parents just don’t understand … how to keep from reaching astronomical levels of ridiculousness

this week’s title is inspired by my sibling mocking me by claiming i have vast amounts of love and respect for Will Smith circa 1989; while it is true that i have much respect for his close associate DJ Jazzy Jeff (cues up “Practice”), and while it’s possibly true that i have a cassette copy of their album He’s The DJ, I’m The Rapper somewhere around here (which i can justify because, let’s face it, “Charlie Mack (First Out Of The Limo)” remains the greatest Will Smith song of all time), i don’t have much love and respect for Will Smith. he makes terrible movies and i don’t think Summertime is that great of a song!

and that will conclude our totally unrelated opening … because the thrust of this week’s update is “parents today are terrible, terrible people,” a notion that i’ve probably touched on before, but either way, we’re going into again courtesy of Events In The News.

breaking news: children like ice cream
these children had better watch out, because that ice cream is about to MURDER THEM WITH OBESITY

Park Slope parents back ban on ice-cream trucks in Prospect Park to avoid screaming kids

alright, i’m pretty sure this is how ice cream trucks are SUPPOSED to work: they drive around, playing the music and promoting the ice cream; people’s children flip the fuck out; said children’s parents either give them money for ice cream or tell them to get over it; and the world continues spinning on its axis. i’ve seen plenty of kids flip out over something they wanted –sometimes ice cream, sometimes toys at a store, sometimes … well, sometimes i suspect the kids are just going nuts on general parents-annoying principle– and i’ve seen plenty of parents tell their kids “no, you get nothing” in various forms. this may simply be because i am what Scarface refers to as “a 70’s baby, raised in the 80’s,” because it seems like some modern parents think differently:

“Overprotective Park Slope parents have declared war on a treasured rite of spring: an ice cream in the park. The icy rebuke of the time-honored tradition erupted on the Park Slope Parents online group when one mother described her son’s meltdown in Prospect Park after she put the ixnay on a acksnay.”

brief tangent: while i respect the fact that the writer calls these parents overprotective from the jump, i do NOT respect the unnecessary use of Pig Latin in a news publication (even if it’s a “New York Post”-type news publication as opposed to … well, whatever you think the gold standard of news publications is).

“”Along with the first truly beautiful day of the year, my son and I had our first ruined day at the playground,” the poster named Sarah somberly recounted. “Two different people came into the actual playground with ice cream/Italian ice push carts. I was able to avoid it for a little while but eventually I left with a crying 4-year-old.” Another angry mother, identified on the site as Dorothy Scanlan, chimed in. “I should not have to fight with my children every warm day on the playground just so someone can make a living!” the poster wailed. “I too was at the 9th Street Playground on Monday, and one of the vendors just handed my 4-year-old an ice cream cone. I was furious.””

okay, Dorothy Scanlan, first things first: if a vendor just HANDS your kid the ice cream cone, just say, “hey, thanks for giving my kid something free” and walk off. however, i doubt your description is what actually happening, much as i would doubt the word of anyone who claims they have to fight with their children every warm day “just so someone can make a living.” damn these vendors peddling a snack product that no one is forced to buy! my question, however, is this: why exactly do your children start a fight with you –not “ask for ice cream,” mind you, but “start a fight”– every time they see an ice cream cart? is there some permissive and/or non-disciplinary parenting going on here somewhere?

“But not all parents in brownstone Brooklyn’s politically correct bastion are so hot and bothered. “I think they’re crazy,” laughed Lynette Barenboyn, a stay-at-home mom. “In Park Slope, everybody has an opinion, and there are a lot of opinions — especially when it comes to parenting.”

this is the correct answer, although it’s not because “there are a lot of opinions,” but because any parent who wants “an ice-cream ban,” to use one mother’s description, is a goddamn ridiculous excuse for a parent. this woman went on to point out:

“People just need to say no … I say no to him all the time, and I feel his wrath. But he needs to hear that no.”

which is correct, even if i am alternately amused/concerned by her notion of “feeling the wrath” of what i picture as a 4-year-old child. i think we call that a tantrum, not wrath.

but rest assured, there are crazy, outspoken parents that don’t agree:

“But Sarah Schenck says just say no to frozen confections. Schenck, a mother of two and co-founder of the eco-friendly parentearth.com, said statistics back her up. “Nobody wants to be a crank, but one in three kids are going to be obese or diabetic by high school,” she said. “When my kids see other kids get ice cream, they just start begging me. I just don’t think these are the fights we should be having.”

