I’ve done the math, and it’s true: around 50 percent of the fun of having kids is trolling them. Whether it’s telling them the ice cream truck only plays music when it’s out of ice cream, or asserting that vegetables will make their eyelashes grow, trolling your kids is endless entertainment.
Mostly, it’s entertaining for us parents, but even my children find amusement in it every now and again. Although it was hilarious to me, my oldest has been unimpressed with the ice cream truck driver’s constant lack of planning.
Parenting is exhausting, rewarding, frustrating, and humorous all at the same time. Tiny young people are cute and cuddly, but also at times devious or overly emotional. And let’s be honest: they take pleasure in starting arguments all too often, or lie to avoid dealing with the wrath of mom or dad. Your children troll you, too, and it’s only fair that you dish it back.
This Is Partly a Survival Trick
Often, I am the only adult in my household, due to my spouse’s job demands. To be fair, as a mom you are usually your kids’ end-all-be-all. Yes, even when dad is home. No kidding: my children will walk right by my husband while he’s sitting in the recliner watching TV, and ask me to help them with something as I am cooking, standing on my head, and reciting all the decimals of pi.
How do I deal with the constant demand for mom’s attention? I troll them, often mercilessly. Just last week my kids uttered “mom” or “mommy” 114 times in 24 hours. Yes, I actually counted—and I did so out loud, so my daughters were quite aware of how often they beckoned me. The next day, I announced that I would no longer answer to “mom” or “mommy,” but was to be addressed as “Queen of the Schoonveld Household, Mother of Heathens.”
Let me tell ya, after they figured out that I am a black belt in ignoring their ridiculous begging without addressing me as I wish, it sure cut down on complaints and trivial requests. Although, as a favor to them, I agreed to answer to simply “Queen” in times of legitimate urgency.
Trolling sometimes opens the door to level-headed negotiations, as illustrated above. This comes in handy, especially at the dinner table—a parent’s arch-nemesis. Consistent trolling reduces the fighting to get them to eat. For instance, my children all thought green beans were “green fries” until they were six years old. My youngest still calls them that (she’s 4). They all eat them without complaints to this day.
All three also still have no idea that banana splits are supposed to include ice cream. Mom wins, because a banana drizzled with a little chocolate syrup is an easy, delicious, and a less sugary dessert. Oh, and frozen yogurt? Yeah, that’s the same thing as ice cream.
Just so you know, I can’t understand whining either. It’s a learning disability I have. I “struggle” with it every day, and my heathens have to pull themselves together to communicate with me.
Get Tips from the Experts
I know I’m not the only parent who tells these little white lies to her children. In fact, I often look for new ways to trick or mess with them by asking friends who are also parents. A friend of mine has three young boys, and all of them think there is a tiny woman living in the dashboard of her car. That’s why a female voice talks to them when she connects via Bluetooth. The tiny woman also changes the radio stations. That’s right—mom has no control, so it’s futile to complain.
Another pal of mine unplugs all of the electronics when she is sick of her kids staring at a screen for hours on end, and claims that she forgot to pay the electric bill. She doesn’t have to fight to get them to turn off the video games, which saves her energy and sanity.
This is the same mom who told her offspring that little hamsters running on wheels kept the refrigerator lights on, and any time they blew, it was because they left the fridge door open too often and it killed the hamster. Additionally, she admits, “When son number 2 got too curious about the garbage disposal, I recorded the sound it makes, and played the recording once while I had my hand down the drain. Used Halloween fake blood all over my hand, screamed, and pulled out my bloody hand. Scared the h-ll out of him, but at least he wasn’t thinking about putting his hand down the drain and actually turning on the garbage disposal anymore.”
My children are young, and I have already had the time of my life trolling them. I have heard from many moms and dads that the teenage years will more trying than the early years, so I can only fantasize about the trolling possibilities. As I brainstorm, I can avoid thinking about how mentally draining three teenage girls in one household will be.