usually, when they are home, they are a) screaming, b) crying, c) fighting, d) asking for food, or e) asking me to play Hot Wheels. So when they’re not, my brain tells me they are gone and I can relax.

When I wised up, I went into the children’s bathroom and discovered that Noah had taken about eight rolls of toilet paper off the shelf. Thankfully he was making it an art project instead of a destructive event. He had torn quite a lot of toilet paper off of each roll, and he was busily, happily stuffing it into the center of the rolls.

I won’t tell you every single thing I have spaced out and let my kids do. What I will do is show you some pictures of the kind of stuff that happens when I am not looking.

You have been warned. But it won’t stop you from flaking out and letting children destroy your life, your house, and each other. Even if you don’t have any children and children only visit your home. Because they have their master strategy: store energy, exhaust the adults, and get really quiet. I have no advice. I just wish you the best of luck with that.

What's the strangest thing YOUR child has done when your back was turned?


About the Author: Laura Garwood Meehan serves up the funny at Short-Winded Blog, where she sometimes gets a little long-winded, but it's OK because you're peeing your pants as you read. You can "like" her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter, @MamaEdits.


Image via Laura Garwood Meehan

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Organ... Organizedchaos8

LOL, and this is why parents need coffee! To answer your question, she was in her walker (so she should have been pretty well contained right? ) she went into the kitchen, I was in the living room. She was in there for a few minutes and was really quiet. I went to check and she was on the counter! What a little monkey! She's 12 now, so she survived lol.

craft... craftycatVT

She sprinkled glitter all over the bathroom and stuck maxi pads to the walls because she "wanted to make it look like a fairy was in there."

Todd Vrancic

They take things apart. . . . a LOT.

NatAndCo NatAndCo

Apparently or baby gate didn't shut correctly and I didn't realize they had gotten out. I was stalled from my kitchen cleaning by muffled crying and found them in the bathroom stuffing anything they could get their hands on in the toilet and flushing. 4 rolls of toilet paper, a towel, toothbrushes, a box of bandaids etc... one twin was crying because they flooded the floor and he slipped.

nonmember avatar mk

What's wrong with the last pic? A barbie and Ken doll riding in car? He is drinking a cup? Am I missing something?

nonmember avatar danielle

I have twins, so when we had woke in the morning I sent the kids to play in their room while I made coffee...before the coffee had even finished I found them upstairs playing haircut...still waiting for my daughters mullet to grow...

nonmember avatar jennifer

Two words..... POOP MURAL

iicar... iicarmerin

@MK, Ken is choking Barbie with a string. Anyways, my toddler snuck of to use the potty and spread her poop all over the bathroom.

drive... drivencrazy18

The toilet paper.. oh goodness yes. And my middle child once woke from a nap and quietly smeared poop all over his sleeping older brother and the walls then came out crying screamming caca afterwards. Also I have lost a phone or two in the toilet. Not to mention the bottled water incident. 24 bottles of water opened and spilled on the floor.

Jody Alton

Suffering from a bad flu, I plunked DD3 down in front of the TV and allowed myself to doze on the couch.  I woke to a kiss on the forehead from her.  I smiled.  She whispered, "I put my booger in your mouth."  As I spluttered and wiped at my tongue, she grinned sweetly and said, "you're WELCOME!"

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