Why Can’t I Be A Parent With A Lot Of Time On My Hands?


There are a couple of things going around the Facebook these days and I don’t like them. Not one bit.

One is about these parents of boys that make their action figure dinosaurs “get into trouble” every night in the month of November. I’ve had like five friends share it in the last day. Sometimes the dinosaurs just play with the fruit bowl. Whatever, that’s cute. Other times they get into an entire roll of toilet paper in the bathroom, or crack open a bunch of eggs.

The other is about people’s oh so clever Elf on the Shelf ideas for this Christmas. You know, you wake up and the kids find that the elf has gotten into the cookie dough and made a mess in the kitchen. Or he’s holding hands with Barbie in the dream house. Some dumb shit like that.

At that point I start to ask just what in the fuck is going on here.

First and foremost, we’re kind of deviating from the original purpose of these things, especially in the case of the Elf on the Shelf. They didn’t create and market that ugly, horrifying elf just so that people can have some mischievous character running around the house. Making a mess. Upping the ante for the rest of us mediocre parents, so to speak. They marketed it as a way to keep your kids under control in the month before Christmas.

If the elf is on the shelf, Santa is coming. If the elf is off the shelf, he’s not because you’ve been bad.

If the elf is dry humping Barbie in the dream house and porking down sausage links while raiding the liquor cabinet… well, just what in the hell does that mean?

I think we’re sort of confusing kids here.

Moreover, who with any sense of morality wastes money and food like that? When I saw the photograph of those dinosaur action figures with an entire package of destroyed eggs all around them, I thought – man, that’s like three breakfasts in our house. Sure, a dozen eggs is around $3 – or whatever – but what would a starving family living on the streets, or dying children in the third world, think if they saw that picture? I don’t mean to get all philanthropic up in here, but I’m pretty sure that being so wasteful is why (1) the world is completely falling apart, and (2) people hate Americans so much.

Lastly – and perhaps the most compelling – who the fuck with children has so much time on their hands to do this kind of shit? No seriously. Like… seriously, seriously. I barely have the time to take a shower, let alone figure out ways to make that sneaky elf get into trouble again. From the moment I get up in the morning, until the minute I pass out in a pile of messy hair, unkempt pajamas that I’ve been wearing all day, and my husband’s slobber, I’m taking care of people. I’m cooking. I’m cleaning. I’m taking periodic breaks to dick around on Pinterest or the blog – but you’d better believe I’m doing something else like cooking dinner or vacuuming at the same, exact time. Or answering homeschooling questions. Or wrapping Christmas presents.

Laundry! Don’t forget the laundry.

What I’m saying here is that there is little time for relaxation. And after kiddie bedtime, I have to … wait for it … fold the laundry and pick up the shit that didn’t get picked up during the day. And do the dishes, because I was so busy helping with math or running around from extra curricular to extra curricular.

Why can’t I be a parent with a lot of time on my hands? A parent that has the time to whip up a batch of cookie dough and then carefully and strategically make a planned mess for the elf on the shelf to be blamed for. Just to clean it up in the morning and come up with another plan for the next night. Every night in the month of December. Or to come up with ideas for my kids’ action dinosaurs or Barbie dolls to get into trouble over. Why can’t I have the time to wrap dolls in toilet paper and smash dinosaurs into a dozen eggs? And then the time to clean it all up the next day?

It sounds a little ridiculous when you put it like that, doesn’t it? Maybe that’s why I don’t have the time, or the money, or the interest really, to be one of these over-the-top parents that just can’t let go and be mediocre like the rest of us.

But is it really mediocrity? Or is it just common sense?


  1. Annabelle

    Thankfully, that only lasted for 18 months. Currently I will just look on the profile pages at the
    news move, because the vast majority of the news -mess is finished.
    I’m not asking for efficiency from Yahoo Money. It’s sufficient that I will skip on the few leftover
    low quality information resources. On top of that,
    you never must create any obligations provided that you proceed residing in that household,
    along with benefits and your Social Security will not be suffering from
    the cash that you’re currently getting.

  2. Quirky Chrissy

    Umm…I want bad little dinosaurs. I think I’m going to go buy some and then start blaming them on all my messes. Then Brian CAN’T be mad at me.

    1. Quirky Chrissy

      Blaming them FOR my messes. Ugh. I swear I is a writer good.

  3. Cydney

    I just happened to find your blog while looking up “the elf on the shelf is stupid” lol. We think a lot a like and I enjoy what I have read so far and I also consider myself a misanthropist. The elf on the shelf is an overpriced fad that looks like it’s worth about one dollar. We already have a Santa statue on the kitchen table that we tell our daughter is watching her. That he has a camera in his eyes haha. I think the moms who do the Elf on the Shelf shenanigans are the one’s always posting shit on Facebook and Instagram. They have time to do this because they make the time (even though they have laundry to fold). They have to come up with a clever elf picture to one up everyone else and to make everyone think their lives are perfect. I just don’t get other moms bc I sure as hell don’t have time for that shit either. I barely manage to take a shower while my 18-month-old is napping.

  4. Ashley@sorry kid

    It’s really sad that kids have that little imagination that their parents have to play with their toys for them…

  5. Dadicus Grinch

    This is hysterical! We just escaped the Elf on the Shelf debacle–I held off and begged my wife not cave. One more way to ruin the holidays as far as I’m concerned (Baah Hum Bug!) While we’re at it, I also am angry at any idiot who is going to ruin Thanksgiving by going shopping ON Thanksgiving for pre Black Friday deals. I feel bad for the people who now have to work. Thanks for letting me vent, now I’m going to go clean up some real messes my kids just made–nothing staged in this house.

  6. The Cutter

    Hey, there’s always enough time to pose some toy dinosaurs! You just gotta stop doing the frivolous things…like showering.

  7. Farmer Farthing

    I think it’s nice that these parents have started a new tradition for their kids in a world where old ones are fast disappearing. Sure I agree, it is wasteful in some of them and yeah, I wouldn’t destroy a whole box of eggs and relish clearing it up the following day but it’s a lovely concept.
    I’m actually contemplating doing something similar myself with my own son (with far less wastage in the food and loo roll department!) because every little kid deserves a bit of magic in their life-it only gets worse from here on in 🙂
    As for too much time on my hands, well I’m a single parent and maybe that’s why I have a bit of extra time on an evening-no other half to run around after!! 😉

  8. brainsnorts

    First comment, you don’t have a lot of time because you are too smart to have a lot of free time. Idiots have too much free time because they don’t know what else to do with them selfs on the shelfses. Even if you had more time, you would fill it with something constructive and entertaining and not playing with stupid toys.

    Speaking of stupid toys, where do I get one of those elves? Good times await the one that I buy. ..

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