Let’s play a little parenting game I call “Which is Worse?” Think long and hard about your responses. (Correct answers will be provided at the end.)
Which situation is worse?:
A. Posting way too many photos of your kid on social media.
B. Posting way too many photos of your kid’s nascent artwork on social media.
A. Speaking to your child in a baby voice.
B. Speaking to your child with an overly sophisticated tone and vocabulary.
A. Asking your child if they need to pee every 2.5 minutes.
B. Cleaning an ocean of urine off the floor of an eating establishment, a friend’s house, or your own home.
A. Safety-proofing your house with a number of sophisticated gates and latches that render it un-usable and un-liveable for even the most dexterous adults.
B. Deciding to not safety-proof your house so your children learn about rules and safety more directly (well, the hard way), and therefore spending every waking moment wincing, screeching in fear, and bounding across the room to save your precious child from harm.
A. Explaining to your child that because he already had one cookie today, he cannot have a second, then dealing with either six hours of tedious negotiations (including detailed explanations about the deleterious effects of too much sugar) resulting in an avalanche of tearful despair.
B. Eating the rest of the cookies yourself so that there is really no issue to discuss, but of course still having to deal with the tearful despair part–not to mention your own sugar-spike, stomach ache, and existential regret.
A. Never experiencing the joy of dancing with your child due to your own self-consciousness.
B. Regularly dancing with your child both at home and in public so that your child imitates/inherits your “interesting” dancing skills.
A. Your child getting soaking wet and miserable in a rainstorm.
B. Agreeing to let your child carry his or her umbrella despite the risk of (1) Impaling another human with wild sword-play (2) Scratching the paint off your car (3) Getting you soaking wet and miserable in a rainstorm while you use both hands to help your child open and close the wonky contraption.
A. Allowing your child to watch two hours of television while you try to concentrate on finishing your taxes, paying your bills, or writing an essential, quiz-like humor column.
B. The guilt you experience from allowing your child to watch two hours of television while you try to concentrate on finishing your taxes, paying your bills, or writing an essential, quiz-like humor column.
ANSWERS: ALL of them are the worst. Caveat: All of this said, having kids is the best.
Full disclosure from the creator of this quiz: I dance with my kid every chance I can get. No regrets and no apologies. I highly recommend dancing regardless of your skill level or coordination.
Jocelyn Jane Cox is a freelance writer and author. Her 2012 humor book on life in the New York suburbs, The Homeowner’s Guide to Greatness: How to handle natural disasters, design dilemmas and various infestations, is available on Amazon.com. Follow her on Twitter at @JocelynJaneCox.
The Chronicles of Parenting is sponsored by Summer Play Camp at Blue Rock School.