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What Are Your Biggest (And Funniest) Parenting Fails? I’ll Start…

One of my favorite topics of conversation amongst our friends is our worst parenting fails. Not the ones where someone actually gets hurt or stems from any sort of malice, but just the everyday “whoops” that are funny. Most of mine revolve around not having good judgment about what “fun stuff” is appropriate or safe. This is usually when Brian isn’t home as he has far better judgment than I. For instance, the time I let them play with a big bag of baking flour (outside, but still – I was cleaning it up for weeks and no, adding water does NOT HELP) To be fair IT WAS SO FUN!! Understandably they threw it everywhere like magic dust and covered their entire bodies and hair in it. It made its way inside and was all over the furniture and rugs – for weeks). Brian came home and was HORRIFIED.

Or the time that I let three kids (2 were mine) stab a big cardboard box with screwdrivers (I thought that assigning them each a side would somehow negate the violence in which they yielded their stabber). It got out of control almost immediately with violent stabs near all their hands (not at each other). Whoops. I had to apologize for that one for a while (and to the other mom) and the fallout sucked. When I desperately screamed at them to stop before there was an injury (realizing my mistake), I had 3 pissed kids on my hands because I had just given them a taste of something they had always wanted to do, it was the most fun 2 minutes of their lives.

Then there was the time (and this one is scary) that I wanted to turn our new castle slide into a waterslide, so I put the hose at the top of it to let it flow down. Charlie got up there and before we could see what was about to happen, he flew down, caught so much air – like 18″ off the slide, and came within inches of slamming his head against a boulder and knocking out all his teeth or worse (he was 3). To be fair, I was with two other parents for that one who also thought it was a “fun” idea, and we hired a boulder mover the next day and never did it again. We were all out of our minds terrified at the poor judgment. It was a very close call and was 100% my fault.

We joke that I need a hotline when I’m alone with them – someone to call and ask if it’s ok if they, say, use blue tape to create a matrix-style trap system throughout the second floor of our house. I mean that sounds like fun!!! Of course, the bummer is that everything that is super fun as a kid is also extremely messy. The mud party in the backyard. The time we filled a mini pool with these I’m sure highly toxic and never-biodegradable jelly balls (sorry, planet), the time I let them have a silly string fight outside (sorry, planet – don’t do this, we cleaned it up for WEEKS). The “apartment complex” we made out of 9 boxes (and I didn’t check the weather so they were all disgusting and soggy after the rain and couldn’t even be recycled). Unfortunately, but not surprisingly the consequences can make me feel like quite the idiot sometimes.

The problem is that I’m a 7 enneagram (driven by what’s fun with high enthusiasm for it) and I’m also the 4th out of 6 kids from the ’80s with very little supervision so I know what I did at certain ages, and it’s hard for me not to let them repeat the fun, even if it’s dangerous by today’s standards. FYI, I’m super strict/scared around cars, fires, and bodies of water. I don’t let them just play in the front yard without supervision and the fact that they can both swim now is the biggest weight gone (pools without gates gave me nightmares). I’m also not a “yes mom” when it comes to sugar, inappropriate TV or video games (yet), etc. See? I’m not the worst…

When You “Lose It” In A Hilarious Way

One time, when I was SO FED UP at them for not helping clean up their play attic, it’s like a demon took over my body. It was unbelievably messy, and it wasn’t the first time (duh). I was up there helping them (HOT TIP: kids can’t really clean by themselves till they are around 7-8), I put on a musical to listen to, I made it a game, I gave them specific jobs, tons of encouragement! Team Henderson! blah blah, blah – ALL THE TOOLS, they STILL wouldn’t listen to me and I just lost it. I looked around at how spoiled these kids were, how many toys and crafts they had, and how disgusting it was that they couldn’t even clean up after themselves and take care of their disgusting toys that they got because they are so spoiled. Of course, I’m mostly mad at myself for those things, I lost it. But I didn’t know how to get their attention or “lose it”. How does a hipster parent who doesn’t believe in corporal punishment get their kids to listen to them??? I didn’t know!!! So in my fit of rage, I picked up one of their favorite stuffies – the one that was closest to me and f***cking CHUCKED IT so. hard. at its “bin”, violently, like with my whole body. I may have audibly screamed/roared while doing it. They both started bawling, ran to me apologizing then I started bawling and apologizing and it was quite the family moment. I even apologized to “kitty cat” the stuffy, who wasn’t hurt because it’s a stuffed animal, but she didn’t deserve to be the victim of my parent temper tantrum.

We talked a lot about our feelings that day, what signs of frustration are and now it’s like a cautionary tale – like don’t let me get to the “stuffy” point. Days later it was actually hilarious and I know that many of you are thinking “that’s what you call losing it?” But it was terrifying to them because it’s not how I usually lose it (usually bursting into tears) and when your parent acts totally out of character kids get scared. I also realized afterward that I was on a round of steroids for an allergy-related asthma attack at the time, so I actually think I had roid rage, which makes it even funnier.

Desperate Things We Say??

What about the time that I was so frustrated about them not listening that I showed them footage of military schools and while I didn’t tell them that we were going to send them to one, I implied that most parents would if their kids didn’t listen like this. They started crying that we were going to drop them off, that they wouldn’t live with us anymore and they were SO SAD. We felt AWFUL (Brian was in on that one, it wasn’t planned but we just let it get out of control together).

