There’s a small chance that you don’t totally suck at parenting, and you occasionally might even see evidence that supports that theory

[NOTE: If you followed a link over here from The Pioneer Woman's article about layer masks, I was referencing the color-on-B&W photos contained in the entry below, so feel free to scroll on down if you'd rather skip the story and just view the pictures.]

There are those of you, I’m sure, who think that this blog is nothing more than one big digital shrine where I can stroke my overinflated ego for all the world to see … and if you are among those who think that, all I can say to you, my woefully cynical friend, is … well … um … yeah, you may have a point.

BUT!

That’s not all it is. Oh no, it’s more … much, much more.

For example, it’s also a place where both new and prospective parents can come to get highly valuable insight and advice about some of the lesser-known things that parenthood has in store for them. Insight and advice that I offer freely and without the expectation of anything return … you know, other than your continued patronage so that I can one day leverage my audience for some serious advertising dollars and a lucrative book deal … but, other than that? Free of charge.

Because I give. That’s what I do. I’m a giver.

So gather ’round, ye new and prospective parents (and anyone else in the highly desirable demographic of those ages 25-45 with an annual household income of $100,000 or more, particularly those likely to purchase a big-ticket item sometime in the next 3-6 months) as I regale ye with a tale steeped in the harsh reality of parenting … with a little dash of hope thrown in for good measure.

One day, your child will be in preschool … and one day that preschool will have a Halloween event during which all the children will model their costumes for the many parents to see. And you will think to yourself, “Oh, this is going to be so fun and adorable! I can’t wait to see my little girl wearing her costume while smiling and laughing and marching happily by with all of her little friends!” And you will go to the preschool armed with your various photo- and video-taking equipment while dancing in your head are the visions of the many priceless images you believe you’re going to capture. Images like this:

Halloween parade, 10.29.09

And this:

Halloween parade, 10.29.09

Doesn’t she make a lovely Snow White? What’s that? You can’t tell she’s supposed to be Snow White? What are you, blind?

Look closely:

Halloween parade, 10.29.09

See? Clearly a beloved and charming Disney character. Yes, I know: the fun and excitement and joy she emotes are kind of overwhelming, aren’t they?

And maybe you’ll bring with you to the parade your mother-in-law, whom your child hasn’t seen in three months, and who will call out to your child, thereby causing her to momentarily come out from behind the protective shield she has created around herself …

Halloween parade, 10.29.09

… until she realizes you’re still pointing the camera at her …

Halloween parade, 10.29.09

… at which point she will again retreat into her fortress of solitude …

Halloween parade, 10.29.09

And you might try to convince yourself that perhaps she’s just far too enamored with her shoes to do anything other than look down …

Halloween parade, 10.29.09

… but that’s probably not it. No, most likely, the problem is that you’re a shitty parent and you’ve done a horrible job of raising her. Yes, it’s all your fault. You’re an asshole. Nice going.

And if the child in question is your first child? Well, hell, you’ll probably believe that previous paragraph.

But don’t fret, parents and potential parents, because a child who reacts like this …

Zan's Halloween parade, 10.31.06

… to his first preschool parade, then bursts into tears, breaks from the pack and runs into Mommy’s arms (yes, that’s what happened) can go on to look like this …

Halloween parade, 10.30.09

Halloween parade, 10.30.09

… when his first-grade Halloween parade takes place.

And it’s also entirely possible that your preschooler — who, at the beginning of her parade, somehow collapsed her entire body in on itself so that she practically disappeared — could, by parade’s end, creep out of her shell.

Halloween parade '09

Halloween parade, 10.29.09

So maybe you’re not the world’s shittiest parent after all. Don’t count on it … but maybe.

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14 Comments

  1. Posted October 30, 2009 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Is it possible to be a shitty parent BEFORE becoming a parent?
    .-= Kara´s last blog ..Grouchy old crow =-.

