Welcome to another installment of WTF Wednesday, where we help you turn your problems into other people’s problems. Either way, it’s job security for me.
Today’s question comes forwarded anonymously from one of the search engines. The advice-seeker asks,
What are fun things to do with annoying kids?
Now that’s the spirit: the kid’s going to be annoying at one time or another, so you might as well learn to enjoy it. Besides, we all know that kids have a five-volume manual for how to annoy their parents and I’m pretty sure they even attend webinars on the subject when we’re not around, so we might as well get organized ourselves and get serious about dealing with it.
Keep in mind that your range of options for fun things to do with annoying kids depends on the type of annoyance they are displaying. Different kids choose to practice the art of annoyance in different ways. We’ll discuss a few of the more common types of annoying kid and some fun things you can do with them.
Good whiners have worked out the finer details of blending annoying tone with aggravating lyrics. “But I want it” is just a dull statement without a high-pitched, nails-on-the-chalkboard tone. One fun thing to do with whiners is to set your finest wine glass on the counter, deny your child that which they so desperately want, and see how long it takes for the glass to shatter from the destructive energy of the whining alone. My son’s record is 16 glasses within ten minutes of being denied a Lego set.
OK, really he only thinks he knows it all, but it turns out that Lady Gaga isn’t really a transvestite alien from Mars sent to convince the Human Race that we should all be running around in our underwear (I looked it up). The great thing about the Know-It-All is that, not only do they make all kinds of crap up, they also believe everything you tell them—and then repeat it to everyone they meet. This opens the door to all kinds of fun. Just make sure you’re there to watch when he confidently struts into school with his pants on backwards, telling everyone it’s better for your posture.
The Like One Timer
These are easy to recognize as they generally interrupt whatever you’re saying with, “So, like, one time…” For example, a child might say, “So, like, one time, my dad had a bloody nose and it stained his shirt.” This would, of course, be interesting except the question you asked was, “How many of you have been to the museum before?”
A great game to play with Like One Timers is the “Stay on topic or pay the grownup a dollar” game. It’s fun and you’ll always have money for lunch.
The Perpetually Bored Kid
It’s not so much that this kid whines about being bored every 30 seconds and expects you to solve his critical emergency; it’s that he has more toys than a Toys R Us (the full store, not the wussy little express store). A great pastime on a lazy Sunday afternoon is to play “If you’re so bored then I guess you don’t need this $500 Lego Death Star you pestered us about for 2 years.” Not only is it fun, it’s a great way to clean out the playroom and make a few bucks in a yard sale at the same time.
The Pubescent Teen
Where do I start? Your bathroom-hogging, nose-offending, groin-dominated, mood-swinging offspring redefine annoying and make you wonder why you ever had sex in the first place. As my son reaches this stage, I’m looking forward to leaving a few Playboy and Penthouse magazines in strategic locations on the sidewalk where he’ll find them. The fun begins as I search for where in the house he decides to stash them, then start messing with them over time. Things to try include: re-hiding them in a slightly different location; putting one on the bathroom floor so he panics thinking he left it there; put a sticky note on one of the pages with a note about being careful not to go blind; adjust one so it’s sticking slightly out of its hiding place then go stand next to it while having a conversation with him—watch him struggle to distract you as you “almost” discover it.
Perhaps our readers have other suggestions for fun things to do with annoying kids. If so, please share.
Problem solved! You’re welcome.