By: angela n.

From the moment they are born, our children are a tremendous source of pride—first words, first steps, the gold star on their progress reports, the lead role in a school play…we are always there, cheering them on, sharing their accomplishments with anyone willing to listen. Our children, after all, are a reflection of ourselves, and our parenting skills are often defined by their behavior. When they’re a giggling toddler passing gas on a crowded elevator, everyone thinks they’re adorable.  A sixteen-year-old competing in a belching contest with his sibling in a five star restaurant…not so adorable. The older they get, the more embarrassing they become. They morph from the cute, cuddly puppy stage into a snapping, snarling beast that has been raised in the woods by wild boars. They curse like sailors and eat mass quantities of food that triple the grocery bill by the end of the month. Sweets and salty chips are the largest part of their food pyramid, while milk and juice are consumed at an alarming rate—usually a gallon a day. Their vocabulary  reverts to their roots—as in the cave man days —limited to grunts, groans, and the occasional “whatever” shrug. The parents they once adored and respected  are now a large source of their embarrassment, so it is with great pleasure (and a lack of conscience) that they choose to publicly annoy and embarrass adults. They will gleefully belch and fart in a crowded room and point a finger at the unsuspecting parent next to them. They will tell their grandparents that there are only three ingredients in their refrigerator at home—one grayish looking egg, a carton of sour milk and a moldy brick of cheddar cheese that looks like last year’s school science fair project. The grandparents will take pity on their souls and drive them to the nearest McDonald’s for a hearty meal.

     Kids will spill tomato sauce on the white carpet and blame it on the dog; they’ll steal all the quarters out of the change jar and blame the younger sibling. They’ll use the last clean towel in the house so that you’re forced to dry yourself off after a shower with the wet towel you used on the dog you bathed earlier that day.
     Every parent reaches a breaking point with their children, when they need to liberate themselves from the bonds of “politically correct” parenting.
     Because sometimes you just have to get even. You can call it one of “life’s little lessons”, or refer to it for what it really is: PAYBACKS ARE HELL!
     The following is a payback list that has been especially effective in annoying our children and will most likely be successful with yours:
1)  Crank up the lawn mower outside their bedroom window when they’re trying to sleep in late on a Saturday morning.
2)  Ask twenty questions about the TV show they’re watching, but wait until they’re immersed in the thickest part of the plot.
3)  During one of their house parties, run into the room with a wet plunger dripping in your hand and shout, “Okay, who clogged the toilet???”
4)  Pick up the six, wet towels they left on the bathroom floor and deposit them on their unmade bed. Be sure to tuck the towels under the covers so they stay moist.
5)  Allow your youngest child to bang on his new drum set and practice his disc jockey skills with a Skrillex song while his older sibling is trying to take a nap.
6)  Turn on the sprinklers while your daughter is sunbathing in the back yard.
7)  Late night pinworm checks…enough said.
8)  At a neighborhood block party, jump up on a table after a couple of beers and play air guitar to a Bon Jovi song.
9)  Stand in the backyard at night and shine a 500 watt flashlight through the windows at the TV screen while your kids are watching a horror movie.
10)  If your twenty-one-year-old has been out all night celebrating his birthday, bang pots
 and pans with a wooden spoon outside his bedroom door at 6:00 a.m.
11)  Tell your daughter it’s her turn to use the pooper scooper on the front lawn to clean up after the dog…five minutes before her new boyfriend is due to pick her up for a date.
12)  Let all your kid’s friend know that your children still want a package under the Christmas tree marked, “From Santa”, and that they still enjoy a good egg hunt in the backyard on Easter morning…even when they’re well past the age of twenty-one (if you’re really feeling wicked, add the Tooth Fairy in there).
13)  Call your son’s friends “Dude” and “Bro”.
14)  Have a make-out session in the kitchen with your spouse while all the kids are home. That’s one way to keep them from foraging in the refrigerator.
15)  Program their alarm clock for 5:00 a.m. on their day off from school.
16)  Get a little tipsy on wine, plug in the Kinect and show off your best dance moves from the Dance Central game during your child’s slumber party. Better yet, encourage them to dance with you.
17)  Write embarrassing messages on their Facebook wall:  “Did you eat that WHOLE package of Oreos I hid in the pantry?” “Why is all my underwear missing from the dryer?”
18)  Blast Barry Manilow on the car radio while driving your kids and their friends to school. Make sure all the windows are rolled down so that EVERYONE in the car loop can hear you belt out the lyrics to “Mandy”.
19)  At your son’s sixteenth birthday party, borrow his best friend’s BMX bike and show those young whippersnappers how to fly over a speed bump and rack yourself on the bicycle seat.
20)  If your kids ever get head lice, wrap their hair in vinegar and mayonnaise before they go to bed. In the morning they’ll go to school smelling like a salad head.
    Best of all, write a blog about your family life and highlight all the personal stuff that will make your kids cringe and disown you.
     Revenge has never been sweeter!
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  1. I didn’t really NEED to read any of these, because I am proficient in the art of annoying my children, but I could always use some extra tips for my grandchildren 😉

  2. These are priceless! A couple of these I do just for the hell of it, not for any specific reason!! And the best part is mine’s not a teenager–yet!! I can’t wait!! Hehehe

    1. I have one grandchild too, but she’s only two. I have to wait for her to reach about 4th grade before I can start embarrassing the crap out of her…..unless I get to be the COOL grandmother….

  3. Great list, Marcia. I’ve already used a few, but there are some others for me to draw on. Another good way to punish the kids is to wait for them to bring round girlfriend/boyfriend and then get the childhood photos out showing them bare-arsed in the bath tub!

  4. Great list, Marcia!! I once bought my dad a bumper sticker that says “I embarrass my offspring.” He loved it…until he realised that me buying it for him negated the embarrassment!! I got him good!!

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