Parenting is Hard and Other Gigantic and Colossal Understatements of the Century



So… Colonel Custer.

Yep, that’s where I’m starting today.

Colonel Custer is sitting on his horse, staring up at sixty majillion massively irritated Native Americans that are about to mow him and his men over. And he thinks:

“Huh. This is challenging.”

And Custer’s horse thinks:

“I so do not get paid enough for this.”

Also, I have to wonder if part two of Custer’s thinking went something like this:


Alas, it did not end well for Custer. He had this thing happen to him called a Last Stand? Perhaps you read about it in a text book? He doesn’t get to go down in the history under the heading: Just Barely Squeaked By.

Poor guy.

I think parenting is a lot like Custer’s Last Stand. Minus the arrows and death.

Actually, there are Nerf arrows flying in my version, so there.

So, my boys had a meeting recently about an ongoing project they’ve been working on. The project is largely a covert operation, so I don’t know all the ins and outs. I’ve found a few emails and some printouts entitled “How to Unhinge the Mommey,” so I get the general idea. So far I think they’ve hired Steve the cat as a consultant since he decided to poop in the husband’s closet the other day. I swear I saw him high five the boys after that epic event.

Anyhow. The meeting this time involved something I like to call:

Staring at Mom When She is Mad Is the Way to Make Her Say All the Bad Things.

What I mean by the staring is this special look that only a child can engender, a sort of glazed, slack-jawed eyeballing that exudes a completely wacko denial of responsibility. That, my friends, is a LOOK. It takes skills, and I think they had a training session over it last week. I caught them staring weirdly at the dog, and then he left the room, weeping.

So, at some point last week, Blonde does something Wrong at our house. This could entail a whole number of things, from a minor foul like drawing on the cat, to a Big Huge Infraction. I have lots of examples of Big Huge Infraction, but I won’t list them here to keep you from leaving the room, weeping.

Anyhow, Blonde received some words from me regarding the issue and then, he did this:

He just stood there and stared at me.

I know, guys. There is staring, like I’m zoned out in front of a romantic fireplace, and there is staring like: “Yea. So?” I bet you can guess which type of staring Blonde was dialing up for me.

I asked him a question. He stared some more. I repeated the question, more slowly this time, because I think I actually felt my brain start to sizzle.

And that’s when I saw them. All those angry dudes on horses, shrieking, with their bows and arrows aimed right at me.  And I straightened up in the saddle, and I said:

“You are going to stare? Just stare at me? Staring? REALLY? STARING IS WHAT YOU ARE DOING RIGHT NOW? YOU? STARING? You’re going to STARE AT ME MR. STAREY-PANTS????”  I know. This is like Pulitzer stuff. And, so, to make it all better, I thundered:


And that, my friends, is how to lose the war.

Both of the savages, I know, were hoping desperately that I would deliver on this whole doing something stare-worthy, I am sure. But, I didn’t. I mustered up what was left of my dignity and mounted my horse and rode off into the sunset.*

The end.

*Translation: I went upstairs, laid on my bed, and ate a Kit-Kat.

But not before I said the best parenting line ever:

“I’LL BE BACK.” (General MacArthur, not Arnold Swarzenegger. But, Arnold works, in a pinch.)

Read the following, and insert “parent” where it says “leader.” We are doing tough work. Never give up. Never surrender.





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