What about the time where I was so tired, so exhausted that I offered Charlie $20 to put him and his sister down (I think they were 3 and 5). I was totally desperate and serious. He said yes at first but as you can imagine no, my 5-year-old did not put himself and his toddler sister to bed.

I could actually go on but I’m starting to feel, you know, shame. So it’s your turn – it can be anonymous, but I think the world needs to hear more parenting fails – not the serious ones where someone actually gets hurt or worse, but the hand in the face ones where the kids aren’t necessarily scarred but you learned something about yourself and you have a funny or crazy story – you know, like me and my poor “fun judgment”. But seriously there is a hole in the market. We need a ‘”Is it ok if my kids do this?” hotline? …

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Rusty
2 months ago

Bahahaha🤣😅😂😅🤣 Funny…not funny…but actually really funny! I don’t have kids of my own, but have been an aunt to a cast of several dozen and am now a great aunt. Yeah, they tell me I’m a great aunt (-fun adventures, burrowing through leaves, okay if you really wanna try that beautiful mud cake we made and got all over our clothes go for it, the best goofy gifts, etc.) But, I’m actually a great aunt…as in my nephews and nieces are parents!! Oh, the joy of being the “late lamb” youngest of 7! Ha! One of my nieces got home and her husband had bathed their toddlers and they had their PJs on. Buuuuut, like Emily, she couldn’t resist the mud puddle calling… and enough to say, he came home to all three of them covered in mud, from head to toe!!! Too funny. Too much fun. A lot of cleaning up! (And apologising to said husband).😂🤣 A nephew is embarking on an around Australia caravanning road trip in a pandemic (though Australia really isn’t drowning in it, … yet) in December with his wifeand daughters, 4 and 6. Yikes! I’m sure those stories will be exciting!😳 Fun is fun… Read more »

Rusty
2 months ago
Reply to  Rusty

PS: Iemailed both addresses today, Emily. xx

Rusty
2 months ago
Reply to  Emily

👍

KC
2 months ago

This is an older sister failure… but I was supposed to be babysitting when I was about 16 and the two younger ones were outside playing in the first snow of the year.

Well they had made the tiniest pile of snow in the world – next to the garage and when I finally looked out the window the 4 year old was on a sled on the garage roof and the 7 year old was getting ready to push her. I opened the window and began screaming at them to stop but it was too late.

I raced outside barefoot and see the 4 year old laying on her back on the sled. She lifted her hand in the air to give me a thumbs down and announced “it was a very bad idea”. Lol. She was luckily perfectly fine. Just in need of closer supervision.

Vera
2 months ago
Reply to  KC

😂 love the ending KC! Right out of a movie!

Ghalia
2 months ago
Reply to  KC

I actually had my head in my hands while reading this… xD

Roberta Davis
2 months ago
Reply to  KC

lol!

2 months ago

My 4 year old son had one of those blow up punching bag clowns (no, that isn’t my parenting fail although maybe it is one lol) and he and his two buddies where having a playdate and they seemed to be having a fun time. I had turned my back for only a few seconds and heard them giggling. All three of them were sitting on top of the clown like he was a missile and were launching themselves off the top of the stairs heading down to the basement. Despite my screams to stop, they launched and flew the clown down the flight of stairs and landed in a heap at the bottom. They were rolling on the ground in fits of laughter asking for one more ride. I was an absolute mess for the rest of the playdate.

Vera
2 months ago
Reply to  Ellen

Ahhh Ellen I totally know what you mean about being a mess after close calls. It takes me hours to get back to normal!

Vera
2 months ago

This is so fun!
We are having our foundation rebuilt while living in the house and it is STRESSFUL (crazy expensive, crazy loud, house shaking so hard that art is falling down). Yesterday (during a 7-hour span of not being able to use water in the house) I wanted to cheer us all up and announced to my three littles that they could choose a treat after lunch. Two picked Cheetos. Halfway through I remembered I wouldn’t be able to wash their hands / bathe the 2 yr old who had gotten it EVERYWHERE. 🤦🏻‍♀️
On the plus side as he dazedly munched (just before nap time) I enjoyed some very fun Michael Scott vibes.

Julie
2 months ago

This is possibly the greatest post ever. I am dying laughing but I also feel really good knowing I am not alone in my parenting failures! I have yelled and thrown stuffies. Stuffies see some sh*t. I always feel so bad after I yell. You really nailed the “you kids are so spoiled/what have I done” thought process.
I recently let my second grader walk by herself to the kids clothing area of our local kohls while I returned an item. I’m trying to help her build confidence and independence. She was maybe 30 feet away. Anyway, I went to find her and discovered her hiding behind mannequins and jumping out and scaring other shoppers. I mean, hilarious, yes but Oh My God. People were not impressed with my free range parenting.

Rusty
2 months ago
Reply to  Julie

Now that’s confidence!🤣😂🤣

Julie
2 months ago
Reply to  Emily

My heart was like, “respect,” but outwardly I was all “hey, come on, you know better.”

Rebecca
2 months ago
Reply to  Julie

Spit out my drink. So damn funny! D be slightly proud of the gumption, but oh so wrong still.

Karen
2 months ago

I pushed my 3 yr old too high on a swing and he flew off about 8 feet from the ground, did a full flip and landed face first in the mulch. He didn’t get hurt but he did have a face full of mulch and had some remarks about what I did to him. I can still see him in slow motion flipping through the air

Lacy Ellsworth
2 months ago

Our firstborn is extremely strong willed. From about 18 months to 4.5 was a rough go. Once when she was about 2.5 I got mad at her for something and went and put her in her room. I closed the door and turned around and yelled “you little shit”. We were in the middle of a renovation and unbeknownst to me my painters had let themselves in downstairs. They called up the stairs “Um, Lacy, we’re here. We let ourselves in when no one answered”. Neither of them had kids and now I don’t think they ever will.

