My least favorite parenting task is not picking up used socks from around the house. Nor is it reminding my children that mealtime is—by definition—a time for eating. It’s not spending twenty minutes every afternoon cleaning out little stainless steel containers and washing their plastic components and disassembling water bottles all while missing the good old days when kids took paper bag lunches to school. It’s not even devoting what I’m sure will end up being at least a year of my life to making little circles with a toothbrush while my younger kids wiggle, follow the brush with their tongues, and try to talk to me.
No, if you asked me my least favorite parenting task, I’d answer immediately, “OKP.”
Now, you may be familiar with OPK, referring to Other People’s Kids. We say it partly deriding any children other than our own darlings, but mostly deriding our prejudice for our own darlings. But I’m down with OPK. I have no problem with OPK, even the ones who seem to inevitably poop every time they set foot in my house.
My issue is with Other Kids Parents. Out there in the land of the Internet, I can hear the sound of hundreds of heads nodding.
You know what I’m talking about. The parents who refuse to believe their children could do anything wrong. The ones who drop their six-year-old at a birthday party knowing full-well that child is the one who will be screaming and shoving other children, but the parents are nowhere to be found because only the parents of the well-behaved children stayed. The ones who tell you that your kid should toughen up when you call to discuss an incident on the playground.
I could go on and on, but I have a lot of little stainless steel containers with plastic components to fill with bits of lunch and two sets of teeth to oversee, so instead I’ll ask you to talk to me.
What’s your worst OKP story or peeve?