8 Total Parenting Buzzkills

by Ali Solomon
Originally Published: 
A boy in a red shirt laughing and pulling a brown-haired and freckled girl's ponytail

It’s the first date night you’ve had in 11 months. You’ve hired your 15-year-old neighbor for the evening and are currently swigging pinot noir while nibbling romantically on a goat cheese crostini. Suddenly, your phone buzzes:


Clearly the babysitter has no idea how to text correctly, but you figure she can handle this. Two minutes later:


Twenty minutes later, your husband is taking the babysitter home while you scrub baby vomit off a shag rug and wonder if enough wine has left your system for you to breastfeed.

Welcome to parenting, the ultimate buzzkill. Here are some common ways that your kids can spoil a perfectly good moment:

1. Public tantrums. These only happen when you’re doing something you actually want to do, like having a playdate with your best friend and her kid, or enjoying Free Cone Day at Ben and Jerry’s. And while the “Good Parent Playbook” dictates that you should yank your child out of there without rewarding her awful behavior, why should you have to give up free Cherry Garcia?

Dammit, kid, keep it together!

2. Early risers. Which of the following is the worst for a 6 a.m. hangover? A) Your toddler repeatedly playing the demo on her toy piano; B) A colicky baby cutting her first tooth; or C) Dora. The answer, of course, is D) All of them simultaneously.

3. Awareness of surroundings. Even though your toddler is still awake, you press your luck and watch the season finale of The Walking Dead, which you’ve been anticipating for about five months. No worries; your toddler has no idea what’s going on. But just when the going gets good, you hear a small voice pipe up, “Mommy, dat man’s face go bye-bye?”

Game over.

Speaking of games …

4. Board Games. You played competitive volleyball and soccer through middle and high school. You won academic scholarships in college. You are the reigning champion of trivia night at O’Houligan’s. And now you just legitimately lost a game of “Hi-Ho! Cherry-O” to your 3-year old? There’s no way to bounce back from that.

5. Swimsuits. Not for you, for them. Anyone who suggests a “nice relaxing day at the beach” has never spent all morning trying to squeeze a wriggly child into a tiny, unyielding piece of spandex. Then an additional 15 minutes to wrestle them down and coat their large exposed surface area with SPF 90. Then, almost immediately, pulled them out of their lycra prison and sat them on the potty (“Do you have to go? You should really go. Did you go yet? How ’bout now?”).

Why not just hang out in the bathtub? No bathing suits, no sunscreen, and they can pee everywhere without judgment.

6. The baby monitor. You’ve finally managed to grab a few minutes of sleep and find yourself kissin’ Valentino by a crystal blue Italian stream. Then, WAAAAAAAAAAAH! Baby’s crying! You snap awake and flail wildly, knocking over the baby monitor and a glass of water. By the time you’ve located the monitor in a puddle under your bed, your little one has settled back down.

Your subconscious has just been cock-blocked. Well played, baby.

7. The DVR. There’s nothing like setting your DVR to record the season premiere of Mad Men, only to find that it’s full of every Disney princess movie ever made, and you can’t delete them because Disney locks the DVDs up in a vault somewhere with the Lost Ark of the Covenant, and your daughter needs to watch Sleeping Beauty EVERY DAY.

8. Classes for little kids. Every time your toddler hears music, she breaks into spastic dance. She’s perfected moves you call “Running in a circle,” “Running counterclockwise in a circle,” and “Fighting off a swarm of bees.” It’s amazing to behold.

Then you make the rookie mistake of signing her up for a kiddie dance class. Next thing you know, she’s correcting your posture, demanding a $55 sequined leotard, and counting steps in her head. Her goofy musical abandon has been replaced with “routines,” none of which involve spinning in circles.

At least your little buzzkill looks adorable in that leotard.

Related post: Babysitters Torture Parents With Fake Updates

This article was originally published on