Lacy Ellsworth
2 months ago
Reply to  Lacy Ellsworth

On a related note this episode from Jamie Glowacki (who wrote Oh Crap Potty Training) has been such a helpful resource for me to go back to. We all have moments of psycho mom and she teaches how to deal with it. And contrary to these posts I don’t actually curse like a sailor 😆 https://jamieglowacki.libsyn.com/psycho-mom

Marian
2 months ago
Reply to  Lacy Ellsworth

Lacy, I think about this episode every time I have a meltdown. My daughter was colicky and cried every second she was awake for the first two years of her life. One time I was so angry and overstimulated by the crying that I I threw a plate across the room. Not my finest moment. But also an important lesson in taking breaks and asking for help and just generally taking care of myself so that I don’t get to that stage at all. I learned that from the Pscyho Mom episode shortly after, and while I’m not perfect, I am muuuuch better about “catching myself” BEFORE I get to the plate-throwing stage.

Jean
2 months ago
Reply to  Emily

My bible! Em u need the next one “siblings without rivalry!” Maslich et al were geniuses. I went to their workshops too. The “he got more than I did” stuff is so easy to nip in the bud. Their tips were life changing for all of us!

Remington
2 months ago

When my oldest daughter was almost two, it became impossible to clip her toenails. She didn’t like it so she would flail and kick and wiggle. We put her in the high chair hoping she’d not be able to see what was happening below the tray. My husband and I together we’re trying to hold one tiny foot, immobilize the individual toes, and maneuver clippers effectively without cutting off anything other than the dinosaur claws she was growing. It wasn’t working. We simply couldn’t hold enough of her still. So we duct taped her pants legs to the high chair. Spoiler alert, it still didn’t work. There’s literally nothing that can hold a vibrating toddlers toes still. Once we regrouped and came to our senses, we released the hostage and simply gave up. I don’t think we clipped her toenails for another six months. And, y’know? It was fine.

Rusty
2 months ago
Reply to  Remington

Bahaha🤣🤣
We had this ad in Australia a couple of years ago and it had a toddler duct taped to the front of a fridge!!!
Totally doable?? 🤔

Allison
2 months ago
Reply to  Remington

My sister’s kid would NOT stay in bed and one time she tried taping him in bed. I think it was just masking tape and obviously not really holding him but he fell for it and stayed in bed all night.

Ghalia
2 months ago

What about the time that I was so frustrated about them not listening that I showed them footage of military schools and while I didn’t tell them that we were going to send them to one, I implied that most parents would if their kids didn’t listen like this. They started crying that we were going to drop them off, that they wouldn’t live with us anymore and they were SO SAD. We felt AWFUL (Brian was in on that one, it wasn’t planned but we just let it get out of control together).”

This is so bad and so good and I am HOWLING 😀

2 months ago
Reply to  Emily

My best friend and I used to tell our school-aged children that we were going to send them to Bad Parents’ Camp if they didn’t appreciate us more. At those ages though, they just rolled their eyes.

Lani
2 months ago
Reply to  Ghalia

I used to drive my daughter to our SPCA (think dog pound) and tell her that they don’t just accept dogs and cats. It worked for awhile, her attitude would improve, but the tables turned when she figured she would rather live with them. The police station became our next stop. She’s 23 now, and turned out fine. We laugh about it now and she admits she enjoyed pushing buttons.

Kathy
2 months ago
Reply to  Ghalia

I did a similar thing with the toothbrushing…showed her Google images of the most disgusting, rotted, nauseating teeth I could find. Of course, she found it fascinating and wanted to see more. Zero impact on the toothbrushing situation.

Jean
2 months ago
Reply to  Ghalia

There was a Prison we would have to drive to on trips. One inspired moment I decided to call it “the ultimate timeout”. Hahah. It stuck. We still call it that

Julie
2 months ago
Reply to  Ghalia

My parent’s did something similar to me, left out pamphlets of boarding schools and talked about boarding schools in Switzerland (where my dad is from). When I started indicating that that might actually be cool, they added German-speaking to the suisse boarding school threats (my family speaks french, not German).

Rebecca
2 months ago
Reply to  Ghalia

My Mom tried this with me, threatened Boarding School. Totally backfired. I thought it would be AMAZING. I researched schools and begged her to send me.

Lane
2 months ago
Reply to  Ghalia

HAHA I told my daughter we’d send her to a boarding preschool. Now she wants to go. Haha. I tell her we’re joking, we don’t have that kind of money, and Even if we did we wouldnt 🙂

AMG
2 months ago

So I don’t have a ton of these yet since my first born is only 10 months (but I do think back to those early weeks when I didn’t know her cues yet and shudder at how long she had to scream before I realized, “oh, maybe she’s hungry/sleepy/overstimulated again?”). However, I love reading these stories. People who are able to admit mistakes for the sake of community are my people. Love to everyone here! If parenting is anything like the rest of my life, I’ll be back with some “good” stories soon, I promise.

oh! Once when I was babysitting I took the kids to the school playground (outside the neighborhood and across a fairly busy street) to play without asking their parents. YIKES. No wonder they never called me to sit again!

