You’re the worst parents ever: A rebuttal

We’re only like the 4th worst

The reviews are in. They’re not good. The wife and I have been judged. Judgment may be blind (with rage) but it is also harsh: We’re the worst parents. Ever.

I beg to differ.

At most, we’re the fourth worst parents ever. Not THE worst. Certainly not. Here are three sets of worse parents.

1 George & Winifred Banks

Here’s how Disney characterizes George Banks, “ Mr. Banks is a disciplined, no-nonsense man who doesn’t understand the benefit of ‘fun’ until Mary floats in.”

In other words, a stick-up-his ass nightmare. He gets it removed because some even more uppity, disciplined, no-nonsense woman floats in to the household to take over the rearing of adorable ragamuffin children, Jane & Michael? Poppycock. In short order, Mary Poppins declares herself “practically perfect in every way.” Who leaves their children in the care of a delusional narcissist? Terrible parents, that’s who.

Poppins the nanny then gets to cheat her way to converting the ragamuffins into ship-shape model children by using magic. Magic! That’s what it takes.

These kids are so wrecked by an emotionally absent father and a mentally absent mother that it takes magical guidance to undo the knots their little minds have been pretzeled into? That’s bad. Mary has no time to build up these kids via traditional methods. She skips right ahead to magically tidying up their room without even so much as bending over to pick up a scarf.

It wasn’t even that simple. It took kindly, fun-loving, humble, jack-of-all-trades renaissance man Bert to remove the stick from Mary’s ass, so that collectively they could remove the stick from George’s ass by the end of the story.

And what about Winifred Banks? Is there anyone in the Banks household that doesn’t have to be paid to be there? Major red flag. Is Winifred mentally even all there?

Winifred is so enamored with her suffragette movement, she cannot be bothered to, you know, be a parent. She fancies herself as a leader for women’s causes and can marshal the paid help to march behind her, but couldn’t she just as well offer a little bit of nurturing guidance to her offspring?

Assuming they are her offspring, of course. She looks like a classic second or third wife — younger and out of George’s league, not at all capable/interested in being an active mother, and easily distracted with her own career ambitions. This is a complicated household. And Jane & Michael are suffering because of it.

And it needs to be said that George wears ties and ascots inside the house. Who does that? George is obviously a bit impressed with himself. Lacking in self-reflection. You know who isn’t lacking in self-reflection? Parents who are told by their eight-year-old daughter that they’re the worst. Of all time.

At least we’ve got that going for us. We’re better than George & Winifred Banks.

2 Cave parents

image via

Our little princess-in-training may not be pleased with the level of service she’s receiving, but at least we’re putting a roof over her under-appreciative head that is not fashioned out of cave rock that may one day get reclaimed by a grizzly bear.

She also gets to wear shirts. She even has more than one. Do you ever see cave moms and dads wearing shirts? Cave kiddies? Didn’t think so.

She also doesn’t have to contend with carnivorous dinosaurs ravaging her non-cave home and stomping all over her iPad. You’re welcome, my clothed little princess. Daddy’s keeping the dinosaurs away by not making you live in the Cro-Magnon era. Or whatever era it is this well-known documentary is depicting.

Cave kids got eaten by wild animals all the time. Fact. Judge Parental Dread has yet to be eaten by anything. She runs a far greater risk of spontaneously bursting into flames.

Assuming Princess Pissed-at-Parents doesn’t burst into flames as she sits in judgment of her under-performing servants, she’s got it better than your typical cave family. That’s two worse than we are.

3 David and Louise Turpin

This last example might seem too unreal to be believable. But they’re real. These two psycho parents managed to have 13 kids. That means every child had to contend with 12 siblings! Disappointed daughter only has one sibling to contend with and he’s a young adult living two states away, so he enjoys mythical ideal status.

It gets worse.

Speaking of shirts, look at what these monsters made their offspring wear:

Matching outfits? Unspeakable. That’s 15 Seuss-licensed shirts they’re wearing. On purpose. In public. Couldn’t they just assume they would be able to be identified by the uniformly bad haircuts?

Apparently, the Turpins were a tad strict, as well. The charging authorities of these two psycho parents allege that they kept their 13 offspring locked up and confined to their bizarro-world home. “The children of David and Louise Turpin were kept captive, malnourished and abused, with some of them in chains.”

As parents, we use far fewer of these implements than the Turpins. The only kind of abuse that goes on in our displeased dependent’s home is the sound of overtired moms and dads repeatedly wailing/whining for teeth to be brushed or certain clothing to be adorned. Timely scheduled departures are the most elusive of our wildest familial fantasies.

You wanna talk abuse? Make 13 young people stare at this haircut year in and year out:

No, I’m not letting go of this haircut thing.

Realize the kind of lasting damage that does to a young person. They’ll get horrible flashbacks any time they see Raiders owner Mark Davis in the news. There’s no stopping it.

It’s hard to understand what Turpin may have been thinking, but it appears one idea of his was, “I’ve got 15 mouths to feed. I better look the part of an NFL owner in order to be taken seriously in the business world.” The pressure of supporting a family of that size may have led to the Turpins’ crack-up. You think? Score one for us in terms of family planning, I say. We aren’t locking anyone up here.

Well, that’s not true. We lock up Bill at night. Bill is our dog and if we let him out he travels to the far more preferable neighbors’ spacious home, where they have a free-swinging doggie door, where he makes himself at home. We keep him locked up with us at night so we can feel like we still can claim his love. OK, so I get the Turpins a little.

This is Bill keeping my pillow warm for me. I don’t like my pillow warmed.

But why lock the whole family up? The kids range in age from 2 to 29. Several were legal adults. They could have been living freely elsewhere or earning livings while in the Turpin homeprison. Not our style of parenting. Totally off-brand.

Our oft-tormented pre-pre-teen can thank her lucky stars that she isn’t stuck living with any of these awful, awful parents. And daughterus dramaticus has a dog. We’re better than them. And we’ll keep looking for other examples of worse parenting to make us seem relatively better.

It’s the least we can do.