Disclaimer: Before I start talking about the Murphy-ish parenting laws, I must admit that I suffer from occasional (ahem! more like daily) bouts of sarcasm. This post is written in that vein. Please read it in that light. It, in no way, reflects on my parenting skills. Carry on!
Parenting is not a lawless jungle (though it may seem like one, most of the times!). There are rules and regulations that guide the parenting universe, making the crazy everyday situations a mere byproduct of these laws and not some maddening deviations to those rules. This does not mean that the parenting laws are benevolent in nature and the parenting universe, an all-encompassing utopia. Every parent out there is very much aware of the dictatorial nature of their ruling forces (Read, the kids). But if I have to be totally unbiased here, I have to admit that these laws and bylaws are very much-needed to level the playing field, considering that in the absence of these rules, the current “rulers” would get delegated to an underdog status and the parents would end up becoming their dictators. So yeah, rules? Good. The absence of them? Not so much!
But I am going off on a tangent here. Let me get straight back to the point. If you are a parent and if you have asked yourself “Why? Oh why?” in the last 24 hours (Chances are that you have, multiple times!), this post is to enlighten you and to remind you that the laws of parenting are very real and your world revolves around them. Though it will not make your oppressed status a better one, it will definitely give you a better perspective, so that you can adjust your expectations accordingly.
So, without wasting further bandwidth on Prolog, here are the 11 Parenting Laws That Every Mom And Dad Should Know (not in any particular order of precedence) and a few suggestions how to work around them without breaking bad:
1. Parenting Law of Mom Showers
Law: The moment a mom, the only resident adult of the house at that point, enters the bathroom for a quick (is there any other way?) shower, one or many of the following things will happen:
- The kid will need to pee or poop (red alert!) right that very moment
- The doorbell will ring and keep on ringing, sending the kid into a frenzy “Who’s at the door for me?”
- The phone will ring and keep on ringing, sending the kid into a frenzy “Who’s calling me?” (Yes, it’s for you, you egomaniac!)
- Suddenly, there will be too much suspicious silence (scary!)
- The iPad will run out of battery or the TV will go to commercial and instant whining will ensue from the kid
- Take a shower when the kid is sleeping or better yet, when he is at school and when you can safely ignore the ringing doorbell and phone without any repercussions
- Take a shower when another adult is present inside the house
- Skip showering altogether…till the kid goes off to college 😉
2. Parenting Law of Cooking
Law: The amount of time and energy expended to prepare a meal is inversely proportional to the number of minutes taken by the kid to reject that meal and run away. In layman’s terms, the longer and harder it takes to cook something good and healthy, the quicker it will get rejected by the picky eater.
Do the 15-minute cookout challenge. Here’s how it works:
- The moment the kid says something in the lines of “I am hungry” (rare!) or “I want chips” (common) is when you start the clock.
- Go to the fridge, look at the ingredients and think of a relatively healthy dish you can whip up in the next 15 minutes or less.
- Prepare and present the dish to the kid.
- If he is hungry enough, he will start gobbling it down like there is no tomorrow.
- If he is not quite there yet, he will find fault with the dish after every two spoonfuls or reject it altogether.
- In the case of rejection, chuck the dish away. No biggie…it’s only 15 minutes of your life! Repeat the cookout challenge till the kid is hungry enough to not care anymore or he is full from all the taste testing.
3. Parenting Law of Playing Catch
Law: You are not doing the parenting gig right if you have not played “catch” with your bare hands for one or more of below items:
- Vomit (Gross!)
- Spit-up (Gross!)
- Poop (Gross…thank god this is only true for the first year)
- The kid (Scary!)
- Crockery, Vase, iPad, Phone..basically any and every breakable in your home (Heartbreaking!)
- Wear surgical gloves at all times
- Take cricket/baseball lessons (to improve your catching prowess, for the last two points)
- Become The Flash (Don’t forget to tell me how!)
4. Parenting Law of Adult Conversations
Law: The degree of importance of an adult conversation is directly proportional to the number of times and the total duration for which that conversation will get interrupted by the kid. In layman’s terms, the more important an adult conversation is, the more the kid will be inclined to intervene and interrupt.
- Talk when the kid is sleeping.
- Talk when the kid is at school.
- Talk on the phone when the kid is watching TV or iPad.
- Communicate over emails.
- Stop having adult conversations.
5. Parenting Law of Pride And Vanity
Law: The day you brag about the kid’s ‘x’ ability is the day he/she will suffer a regression for the said ability and in all probability demonstrate the lapse right in front of the person(s) you bragged to about it.
- Brag about how the kid loves school and he will cling to your leg all the way to the bus, wailing non-stop, for the entire neighborhood to hear “I don’t want to go to school. I don’t like school.”
