Dear fellow parents with whom I have close family contact on a regular basis,
I have come to the conclusion that our roles as parents are infinitely easier when we are all on the same page, especially in front of our collective children. Yes, our little snowflakes need to know that not every family does things the same way, but parenting is hard enough as it is. We might as well make things as easy as possible for ourselves when we’re together.
Therefore, I hereby declare that it is imperative that we stand in solidarity with one another as a matter of survival and sanity.
In accordance with these heretofore declared truths, I, your fellow parent-in-the-trenches, do solemnly promise to uphold the following agreements:
1. When we and our children are at a party together, I will find out what time you plan to leave and leave at the same time so that neither of us will have to hear, “But they’re not leaving yet! Why are we always the first ones to leave?!”
2. If we are eating at a restaurant together, I will consult with you beforehand whether or not the kids will get soda or water so as to avoid the inevitable Friends with Soda Apocalypse.
3. When I have candy or ice cream or cookies to offer your child, I will discreetly check with you first to make sure it’s okay to pump your offspring full of sugar before offering it to them directly. If you could do that for me as well, that’d be peachy.
4. When there are desserts being consumed and our children run up to us to ask if they can have seconds, we will exchange one of two looks. One look will say “ixnay on the econdssay” and the other will say, “Aw, why not. They’re already buzzing anyway.” Once we are in silent agreement as to which look we have mutually exchanged, we will give the little beggars our joint answer in unison.
5. Under no circumstances will I give in to my child’s tantrum in front of your child, as I know it will lead your child to attempt the same sort of coup. I trust you to do the same.
6. We are in agreement that our children’s sleepover requests require at least 24 hours notice to be given consideration, and a green light will only be given after our consultation out of our children’s earshot.
7. When you are not present, I will gently remind your children to use their words, their manners, their inside voice, a tissue instead of their finger, the garbage instead of the counter, and other habits of common courtesy and cleanliness. I expect you will do the same.
8. If your child is being a total tool when you aren’t around, I will let you know. Please do the same for me and my precious darlings.
9. If you forget or neglect to do any of the things listed in this agreement, I will not sanctimoniously blame, judge, or chastise you for it, because parenting. Seriously. Solidarity, man.
In conclusion, I vow to make your life easier when our families are together and I hope you’ll reciprocate. We have to stick together if we’re going to make it through years and years of this business. I’ll scratch your back and you scratch mine, mkay?
Your Fellow Exhausted Parent