Laura
2 months ago

When my youngest was a newborn and my eldest was three, she got into a lot of “fun” while I was getting the baby to nap and wasn’t being supervised. One time when I came downstairs, I found my daughter with the faucet in her hand and about an inch of water on our kitchen wooden floor and walls. She had taken the nozzle and sprayed it all around, flooding the room. Another time, she emptied an entire container of water beads down the stairs. They managed to cover every surface of my house and were terrible to clean up because they would bounce away when I’d try to sweep them up. Purchasing water beads is SUCH a parenting fail. They seem like so much fun in theory but don’t trick yourself into thinking it’s worth it.

Karen
2 months ago
Reply to  Laura

My kids were lobbing the wet ones off of our third story apartment. I hate water beads!

2 months ago
Reply to  Laura

This was the exact time in my daughter’s life when she cut her bangs and covered her entire head in Desitin ointment.

Lia
2 months ago
Reply to  Lisa

Omg…my 2.5 year old also smeared diaper ointment all over there face during nap time, then wiped her hands off on the brand new carpet. It was SO BAD but now we die laughing about it. Evidence attached.

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Bethany
2 months ago
Reply to  Lia

Omg, thank you for this

Roberta Davis
2 months ago

I have presided over catastrophe after catastrophe with my grandkids. Set a plastic adirondack chair at edge of deck, 1-yr-old grandson steps onto seat to see something in the yard, leans against back, and the entire thing somersaults down 3 stairs and into yard. Goofing around on couch with same grandson, he goes over the back onto the floor head first. This summer, watching the 2-yr-old try to do monkey bars like the 5-yr-old did, but he doesn’t understand physics and took a tumble that just kept getting worse. While I stood right next to him and watched it happen. Etc. Lots of those. Bad Grandma, Bad Grandma.

j
2 months ago

This is the one from years ago that still makes me shudder. I had a three year old and a six month old, and my husband worked 80 hours a week. I had no support and felt like I was flailing all the time, drowning in their needs and mine, and the evenings were particularly rough as I was almost always solo. One night I gave my three year old a bath and let him air dry while I bathed the baby. My oldest chose that time to climb on top of his dresser (which was under a window) and start dancing naked on top of it, completely visible to anyone walking or driving by. I called him down but he was having nothing to do with it and there I was, with a baby in the bathtub! You can’t leave a baby in the bath! Anyway, a strange man PULLED INTO MY DRIVEWAY and RANG MY DOORBELL to tell me that my child was naked and was going to fall out of the window. What I needed was help… what I got was public shaming. I told him “I left a baby in the bathtub to answer the door”… Read more »

Julie
2 months ago
Reply to  j

What a story!

Cynthia
2 months ago

I had so far successfully raised two boys to teenagers so my friend trusted me with her one year old daughter. She and her husband had an important date to sign papers for their first home. It was a warm summer evening and the toddler became intrigued with our yellow lab drinking out of a spigot in the backyard. She wanted to try it. So naturally I let her and then removed her tiny toddler shoes when they got wet. Over the next hour, she had many tries at the spigot and when the parents returned, I handed them a ziplock bag of wet clothes and shoes and their naked daughter clad only in her fairly water-proof disposable diaper.

Annie K
2 months ago
Reply to  Cynthia

This is such an actual win though! You were modeling for newish parents what it’s like to let go and have fun with it. Love it.

Cici Haus
2 months ago
Reply to  Cynthia

My first time solo-babysitting my god daughter I took her to Lego Land. Which has a whole water play section. Yea…ended up buying her a whole new outfit at the mall because she was soaked! Another funny detail – I lost the car in the mall parking lot. Full on freaking out, could not find it. The 4-year-old waited patiently until finally tugging on my arm and walking me straight to the car…

Emily
2 months ago

I once bumped into my 2-year-old at the top of the stairs and she fell ALL THE WAY DOWN. She wasn’t hurt, but I was scarred for life on that one! I also once told my 3-year-old (who had a fear of public toilets – the self-flushing ones) that it was fine if he wanted to pee behind a tree at a park. There was a big festival and lots of people around… but he didn’t pee BEHIND the tree, but rather RIGHT IN FRONT of it where everybody could see him. *sigh*

Marian
2 months ago
Reply to  Emily

Omg Emily the stair falling! That happened to my 4 year old just last week while I was across the house and all I heard was a shriek, then… THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP all the way down to the bottom stair. I ran faster than I ever have in my life (thankfully, she was also totally fine — how is that possible?)

Rusty
2 months ago
Reply to  Marian

Kids bounce much better than adults!

2 months ago
Reply to  Emily

The peeing! We told my 4 year old to go pee in the sea when we were on vacation in Mallorca. He proceeded to walk to the very edge where the water barely touched his toes, pull down his bathing suit to his ankles, lean his pelvis forward and pee. Instead of stopping him, we laughed so hard and took a picture.

Sarah
2 months ago
Reply to  Emily

Solidarity. I knocked my toddler into an empty bathtub turning around in a small bathroom. She could have been really hurt and I was *freaked* for the rest of the day.

Kiana
2 months ago
Reply to  Emily

Lol, this reminded me of a story about when my son was a toddler. So he was born in Spain and we lived there until he was six. In Spain, it’s quite common for toddlers who can’t be expected to hold it, to pee in public on a tree or shrub or something. So, we adapted to this custom. Fast forward to us visiting America with our then four year old son and we were at a nice restaurant with outdoor seating in Miami. My son feels the urge and rushes over to a plastic potted tree (he’d never seen a fake plant before) to relieve himself. My husband and I shout “no!” and rush over to stop him. Kid was so confused and we had to explain to him that it’s actually illegal to do that in this country. We stressed that point a bit too much in retrospect and now he won’t pee outside because he’s worried we’ll all be arrested. Two parenting fails in one!