- Brag about how your previously picky eater kid is eating everything nowadays and he will demonstrate his dislike for all edibles with renewed vigor.
- Brag about how your kid’s immunity has improved and he will suddenly develop a fever out of the blue.
- Brag about how big your pet fish have grown and three of them will die in quick succession within a couple of days of each other [Well, this has nothing to do with parenting, but this happened and I am so depressed about it 🙁 ]
- Brag only in your head, not in public.
- Don’t brag. Period.
6. Parenting Law of Hot Beverages
Law: This law is very similar to the “Parenting Law of Mom Showers”, but considering how important coffee/tea is to the proper functioning of the parenting universe, it definitely deserves a separate heading of its own. The law states that the moment you walk out of the kitchen with a hot beverage in your hand, one or many of the below things will happen:
- The kid will need to poop or pee
- The kid will ask you to play with him relentlessly
- The kid will ask you if he could do his homework right now (This is so rare you will not want to miss it for the world!)
- The kid will take a tumble and start wailing completely disproportionately to the degree of injury
- Someone will be at the door (vegetable vendor, home delivery guy etc.) and that interaction will take ages
- Reheat the (now) cold beverage and repeat
- Develop a taste for drinking “hot beverages” in their limp, lukewarm states (It’s not that bad, you know!)
- Develop a taste for Frozen 😉 (Yes, the movie too. It helps!) and for eating food items and drinking beverages cold. Cold coffee and iced tea pack an equal punch as their hot counterparts.
7. Parenting Law of Changing Sheets
Law: Within the first thirty minutes of changing the bed sheets, pillow cases, covers etc., there will occur an incident courtesy the kid which will defile the freshness of your endeavor. It could be anything ranging from:
- Spilled milk/juice etc. (basically any colored and sticky liquid food)
- Deliberate crumbling of cookies, chips or other hard to clean food particles
- Usage of the art supply on the sheets
- Usage of cosmetics, lotions, oils, creams, powders etc. on the sheets
- Muddy Paws
And so on.
- Immediately after changing the sheets, ensure that the kid creates a supervised mess on them. This helps in containing the damage and prevents further, more derogatory action from the kid
- Don’t change sheets till the kid goes off to college 😉
8. Parenting Law of Expensive Toys
Law: The more expensive a toy is, the less interested the kid will be in playing with it.
Corollary 1: The more expensive a toy is, the more interested the kid will be in playing with its packaging instead.
Corollary 2: The more expensive a toy is, the faster it will lose its charm.
Corollary 3: The more expensive a toy is, the faster the kid will misplace one of its vital parts.
Corollary 4: The more expensive a toy is, the more tiny hard-to-manage-parts it will have.
- Don’t buy expensive toys. If possible, collaborate with your nearby toy store to procure interesting looking packages instead.
- Don’t buy any toy which doesn’t come with its own storage unit
9. Parenting Law of Eternal Laundry
Law: If you are able to see the bottom of your laundry basket, look again.
It’s an elaborate hoax. Do a house-wide extensive dirty laundry sniff search (under the beds, crammed inside the sofa, at the forgotten nooks and crannies of the house, still hanging in the bathroom racks etc.).
- Do laundry all day long for those elusive 10 minutes of empty laundry basket
- Hide your laundry and induce amnesia to self
- Chuck dirty laundry into the dustbin and buy new clothes every few days
- Let everyone wear dirty clothes
- Transform your washing machine into The Flash (If you figure out how don’t forget to let me know!)
10. Parenting Law of Missing Essentials:
This is not a single law, rather a group of similar laws grouped together.
Law 1: You will run out of a given (healthy) food item on the very day your picky eater decides to give it a try.
Law 2: The moment you have crossed the point of no return is the moment you will remember one or more essential things that you forgot to pack when outside the house.
Law 3: The one day you decide not to carry something (water bottle, juice, snacks, handkerchief etc.) outside the house is the one day the kid will decide that he must have that said item that very moment.
None, unless you are The Flash and can retrieve the missing essential within the next second!
11. Parenting Law of Inverse Looks
Law: A mom’s look is inversely proportional to the look of the kid. To elaborate, on the days the kid looks super handsome are the days the mom will look like a lunatic on the run from a mental asylum. And on the days, the mom looks all put together are the days the kid will look like a ragamuffin. This is, of course, very scientific considering that the time to “get ready” for any occasion is limited and the more time she spends on sprucing up the kid, the lesser she has to dress up herself and vice versa.
- Divide the amount of time available into two equal parts and stick to it for a balanced mom-kid look.
- Don’t bother going and stay home.
There you have it: 11 Parenting Laws That Govern The Parenting Universe. So what laws did I miss? What laws/by-laws govern your part of the parenting world? Don’t forget to share 🙂