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Everyone Else's Parents

Pamela's column for Pacific Publishing June 6, 2007

All right. I've had it. I'm mad and it's about time I stood up and said something about it before my head explodes.

I'm mad at Everyone Else's Parents. There. I said it and I'm not sorry. Do you know what you have put me through during my last eighteen years of being mired in the trenches of parenthood? You, Everyone Else's Parents, are much loved and revered by my four offspring. My children would rather have you for their parents than me. I can't say as I blame them. In fact, if you're not careful, I may just give my children to you. You don't make your children do chores.

You also let your children stay up to watch their favorite shows on cable, the ones with all the off color jokes and 'tasteful nudity' that is intrinsic to the plot line of the show. You allow your little ones to have ice cream for breakfast. Oh yes you do, I've heard it from the lips of my very own children.

Apparently you, Everyone Else's Parents, have an unlimited supply of cash on hand for everything from movies to endless stops at McDonald's for McHeart attacks. You have taken your children to Disneyland SIX TIMES! We never go anywhere.

My eight year old came to me with her latest list of what Everyone Else's Parent's l have let them do.

Daughter: “Everyone in my class has pierced ears, can I get mine pierced?”
Me: “They do huh?”
Daughter: “Yeah, everyone!!”
Me: “So, the boys all have pierced ears too?”
Daughter: “Well, some of them! But ALL the girls do, I'm the ONLY ONE that doesn't!”

Now my youngest has played the 'I'm the only one that doesn't' card. All parents have had this card dealt to them during the course of their parenthood. Once it's dealt, you have no option other than to call their bluff.

Me: “So all the girls have pierced ears in your class, huh?”
Daughter: “YES!!” (this affirmation is accompanied by a loud foot stomping.)
Me: “I'm going to drive you to school tomorrow and then go to your class with you and I'm going to personally check the ears of ALL the girls in your classroom to make sure they have pierced ears. Also, I'm going to do it in my robe and slippers.”
Daughter: “MOOOOOM! You can't do that!”
Me: “I can too. Should I wear my blue robe or my peach one? I think the peach one brings out the highlights in my hair, don't you?”
Daughter: “NOOOOOOO!” (more foot stomping)
Me: “So the blue one would be better?”

Everyone Else's Parents never embarrass their children by coming to school in robes and fuzzy slippers.

Everyone Else's Parent's do not believe in good nutrition. In fact, you do not monitor the food your children consume at all. You stock your pantries with cookies, chips, soda pop, and your freezers with prepared foods. I, on the other hand, never have any food in the house, according to my sixteen year old son.

Son: “There's nothing to eat!”
Me; “I just went shopping, the fridge is full of food!”
Son: “No, there's nothing good to eat in this house” (said as he slams the refrigerator door shut)
Me: “Look, there are apples and bananas and grapes. There's bread to make sandwiches”
Son: “I don't want any of that stuff. It's not food”
Me: “Is too!”
Son: “Is not!”
Me: “I have ingredients that you can make things with!”
Son: “Everyone Else''s Parents go to Costco and stock up on good stuff! How come you never do that? I don't want to make food!”
Me: “What, you want it to magically appear in front of you?”
Son: “Well, yeah. Can we go to Costco now?”
Me: “Uh, no. Go have an apple.”

Everyone Else's Parents don't make their children brush their teeth, make their beds, have bedtimes, or wear helmets when riding their bicycles. I caught my daughter outside riding her bike this afternoon sans helmet.

Me: “Inside, right now!”
Daughter: “Why?”
Me: “Hello? No helmet on your head when riding your bike again?”
Daughter: “Everyone Else's Parent's don't make them wear theirs! See? (pointing to neighbor boy Matthew, gleefully riding past with a bare head)
Me: “I don't care what Everyone Else's Parents make their kids do. You're in the house for the rest of the afternoon.”
Daughter: “Moooom, that's not fair!”
Me: “It's not fair that I'm still paying the bill for the last time you went riding without your helmet, or have you forgotten that bloody episode?”

Apparently she had. Forgotten it, that is.

In conclusion, I'd like to ask Everyone Else's Parents to please stop taking their children to Hawaii, stop buying them designer clothing, please make your child wear a helmet when bicycling, stop stocking your houses with exotic foodstuffs that I cannot possibly afford, and don't tell my children about your lake house, your beach house or your five dirtbikes and six quads. I'd like to offer up a suggestion to you: if you have so much disposable income that you make my children worship at the altar of your Perpetually Stocked Freezer and Our Lady of the Full Pantry, then perhaps you should raise my children. Then I could maybe go somewhere.


  1. Whatever, Mom, everyone else's parents wrote about this, like, 2 years ago.

  2. So you're one of them!. I'd always suspected as much.

  3. Blimen hec, this family has relations all over the world!!! My nieces, in New Zealand, are really friendly with Everyone Else's parents too.
    Good on you, Pamela, for standing up and making a statement.
    By the way, who cares if it was written two years ago ..... if wonderful people like you make a stand now, then hopefully it will mean there will be less people writing the same thing in another couple of years.
    Love ya

  4. I'll do my part...


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