20 Parental Grievances Aired, Vol. I

I know it’s not Festivus time yet, but if I wait until December, I might forget some of these. Also, by December, this list would be so long that it might break the Internet, so let’s just knock off 20 parental grievances quick just so they’re nice and out in the open, whaddya say?

  1. The dog is not a mode of transportation. Yes he’s big and strong, but he’s still a four-legged mammal with a horizontal spine that can’t bear the weight of humans.
  2. Remember when I said to take all the beverage bottles out of the fridge, scatter them around the house and let them all get warm and gross? Me neither.
  3. Wadding up some paper towels and setting them on top of the pooled liquid you’ve spilled does not constitute the entire “clean up your mess” process. It is merely step one.
  4. Similarly, that roll of toilet paper you accidentally dropped into the sink should be removed right away, rather than waiting for the sink drip to transform it into the size, weight and consistency of a freshly excised human brain.
  5. “Refrigerate after opening” is a directive, not a light suggestion.
  6. I assume that empty glass you’ve left on the table for the last two weeks is part of a forensic-science project about fingerprint collection?
  7. And speaking of forensics: If you grow up to become a real criminal, you’re going to need a crash course in cleaning up evidence if the Nerf guns and bullets not-so-hidden under every piece of furniture in this house are any indication. COVER YOUR TRACKS, kids.
  8. Under normal circumstances, I am accustomed to you leaving food wrappers in the van, and this is only a minor transgression. However, a couple times a year I pay the detail shop $175 to briefly make our car appear to be owned by something other than a cackle of hyenas. Leaving trash in the car less than 60 minutes after I’ve just picked up the van from the detailer triggers the same reaction in me as all three of you lighting up a Newport while I drive you to school.
  9. If I gave you a one-question pop quiz of “Where should you put my screwdrivers and other tools when you’re done using them?” and you answered “We should drive them sharp-end-first into the grass in the front yard,” you would fail this quiz.
  10. If you wake up in the night to find a railyard hobo sleeping on your bedroom floor, please don’t blame me. The virtual shantytown you’ve built out of every piece of dirty clothing you wore last month looks very warm and cozy, so you did everything but invite the guy in yourself with that.
  11. Each of the last 42 times you’ve decided to play-fight on the trampoline, it’s quickly turned into real fighting and ended with someone crying and hurt. BUT BY ALL MEANS, GIVE NUMBER 43 A GO. It could end differently this time!
  12. Those are very nice dress shirts that Grandma bought you! Have you been leaving them draped over the same kitchen chair for the last three weeks just to have them at arm’s reach in case I spontaneously replace Hamburger Helper Wednesdays with a nine-course formal tasting meal?
  13. The black bean and quinoa enchiladas we had last week were delicious. Delicious! And I’m reminded of how delicious they are every day when I walk into the kitchen and still see all that quinoa shrapnel stuck to the stove top!
  14. Amazon sends us a 6-pack of toothbrushes every two months, yet at any given time, there are a maximum of three usable toothbrushes in the bathroom. Seriously, what are you guys doing with the toothbrushes? Are you filing them into shanks in your rooms and hiding them behind the vent covers? You’re allowed to leave the house, you know…you don’t have to orchestrate a violent coup.
  15. There are three human males in this house, and all of us pee standing up. Think about the physics of that process for a moment, start to finish, and then let me know whether you think it’s a good idea to deposit your dirty clothes around the base of the toilet. I’m not saying it’s the single worst place to put them — that would be putting them directly into the toilet itself — but it’s very, very close.
  16. The trampoline is right outside the front door, and I’m happy that you make frequent use of it, and your flips are really impressive. But if you take your shoes and socks off before you go outside and jump, then maybe we’ll have a lot fewer pairs of waterlogged shoes and lost socks to contend with, yeah?
  17. Seriously, get the hell off the dog. All other dogs would’ve taken a chunk out of your arm by now, but because he’s the world’s most gentle giant, he tolerates you. Do not repay him for his tolerance by using him as any of the following things: pack horse, playground slide, jungle gym, climbing wall or jiu-jitsu sparring partner.
  18. I am impressed by your ability to stack folded clothing several feet into the sky, but those drawers and closets…you know, they’re…I mean, they’re right there. Totally ready to go, ready to do your bidding. Just any old time now.
  19. I guess bed sheets aren’t a necessity per se, but they do make for a softer and more comfortable sleeping experience, if you’re ever inclined to un-wad them up from the bottom corner of your bed and give ’em a day in court.
  20. I bought all that Tupperware for food storage, people…not for loom-band-bracelet storage, slime storage, glitter storage, Lego storage and makeup storage. This is not what those airtight-sealing lids were born to do.

VOLUME ONE OF THE AIRING OF GRIEVANCES IS HEREBY COMPLETE.

As you were, minions…until I gather up 20 more…

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