The following list was compiled by my wife, me, and a few other guilty parties whose names will be protected until my death. They know who they are, and they don’t feel guilty, either.
¤ I’ve been trying to use up the gross generic peanut butter that we bought a while ago. When we make sandwiches, the kids get generic. I get Jif. I’m choosy… and selfish.
¤ If we are at the end of a loaf of bread, the kids always get the butt. They think it is the “special” piece.
¤ I eat the filling out of Oreos, and give my son the gross cookie part.
¤ When the kids ask for more food after dinner, I tell them that food before bed gives them nightmares. The second their heads hit the pillow, I make a second dinner — an ice cream dinner. I sleep like a rock.
¤ We take batteries out of annoying toys and say that they are broken. Then, when we put the batteries back in, we act like we are toy-fixing gods. LOVE US, FOR WE HAVE FIXED YOUR TOY!
¤ If someone at a party gives my kids juice, I sneak it away and water it down until the only thing juicy about it is the color. If my kids ever taste real juice, their heads may explode.
¤ I steal my son’s favorite toys so he has to sit with me.
¤ I eat all the good Halloween candy. My kids are unaware of the existence of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
¤ I stare at my daughter while she sleeps for abnormal amounts of time.
¤ I have a special signal that tells my spouse to unplug the wireless modem. Then I pretend to be really sad when we can’t watch Winnie the Pooh on Netflix for the third time that day.
¤ I have avoided teaching my kids about clocks and time, just so I can put them to bed at 6 p.m. in the winter. I am hoping this lasts until their early teens.
¤ I haven’t told my daughter that she writes the letter J backwards every time, because I secretly don’t want her to stop doing it. Ever.
¤ I tell my kids Santa exists. Not because I like having them believe in magic and giving them presents, but because I find it convenient to have a made-up, mythological being whose arbitrary judgment of right and wrong can be used to manage my children’s behavior.
¤ My youngest insists that he only likes chicken. He actually likes everything. Hamburger is “brown chicken.” Lettuce is “green chicken.” Carrots are “carrot chicken.” In our house, we have “chicken” every night.
¤ When I am mad at my daughter, I fart on the way out of her room after putting her to bed.
¤ Sometimes I will mess up the last line of the lullaby and tell her that it didn’t count, just so I can sing one more song with her.
¤ I fell asleep with a Sharpie marker in my hand and it got all over the microfiber couch. I tell everyone it was my 3-year-old.
¤ On occasion, when playing pretend with my son, I just tell him that my pretend character is pretending to take a nap. Batman takes a lot of naps in our house.
¤ When our kid was little, we used to clap and cheer when he took a tumble. We found that if we gasped and ran to him, he cried, but if we cheered, he bounced back up, proud of the show he’d put on. Now he has no fear, and we have created a monster.
¤ I love my kids too much. Like, way too much. The kind of love that is like an open wound. The kind of love that is like an exposed nerve. I am 100 percent vulnerable. My kids could destroy me, and sometimes I act just a little more pissed than I need to be, to throw them off from the truth. The truth is that they win even when they don’t know they are winning. And the truth is that I’m strangely OK with it.