Out of the House Round-Up: Terrible Movie Parents, Putting Kids to Work & More

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All this staying-at-home has made me a little stir crazy. Let’s take a look around the internets, shall we?

You Mean to Say Kids Can Actually Be Useful Around the House?

Apparently children not only can be made to help with chores around the house, they actually crave opportunities such as these to help!  Who would have guessed?  I tried to get Audrey to help me fold laundry once.  Actually, scratch that.  Audrey volunteered to help and I was happy to have it.  But her definition of “help” and mine are diametrically opposed and this particular precious moment resulted in that emotion I feel so frequently:  frustration.  Instead of sorting or folding the clothes—or just simply following my instructions—Audrey just grabbed clothes willy-nilly out of the hamper, off the folded stacks, wherever, and did whatever she wanted with them.  She pretty much just saw me with the clothes and thought it would be fun to join in.

The point is she was willing to help, but not yet capable of actually helping due to her primitive 2-year-old brain.  Well, it’s the thought that counts.  I’ll have to keep looking for opportunities for her to actually contribute though.  This place is getting to be a sty.  [Babble]

Ironically, I Didn’t Find This Information in the Library

I’ve written about my trips to the library with Audrey a few times now and that’s because it’s one of the few cheap places I can go with her.  Especially in the cold and ice.  But sometimes it can be hard to find creative ways to keep busy there.  Oh sure, we find new books and we read them.  Audrey will play with the other kids too.  All of that is great.  But that doesn’t mean there aren’t lots of other things to do there, especially if you’re willing to get a little creative.

Or you could read a handy list of suggestions instead!  This list is a bit too advanced for a 2-year-old I’d say, but not by much.  Methinks I’ll be consulting it soon enough.  [Project for Public Spaces]

NEWSFLASH:  Not All Movie Parents Make for Good Role Models!

You know, the behavior of the mom in “Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead” did always bother me.  Her house was a garbage dump, and then she up and leaves for a few months, leaving her large brood with a stranger and a lot of pointed fingers.  But she’s not alone.  The sheer number of crappy movie parents is pretty astounding.  This list is a good one—thank god someone’s finally calling out Robin Williams—but if I may be so bold, I’d like to add the parents from “WarGames” to the mix too.  I mean, Matthew Broderick’s folks gleefully accept middling grades, put the hammer down when it comes to cleaning up the trash, and then turn a blind eye while their son lights the fuse to World War III, cavorts with the school sexpot, and vanishes without a trace because he’s been apprehended and jailed inside the world’s most protected mountain fortress.  Plus—perhaps most egregiously—they SERVE RAW CORN.

And then there’s Ally Sheedy’s parents.  Who never show up in the movie, don’t seem to exist at all, and also turn a blind eye while their fit and popular daughter goes missing for days.  But hey, if not for terrible parents such as these, I wouldn’t feel so good about my merely passable performance as a father.  So thank you terrible movie parents!  Your failure to remember that you have a son named Kevin and that you’ve left him “Home Alone” has me thinking I’ve got an award coming.  [Pajiba]

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