Natalie Anthony
2 months ago

I had a birthday party for my 7 year old. We did a how to train your dragon theme and I made wooden swords out of the bigger paint stir sticks for each kid. 20 kids running around with wooden swords did not end well.

Vera
2 months ago

My husband made our boys wooden pirate swords for a treasure hunt – themed bday last year. They’ve since turned them into light sabers. So many (minor) injuries. I keep meaning to hide them…

2 months ago

I’m laughing so hard right now. This post is amazing. I’ve had my fair share of parenting fails, and we share the jelly balls in the backyard thing. One of my worst messy ones was ordering a bunch of wax pellets to make candles for Christmas. I had a 2 year old who loved to dump the bag all over the house, especially in rooms with carpet. Then he would walk on them. They melted into the carpet every single time and I was cleaning them up for WEEKS.

emma
2 months ago

These are hilarious, and have re-confirmed that I should not have kids 😂

Kelly
2 months ago

Big thank you for posting this. Parenting has been tough lately and this is all so relatable. While I have many to share that are just like Emily’s, here is one of the funnier ones (in retrospect): A few hours after we put our kids to bed and thought they were sound asleep, our 4 yr old son snuck into his sister’s room, opened a bottle of her sand art, dumped it out in a trail from the far side of her room, out the door, through the hallway, and over to our room…making all of our carpet rainbow colored. If that wasn’t *hilarious* enough, he went back for a second bottle and dumped it INTO HER FAN. Effectively covering her entire bed and most of her bedroom in a thick layer of very fine, colored sand. Somehow she slept through all of this and only woke up when we had to vacuum her.

Lacy Ellsworth
2 months ago
Reply to  Kelly

Oh my gosh!!!!!!!!! This one had me burst out laughing. Soooo bad. I’d be pissed!!!!!! 😂

2 months ago
Reply to  Kelly

Smart kid!

BH
2 months ago
Reply to  Kelly

THIS is hilarious….😂 albeit can see it wouldn’t be at the time !!

Annie K.
2 months ago

My husband’s exceptionally good at figuring out how to integrate our kids into household and backyard tasks and chores whereas I get easily overwhelmed by this – I’ve developed a bit of a complex about it! So, I was very proud of myself when I decided to clean up dog poop in the backyard and have my son, then 18 months, help me. He was a great dog poop spotter! He was so into it! And so careful about not stepping on it. And I was including him in chores! So proud of this.

Fast forward one day, and I’m doing whatever in the kitchen with the backdoor open, and I hear a little voice behind me, “Look, Mama, poop!” and turn around, and there he is with two hands full of dog poop, that he’s now proudly showing me in the kitchen.

To his credit, he learned quickly not to pick up the poop. Only did it one or two more times! (Yuuuuuuck!)

anonymous
2 months ago

Our oldest had terrible tantrums and one of his triggers was putting his shoes on. Massive meltdowns, power struggles, etc. When my youngest of three was a toddler, he was having a similar tantrum about his shoes — it was necessary to be shod for this activity. I was so exhausted and so over it, I loudly, but calmly and slowly said, “Put your fu*&ing shoes on.” He did. However, a few nights later he said something truthful, but rude, to me and his father told him at bedtime that it really hurt my feelings. He said, “Well, it hurts my feelings when mommy says, “fu*&ing.” Well played, Finn. Well played. I had some ‘splaining to do…

Christy
2 months ago

I had (what I thought was) a great idea to teach my kids to be thankful for the delicious, homemade food I made for them. They were young (4, 6, 8, & 10), and at least one of the four would complain about dinner every day. After another meal of tears and whining, I came up with a plan – white rice and white sandwich bread for breakfast, lunch & dinner for 7 days. “That will teach them!” I thought. The next morning I announced our new meal plan and made a big pot of rice for breakfast. For 7 days, we all ate rice 3x a day, with a slice of loaf bread and a glass of water. I thought they would be begging for something different by day two or three, but no – my brilliant plan totally backfired on me. Of the four kids, three were in love with it and as happy as could be. My oldest son was the only one miserable (besides me, of course). For several years after that week, my kids would ask if we could do the rice & bread diet, and my son would start yelling “NO, NO, NO!!!” To… Read more »

2 months ago
Reply to  Christy

Oh my gosh – how did anybody poop that week!

Audra
2 months ago
Reply to  Ellen

Yessss, this!i love trips to Thailand, but get the “oh, you’re a weird farang” look sometimes for avoiding rice 😅

Courtney
2 months ago

I have three kids and I have so many … I mean, is it my fault if my two oldest were driving me crazy so I sent them outside, and as a result the eldest fell off his scooter and broke his arm?
Funnier stories though … the time we got my daughter (then 4) a lip balm, because she loves lip balm, only to come into her bedroom a few hours later and see she had smeared it all over the walls! That stuff is impossible to clean, btw.
Or when we were at Target and realized it was National Ice Cream Day so we bought them ice cream on the way out of the store. Buckled them into their seats and I posted a pic to FB, like “so cute! celebrating ice cream!” and someone replied “in the car?!” And I turned around and realized they were covered in ice cream and we were 20 minutes from home …
With the youngest, I’ve left him alone for two seconds and come back to find him a) pulling every single ziploc bag out of the box and b) joyfully throwing a roll of toilet paper down the stairs.

