1. A Fixation on Height
Bragging about the height of our children seems to be the latest wave in competitive parenting. Since a child’s potential height is basically predetermined in the womb, this makes as much sense as bragging about a child’s natural hair colour. I don’t really care if a child is going to grow up to be 5’6” or 6’5”. It doesn’t matter and it has nothing to do with parenting, providing the child is getting adequate nutrition.
2. Using a Cutesy-Wutesy Voice
Can we not use our adult voices to speak to children? I’m fine with exagerating gestures, enunciating clearly, and even raising our voices half an octave. But do we need to change the letter L to letter W, and say, “What a wittle cutie, you are?!” And do the ends of our sentences always need to go up in pitch, almost like the questions of this paragraph do?
3. A Life-Is-Beautiful-All-the-Time Outlook
Perhaps I’m jaded, but I like to hear the horror stories, the tales of children biting their mothers, flushing train engines down the toilet, and bazooka barfing at the book store. And I like to hear the tales of parents who manage to walk upright in spite of this. I do not need to know that children make your life even more perfect all of the time. Because Jaded Me doesn’t believe it.
4. Writing from the Perspective of Kids
I talked extensively about this in my Christmas letter rant, but some things need to be reiterated: if your child is not old enough to actually speak, tell me about her in third person not first person.
5. Being Critical of Other Parents
Okay, bring in the Irony Marching Band, because – you guessed it – I just spent 300 words being critical of other parents. Yup, therein lies the convoluted nature of my brain, my argument, and even my parenting.
Now it’s your turn: what annoys you?