By now you know how much I love sports and the best sports tournament in the world starts this week (sorry, World Cup fans) – college basketball’s March Madness! 68 teams compete for three weeks of single elimination games to determine the ultimate champion. As a former college basketball player who lives and dies by this shit, I took a moment to realize something: Parenting is a lot more awesome than awful, but it definitely has it’s crappy parts. So why not have a few laughs by creating a parenting version of the tournament outlining some of the crappiness we all deal with? The ultimate winner will be crowned as the most annoying thing parents have to deal with. Here’s how it will work.
There will be four regions and each one will have four items in it ranked from 1 to 4. Item #1 in each region will be the most annoying, followed by item #2, and so on (and yes, the rankings and items were chosen by me. You can argue all you want, but the selection committee’s decision is final). In each region, item #1 will be pitted against item #4 and item #2 will square off against item #3. The winners will do battle against each other for the right to make it to the Final Four and your votes will determine the winners of the four regions (see the diagram below to see how each region will be laid out).
Let’s get started.
ITEM #1 – Non-parents who give unsolicited advice to parents: This is the overall #1 seed in the entire tournament. Is there anything more annoying than someone without kids telling someone with kids how to do his or her job? I foresee this making a long run in the tournament.
ITEM #4 – Parents who brag about how perfect their kids are: They are the ones who boast about how Little Susie never throws tantrums and how Little Johnny wrote his own thank you cards for gifts he received from his second birthday party. Yeah, right…
ITEM #2 – Parents who give unsolicited advice to other parents: Definitely not as annoying as non-parents offering up their unsolicited two cents, but still it’s pretty damn annoying. Stop that shit.
ITEM #3 – One-upper parents: In other words, when you say that your kid started walking at 11 months old, they’ll pipe up and say, “HA! Well, my kid started walking at 10 months!” like it’s some sort of a competition or something. I can sense a potential upset in this matchup…
ITEM #1 – Caillou: He’s the #1 seed of this region for a reason. First off, I hate him because he looks like Charlie Brown and I LOVE Charlie Brown…and in stating the obvious, this kid is no Charlie Brown. Simply put, he’s a whiny, insufferable, bratty piece of animated dung. Take him off my television screen and never bring him back.
ITEM #4 – Dora The Explorer: A cute bilingual girl who apparently isn’t so bright. “Where’s Swiper? Behind me? Where? Are you sure? Is he really behind me?” YES, YOU EFFING MORON, HE’S BEHIND YOU! TURN AROUND, DAMMIT!! Not to mention, who uses maps other than Google Maps these days? Why is the Grumpy Old Troll involved? Shouldn’t he be the “Dirty Old Troll” if he finds it fun to hang out with a bunch of prepubescent children and farm animals? Somebody stop me.
ITEM #2 – Max & Ruby: Hey little rabbits, where the hell are your parents? Oh, I know – they ran off because Max is ridiculously obnoxious and his big sister Ruby acts like an angry middle-aged woman. For the life of me I can’t understand why any kid would find that show to be entertaining.
ITEM #3 – Spongebob Squarepants: I find myself chuckling during a few episodes, but overall it’s pretty dumb. However, the talking sponge will have to bring his A-game to beat Max & Ruby in this contest.
OUT OF THE HOUSE REGION
ITEM #1 – No changing table available when your children poop themselves in public: By now you know how I feel about changing tables in men’s restrooms, so I won’t recap it here; however, I know women deal with kids crapping themselves in public and finding no changing tables as well. Annoying doesn’t even begin to describe it.
ITEM #4 – Your kids delivering an epic tantrum or meltdown in public: You’re in the supermarket, Little Johnny wants some candy, you say no, and Little Johnny loses his damn mind. People in the store are looking at you as if to say, “Seriously, be a parent and keep your damn kid in order, you loser.” Shit, I had that happen to me during my daughter’s third birthday at Disneyland of all places. It wasn’t the happiest place on earth that day, I promise you.
ITEM #2 – Taking toddlers on an airplane: Is there anything more annoying than taking a three year old human on a 5-hour plane ride somewhere without drugging him or her?
ITEM #3 – Taking toddlers on a long car ride: Oh, I know – how about taking said three year old human on a 5-hour car ride instead without drugs involved? This is probably the most even matchup in the entire tournament.
IN THE HOUSE REGION
ITEM #1 – Never getting a good night’s sleep: I don’t think this needs any further explanation.
ITEM #4 – Getting one of the P’s on your body, face, or mouth (poop, pee, or puke): My baby actually puked in my mouth over the weekend. All I’ll say is I would pay any therapist top dollar if they could help me un-taste that.
ITEM #2 – Potty training: Potty training blows and just to let you know how much I suck at it, my daughter turned 3 in January and she’s still in diapers. Save your unsolicited advice, because chances are I’ve already tried it. The good news is that if this continues, no boy in high school will want to date a girl who shits herself regularly (I’m joking…kinda).
ITEM #3 – Making your kids eat vegetables: This is annoying as hell for most parents. Oh, and if you brag about how your kids looooooooove veggies and eat them like candy, you automatically become the “bragging parent” in the PEOPLE region.
That’s it! Pick a winner for each game and pick a winner of each region only (and I’d love to read the reasons behind your choices, too). Do NOT pick an overall winner. That will be done in next week’s blog after I tally up all of your votes and release the Final Four.
Make your voices heard in the comment section.