Annie
2 months ago

At the end of a road trip, we went to the Museum of Appalachia, which has a gift shop filled with all sorts of cool old-timey toys. We were meeting up with an old friend and so let the kids pick out their own souvenirs, without really paying adequate attention to what we were buying for them. Well…my 7 year old used this as an opportunity to get a whistle made out of a deer antler. That thing made an unbelievably loud ear-piercing sound. And suffice it to say, it was a LONG 8 hr drive home between the whistle, the pleas that he would stop blowing on it and then the tears after the whistle was taken away.

DeniseGK
2 months ago
Reply to  Annie

I gave my oldest girl a hawk call for a birthday present after a mating pair showed up in our neighborhood one spring – they were nesting somewhere near, and hunted over our neighborhood which abuts the Natchez Trace Parkway. I think she was 6 or 7 years old. She loved it, and loved the idea that if she could do it just right she could call birds to her whenever she wanted. Oh my soul, the first time she packed that thing in her littlest pet shop purse w/o me realizing and then blew it in the car (the a/c was going so all the windows were rolled up) I thought I was going to drive off the road I startled so hard. And I went a bit deaf for an hour or so. We had to have a serious talk about what kinds of things are allowed to be packed in the purse for errands.

Mary
2 months ago

After ignoring the noise for a while, I discovered my three sons and daughter (the youngest)–all under the age of 12–screaming with delight/fright as the boys stood at the top of a long stairway in my mother’s house. They had thrown all the pillows and blankets they could find around the bottom of the stairs. Padding, you understand. Discovered they had zippered their sister into a large suitcase and slid it/her down the stairs. More than once. She survived. The boys survived. I survived. They all learned some very colorful language.

Now they have scary stories to tell about their own children. I haven’t labeled each of my grandchildren “Sir Edmund Hilary” without good reason. Absolutely nothing those kids won’t climb. Grandchildren are actively acquiring colorful language from their parents.

Lindsey
2 months ago
Reply to  Mary

OH M HEAVENS. “Zippered her into a suitcase” wins. Kids used to have so much (scary) fun. 🙂

DeniseGK
2 months ago
Reply to  Mary

When I was in 5th grade (1988), one of my best friends was the daughter of the school principal. They had just gotten a new car that had those newfangled keyless locks – numbered buttons on the edge of the driver’s door, you type in a passcode to unlock doors…or to just pop the trunk. It was the coolest thing and she wanted to show us. YES, we all snuck out the playground and into the staff parking lot. I don’t remember who came up with it, but we all (including the daughter) thought it would be THE MOST FUN to take turns locking each other in the trunk and seeing who could last the longest, popping it open when the person inside couldn’t take it anymore. Unfortunately, a teacher walked close enough to the lot just in time to hear the principal’s daughter’s muffled screams of “LET ME OUT LET ME OUT” (which, you had to scream, or we couldn’t hear you) and thought that we were bullying her. Even with a full confession (major props to Anne, bc I wouldn’t have – her mom was scary), no one believed us that it was a game we were all… Read more »

Eve
2 months ago

Ah mummy confessions… My son was three and my daughter less than one, She was a reflux baby who needed to be nursed/rocked to sleep (which was a minimum 30 minute ordeal) every single nap. We’d all been playing in the paddling pool in the back garden, then it was nap time so I put on a DVD for my three year old, and took my daughter upstairs, closing the stair gate behind me. As she was finally falling asleep I could hear my son start crying downstairs, I ignored him and kept rocking. Crying stopped, and finally my daughter fell asleep. I came downstairs and my son was nowhere to be seen. Running out the front door I find him sobbing his heart out with two concerned looking neighbours and a security guard, they’re frantically trying to find a phone number for my husband, because apparently he’d been sitting in the doorstep crying that mummy was gone and he wanted daddy. They had assumed no one was home. Did I mention my son was completely naked and had been with these people for at least 20 min. I just picked him up, took him inside and closed the door.… Read more »

Alissa D.
2 months ago

I recently fell victim to the pleas of several preteen boys who begged me to let them play with boxing gloves in our front yard. Only one of the kids was mine and three others I had not even met the parents of. I agreed as long as they only danced around and lightly tapped gloves, no real hitting. You can imagine how this went… 2 minutes in and these little masculine psychos were screaming and roaring and full out swinging and hitting each other in the face as hard as they could. A dad from down the street even brought his small son over to watch the mayhem and reminisce about his childhood fistfights. Cars drove by and honked. People walking their dogs crossed the street away from my yard. Basically, my parental incompetence was witnessed by the whole neighborhood. It took me several minutes to break up the “boxing match”- during which time they all denied hitting anyone in the face, but also, quite hilariously, pouted and cried and tattled that THEY got hit in the face by someone else. It was a mess. I dispersed everyone back to their houses, got called the “mean mom who was… Read more »

2 months ago
Reply to  Alissa D.

The dad from down the street LOL!

Joy
2 months ago

I love this post so much. To Emily and everyone — if you haven’t yet watched “Breeders” (Hulu), please do asap. I’ve never felt more seen, as a parent. ; )

Katie
2 months ago

My second child was born very capable and self assured. She had asked many times before to use a knife, but on her fifth birthday I finally relented. I should not have.