why is it not shocking at all that this woman has what appears to be a terrible website that i presume (because i am not spending more than 30 seconds looking at it) gives everyone out there all kinds of opinions on parenting (or at least the diet aspect of it) … and yet does not want to do any ACTUAL PARENTING of her own children? let me break down the myriad of problems with this statement of hers:

01. statistics are irrelevant here, because the issue isn’t whether or not your kids should eat lots of ice cream, it’s whether or not these vendors should be ALLOWED to ply their trade around your children;
02. it’s incredibly lame to say “nobody wants to be a crank” and then follow it up with with your self-righteous complaint about the ice cream vendors;
03. if you don’t want your children to have tons of ice cream, DON’T LET THEM HAVE ICE CREAM. you are the adult, you can say no, etc, etc. there’s the simple solution, which does not require the police and/or New York City legislators to do your goddamn job for you;
04. frankly, with all the coddling of their excellent children these overprotective parents seem to do, i would think you WOULD want to have these fights, so that you can explain to your precious genius angels WHY they shouldn’t cram all that ice cream into their bodies.

but this all comes down to the same thing: Americans would prefer if the police would ban the thing they don’t like, as opposed to being annoyed or inconvenienced by its existence. GOD BLESS AMERICA.

luckily, it’s not like i read any other crazy news about parents this week…

the scene of the crime: EASTER EGG HUNT
not pictured: thirty seconds after this photo was taken, this child was trampled so that a 48-year-old mother could claim her eggs for herself

no Easter bunny at Macon’s Central City Park this year

“For the first time in years, the Easter bunny won’t be paying a visit to Central City Park this year. The annual Easter egg hunt there, traditionally one of the largest in Middle Georgia, isn’t being held Saturday.”

did… did something happen to the Easter bunny? who would hurt the Easter bunny? unless…

“Bibb County Commissioner Joe Allen, founder and CEO of Kids Yule Love which coordinated the egg hunt, said he canceled it because “parents caused a situation in which some children got hurt.””

ah, parents, we meet again as you ruin everyone’s fun with your goddamn antics. and how sad is it that a field of excited children presumably hopped-up on chocolate are NOT the ones causing the harmful situation, but their “responsible” parents are? I DEMAND AN EXPLANATION.

“Although areas of the park were designated for different age groups, Allen said some parents insisted on accompanying their children in the egg-finding quest. Incidents occurred, he said, when parents became violent in an attempt to get eggs for themselves or their children. In past years, one woman was injured and several children were “trampled on,” Allen said.”

TRAMPLED ON? jesus fucking christ. let me tell you something, if you’re a) an adult and b) a parent –a parent AT AN EASTER EGG HUNT, no less– and you find yourself c) trampling on children, then you need to examine your life immediately, because something has gotten seriously fucked up along the way.

anyway, i get that we’re all concerned about our children’s safety, but remember when we used to let children just do things without fawning all over them? children have been able to find Easter eggs in a controlled setting without getting serious hurt for DECADES. children have been able to cope with getting slightly less eggs than other children without their parents flipping out on their behalf as well. and if you’re trampling on children to get eggs for YOURSELF … well, i don’t know what else to say aside from “if i were you, i would consider suicide.”

“The event, he decided, had become a liability for Kids Yule Love. “When people get hurt, they want some kind of compensation,” he said.”

well, of course, because if we can’t trample our way to an armload of Easter eggs and the chocolate bounty inside, then we’d damn sure better be getting some kind of sweet financial payout because our children maybe tripped over a rock and SKINNED A KNEE OR SOMETHING. although, to be honest, if someone trampled my child to get an egg for himself, i might be cool with suing the hell out of that guy.

“Allen said Thursday that parents should “let the Easter egg hunt be about the children. People forgot what the program was about. … An Easter egg hunt is only part of what Easter is all about,” he said.”

true… but ultimately, this is not about people forgetting what Easter is about. this is about the fact that people are, almost to a man, incredible assholes. also, unrelated craziness:

“Despite the cancellation of the Central City Park hunt, Middle Georgians can still choose from a variety of other hunts. … Another event, at Lighthouse Baptist Church, 4770 Sardis Church Road in Macon, isn’t a traditional hunt. Instead, eggs will be dropped from a hot air balloon at 3 p.m. Saturday for children to collect.”

DROPPED FROM A HOT-AIR BALLOON? whose bright idea was this? and what’s the challenge, hoping your child is able to dodge falling chunks of plastic and candy?

so i think we all see why i, for one, intend never to have children. wait, wait, save your insulting observations, the correct answer is “because all parents are idiots, apparently, and i wish to remain outside the idiot demographic.” now go forth, gentle readers, and please avoid trampling children for personal gain.

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