  2. Posted October 30, 2009 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    Those first couple of pics pretty much sum up my Halloween experience every year since I’ve had kids. Here’s hoping this year is different. I’m not counting on it…but maybe :)
    .-= beth´s last blog ..Pumpkin Stuff =-.

  3. Posted October 30, 2009 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    Even when she collapsed her body onto herself, you still managed to get some cute pics and show off your photoshop skills.
    .-= Joe´s last blog ..I am Not 5’6" and a Half =-.

  4. Gail K.
    Posted October 31, 2009 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    Too cute!! I had “Snow White” two years ago – this year? “Spider Queen!” whatever. I wish our schools could/would do a Halloween parade – but it isn’t PC enough to do. Blech and phooey on the PC world!!

    My Jedi and Spider Queen had a good time being beggars tonight and I guess that’s what matters! (Oh that and the free make your own pizza from Pizzaria Uno Spider Queen got for showing up in her costume at lunch!)

  5. Posted November 1, 2009 at 5:01 am | Permalink

    The shitty parent is the asshole who makes the kid totally ruin the spirit of her princess costume (or Spiderman or whatever) by wearing a freaking COAT. Super heroes don’t need coats.

    My mom always made me wear a coat . . . .

    . . . still bitter 40 years later . . .
    .-= TheExpatresse´s last blog ..Go Ahead! Touch It! =-.

  6. Danielle
    Posted November 1, 2009 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Awww, I just want to give her a hug!

  7. Posted November 2, 2009 at 12:41 am | Permalink

    Well, nobody’s perfect. But it is much better to be aware of our mistakes and do something about it. :-)

  8. lisabc
    Posted November 2, 2009 at 3:10 am | Permalink

    Fortunately I got smiles from both of mine this Halloween. It’s hit and miss isn’t it?

    My daughter is 4 y/o and in pre-school too. My husband got a call from them last week saying she was having a meltdown and they couldn’t calm her down. He had to pick her up early.

    PMS = Preschooler Meltdown Syndrome Yes. It starts early for us girls.

    Love the great costumes. My 7 y/o son was Super Mario too!

  9. Posted November 2, 2009 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    All three of my children are grown up now (thank GAWD!) but as I read this, keeping in mind all the new and prospective parents, all I could do was nod my head and say “Yup, good luck with that”. Nice little pinch of hope there at the end.
    .-= Dawn in Austin´s last blog ..The presence of presents… =-.

  10. Posted November 2, 2009 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    –>Just think how much fun it will be to show these pictures to your grandkids some day.
    .-= WebSavyMom´s last blog ..What? You didn’t have a dog pulling a cart for Halloween? =-.

  11. Posted November 4, 2009 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    How sweet is this? Siiiiiiigh.
    .-= BOSSY´s last blog ..Another Match Game Giveaway =-.

  12. Posted November 5, 2009 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    love the color and b/w mix photos. r u a photoshop master? good idea.

  13. Posted November 5, 2009 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Oh yeah? Well we didn’t have a pre-school Halloween parade to make us feel like shitty parents, so it was a few hundred attempts at homemade passport photos that did the trick for us. Which really in and of itself wasn’t what did it for us – it was the fact that the pictures were cropped too big and we ended up at Ritz (to be ripped off, but that’s another story) where he sat perfectly still, with a perfect little smile, and she got the picture ON THE FIRST SHOT.

    But I’m sure if we’d had a parade, this would have happened instead.

    Awesome. And so true. Thank you again, DS.

  14. Posted November 7, 2009 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    First, let me make clear that I am a 32-year-old woman who is currently shopping around for a big-ticket SUV that will properly haul the big-ticket yacht I bought last week. The boat was no more than a whim, something I saw after picking up a new washer-dryer combo and my 15th TV. (That should do it.)

    Second, may I point out that, despite her initial shyness, there is absolutely nothing cuter than a “kid on a rope” (my husband’s term for our preschool’s similar practice) dressed as Snow White? It really takes away from the chain gang aspect and emphasizes the adorable factor.

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