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Sara
2 months ago
Reply to  Katie

The man’s face in the background!! This picture is everything… I am crying I am laughing so so hard. I needed a release, thank you SO MUCH for sharing.

Lmp
2 months ago
Reply to  Sara

same! LAughing crying…needed this

karen
2 months ago
Reply to  Katie

Such a great picture! Funny!

2 months ago
Reply to  Katie

😂😂😂

Tracy
2 months ago
Reply to  Katie

This photo is straight up art. You should have it painted 😂

Caroline O'Hara
2 months ago
Reply to  Katie

HYSTERICAL!

DeniseGK
2 months ago
Reply to  Katie

If she achieves literally ANY life milestone and there is some kind of slideshow of her life PLEASE INCLUDE THIS. Like, every single time. If she gets married and there’s a photo collage or sentimental video of their childhoods – PLEASE INCLUDE THIS. It’s truly amazing and just the kind of thing everyone *loves* once it’s finished happening and everything turned out OK.

AL
2 months ago

In July we did extended family pictures for the first time in years. Family members traveled from as far away as Spain to the Western US. Months of planning and coordinating and crossing our fingers everything would work out. Morning of I thought, “It’s a Saturday. I’m going to do a fun mom craft with our two year old!” Commence us making rainbow macaroni beads with food coloring. Everything is going more or less well. No giant food coloring spills, just blue and green food coloring all over our hands that should wash off in a few days… THEN IT SUNK IN. THIS IS NOT GOING TO COME OFF BEFORE FAMILY PICTURES TONIGHT! …At least I know Photoshop. 🙄

hickenack
2 months ago

I let my now 19yo do “sensory play” with a can of barbasol on our screened porch when he was 2. While I was bathing him the sun baked the shaving cream into the floor and walls and it took months to finally wash away.

AzureSongLA
2 months ago

A friend and I went to a city sponsored egg hunt with my 2 little girls and her 3 little boys. My friend asked me to watch her boys while she went to find a bathroom. Right after she left, they blew the horn and hundreds of kids rushed the field in a million directions, including all 5 of the children for which I was now responsible. I immediately lost track of every child except the youngest. I was already running an apologetic speech through my head explaining to my friend that I lost her 3 children. Fortunately, all but one kid returned to me. Instead of wandering the field with 4 kids in tow, I sent out the older brother to find his missing sibling, which he did just moments before the mom returned. Phew!!

2 months ago

I have to say, to me those are successes (except the water slide, which, yeah, don’t want to risk broken heads). Why? Because your kids got to see you over the edge, going to far, scaring them, and yet you were never so far that you couldn’t roll it back. Better they see you cross the line, and recover, IMO, than that you never cross it at all.

Kim
2 months ago

Are you really even a parent if you don’t become a crazed lunatic at the end of a long day once in a while? I’ve launched my son’s beloved “Little Bear” at the wall or over the railing a few times & certainly live to regret it. It’s always a good teaching moment and one I hope he forgets by the time he’s grown!

Tina Nelson
2 months ago

I have a really short fuse (that I’m working on) & I swear like a sailor. At around 1-1/2 years, my daughter was sitting on the floor, playing with Duplos. She was trying really hard to separate 2 pieces & not having any luck. She finally got so frustrated that she threw the pieces into the corner & yelled “Fu*k it!” My husband turns to me & says “Did she just say what I think she said?” I was giggling so hard that I was crying, but managed to spit out that at least she used it appropriately!

Christy Levitt
2 months ago

When my first child was old enough to eat solid food, I couldn’t wait to feed him from my plate at a restaurant. He opened wide, wide for the spoon of mashed potatoes I had for him, then looked at me with confusion and spit them out, crying. Ok, I thought, not a fan. I took a bite myself and they were the hottest mashed potatoes I’d ever been served. Like pizza hot. I didn’t think to check first and will never forget the the look he gave me of “why would you do that to me?”

2 months ago

I love this topic too! And I’ve got a doozy 🙂
https://www.thefullsuburban.com/blog/parenting-fail

Kiana
2 months ago

I have two kids, a boy who’s 8 and a girl who’s 5. One day when brushing my daughter’s hair and marveling at the amount of tangles she had, I casually and absent-mindedly wondered if someone was purposefully tangling her hair while she was sleeping, like some weird, crazy monster with a hair fetish. My daughter immediately turned around and said, “a monster is tangling my hair?!” and I quickly tried to self correct by saying yes! But it was a cute monster like Mike wazowski from Monsters Inc. It was then that I remembered that she was terrified by that movie and it was my son who adored Mike wazowski, not her. Well, weeks after that, she had problems falling asleep terrified that the “tangle monster” was going to come in from her closet while she was sleeping and tangle her hair. ****forehead snack*** We think she’s over it now but yeah, that was dumb.

Also don’t ever be the cool mom and make slime. It will ruin their clothes and you will never, ever, get the stains out.

Katie
2 months ago

When my oldest was 4 we were having a lot of dance parties to music videos. It was around Halloween and he liked the song Thriller so we thought that would be such a fun music video to watch. The second Michael Jackson turned into a werewolf he completely lost it with fear. Eyes covered, screaming to turn it off. He was so scared and of course did not sleep very well for at least a week. Oops.

Verity
2 months ago
Reply to  Katie

I made that exact same mistake with my four year-old twins! I’d completely forgotten how scary the video actually was.

