Use Your Child to Get Rid of Things You Don’t Want to Do
Our children bring us more joy and deeper love than we ever thought. It is incredible and humiliating to watch your children grow and mature right in front of your eyes. And also your child can get you out of the shit you don’t want to do.
Have a big family dinner planned that you’d rather avoid? Or maybe the volunteer talk you signed up for a few months ago seemed like a good idea back then, because it was still pretty far in the future? Play date with the child who always hits your child? An evening for girls, when would you prefer to stay?
Your child can get you out of this.
This is probably the most obvious tactic, although I have always hesitated to use a painful excuse unless my child is truly sick. It looks too much like the temptation of fate; besides, he does get sick a lot, so people might start to think that I lie all the time if I go that route.
However, this is an effective way to get you just about nothing — no one wants your child around when they hear that he has got a fever. And no one will expect you to leave them at home to take care of themselves while you have to look after them to get well. So, if you are not superstitious, like me, you can pull out a hospital card; just use it sparingly.
If you don’t want to go so far as to jinx their good health, you can feign exhaustion instead , like, “Aiden had such a long week at school. He had three tests and one more project and I think he is still recovering from the football tournament last weekend. I’m sorry that we will miss the movie, but I think it will fly out early this morning. I haven’t seen him pull like that in a long time. I hope he won’t refuse something! “
(See, you can still hide this hint of illness without hiding directly. You really hope he doesn’t get sick with something – we always hope they don’t get sick with something.)
They have another commitment that they didn’t tell you about
The kids are known for mentioning the need for posters at 7:00 pm, on the eve of some big project. Or the fact that the choir rehearsal was rescheduled for this afternoon, or that they invited a friend to study for a test. So now, you parent martyr should skip your previously scheduled event so you can take them to their case, or buy these supplies, or bake cupcakes at the last minute. This is just one of the many sacrifices you will make for your children.
Make them cry
Want to leave early without looking rude? There is nothing more socially acceptable than a parent jumping out of a room / meeting / event when a toddler starts crying. I wish I could believe the idea, but it actually comes from a member of our Facebook group Offspring , which is full of naughty parents who left over 100 comments when I asked for evil parenting hacks.
Anyway, the parent suggested pinching the child to make him cry and walk away from the event, but quickly said that she was just joking, it was too bad, teach them to cry on command instead.
I wasn’t sure if that was actually possible, but then I read this Business Insider interview with Hollywood “detective” Elaine Hall, whose job sometimes involves making kids cry on set:
To make the children cry, I start crying myself. For example, I’ll say: “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! And the baby will cry. When a baby, even a baby, hears another baby cry, the baby or infant begins to cry on its own. This is an example of empathy. It’s pretty fast … My success is 100 percent.
Look, I’m not saying you should do this, I’m just saying you can. And you’re going to have to act pretty sly – maybe sneak into the bathroom because of your fake scream, or at least turn your back on the group. It’s even easier for kids; just peel their bananas the wrong way or something and they’ll speak for you. You know what will turn you off.
Let them call or text you
Crying won’t work when they are teenagers, but now they are old enough to understand the deception. Do you remember when you went out on your first date and your friend or brother or sister called you 20 minutes later for some kind of false emergency? If you wanted to get out, you got it; otherwise, you can ignore the call. Your kids now have cell phones – use them. You should already have some text code that they can use if they ever need to get out of an awkward situation; it’s just they return the service.
Could any of this teach your children the right lessons about making and sticking to commitments? Are you a good role model for this? No, probably not. But hey, you are family, and the family sticks together and covers each other when going to this dinner is the last thing you want on earth.