Jessa
2 months ago

Years ago I was babysitting my little cousins who were about 3, 5 & 6 and we were going on a picnic but after walking for a bit I realised it wasn’t going to work out well to walk as far as I had planned.. the only ‘picnic’ area close by was a cemetery so I thought this will be fine they won’t really know what it is and it’s nice grass. Well they went along with it but they definitely knew what it was and to this day every time we go for a walk or picnic they say ‘please don’t make us go to the graveyard!’

Elizabeth Manion
2 months ago
Reply to  Jessa

OMG. I laughed out loud about this one. Excellent. Hahaha

Sarah
2 months ago

We got a cache of those stretchy sticky hands as the grand treasure at the end of the treasure hunt at my older daughter’s 5th birthday party. My husband let the kids open them at the party. After one minute, I got a bad feeling (thank the lord) and made them go down to the basement. Guess who’s got apparently permanent sticky-hand-shaped grease stains all over the basement ceiling and walls two years later? The internet home remedies did not work. Apparently we would/will need to repaint with a special sealant primer like the one you use to keep pine knots from seeping through paint. FML.

Amy King Ruggaber
2 months ago

I once dropped my 9 month old baby boy off at daycare. At that age, he loved to wear hats, and I had a jaunty little grey fedora on his head. When the teachers took off his little jacket, they fell out laughing. I had accidentally dressed my sweet baby boy exactly like Freddy Krueger – you know, the super scary horror fiend?? Yeah, red and grey striped shirt, grey pants, grey fedora a the works. The best part? Yep, you guessed it! It was Friday the 13th! I don’t watch horror movies, so I didn’t have a clue, but the teachers said he was the cutest little monster ever!

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DeniseGK
2 months ago

He IS the cutest!

Jenna
2 months ago

omg I just showed this to my husband and we are both crying laughing! Hysterical! and so cute!

Dd tiz
2 months ago

Ugh. I needed this today.
My super amazing husband came back from a walk with our then 10? month old who was crying. He said I thought it would be fun to go through the sprinkler with him but… I forgot he was a baby. 😆

Vicki Williams
2 months ago

Well I’m 82 but do have some memories. When my first baby, my son David was probably less than 5 months old and as someone said, hadn’t stopped crying all that time and would’t sleep. I had been breast feeding and finally in desperation gave him a bottle. He slept “like a baby”. after that. :/
One night before figuring out the bottle I was totally beside myself with months of fatigue and frustration… I was quite far from a bed in his room, I’m pretty sure I was actually in the next room…I threw him across the room, (oh no Stuffies for me, use the actual baby, Mama!) like a Frisbee so hard but kind of carefully I think, (at least that is how I like to remember it) but HARD towards that bed. (this is all in micro seconds you understand) Somehow I made it to his landing at the same time! Probably never moved so fast before or since. Just remembered this as I am reading your “fails”. Ha!
He survived and is the best 53 old man you ever saw.

Megan
2 months ago

Omg LOVE this! Cracked me up. 😂😂 I’m a solo parent (ivf single mumma) and once my 3yr old was being so bratty and naughty that I told her the helicopter (that was flying overhead) was looking for naughty kids to take away! Now almost a yr later if she sees/hears a helicopter/plane she freaks out saying “don’t take me away”! I feel soo terrible. EPIC FAIL. 🤦🏼‍♀️ Mic drop. P.S I emailed u guys 30th Aug about book 2, any updates? Thx

Jenny
2 months ago

These are hilarious. I also let my kids play with a 5 pound bag of flour. Big brother dumped it in little brothers hair. Dad tried to wash it out, which, big surprise, turned it into paste. It was there’s for literally months. I’m still not confident there’s not flour paste still stuck to his scalp 8 mi the later

Karin B Gately
2 months ago

I was once so frustrated that my girls (ages probably about 8 and 12 at the time) wouldn’t listen to me and wouldn’t help me clean up, that I threw the vacuum cleaner (it was the closest thing to me) out the back door, while screaming. They were STUNNED. And then they started laughing. They are in their early 30’s now, and one has a daughter of her own, but that is still a family joke. “Don’t make momma throw out the vacuum cleaner!!”

Anon
2 months ago

Once after our daughter lost a tooth we completely forgot to be the tooth fairy and made up some lame excuse the next day. Then we promptly forgot again to do it the next night. When we finally remembered we felt so bad we left her a $20 bill. Well the worst part was she told all her friends how much she got so other parents were annoyed and making remarks about the overly large payout. We had to confess why we gave her so much: humiliation complete.

Anne Phillips
2 months ago

There was the time I told my kids (ages 2 and 4) a VERY GRAPHIC/BORDERLINE VIOLENT version of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” to discourage lying.

And the other time after I BLEW UP at my kids and one lucky friend and then afterwards sat them down and calmly explained what the phrase “the straw that broke the camel’s back” meant.

Tracy
2 months ago

We live on the second floor of a Victorian. The high ceilings on each floor means that we have a very long staircase up to our floor. When my son was around 18 months old, I let him play at the top of our staircase while I stripped the covers off his stroller at the bottom of the stairs in order to wash them. At first he was on the top stair, then a few minutes later, he was sitting one more stair down calmly watching me work. I kind of got distracted with what I was doing, and maybe also a little too comfortable with how seemingly careful he was being, when suddenly he was rolling sideways down the stairs at top speed, and I’ve never moved so fast in my life. I ran up the stairs and caught him in midair midway down. I then ran up the stairs with him, sat on the floor and checked every inch of him for damage in absolute panic and horror while we both cried. He ended up being totally fine with just some minor bruises on his back and arms.

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