Questionable Parenting Skills


Here are a few seemingly unrelated facts. 


#1.  On Saturday Mr7 had a haircut for the princely sum of $15.95.


#2.  On Monday we received a letter from the rental agent reminding us that the upkeep of the yard was our responsibility.  Apparently the knee-high grass was quite noticeable, even from a distance.


#3.  1595 divided by 319 equals 5.


Fast forward to Thursday. 


I got home from work at about 3pm.  I had been going flat out delivering parcels since 7am with the temperature peaking around 32°C (90°F).  My wife had mowed the grass out the front to give the right impression to any casual observers (the letter advised of a further inspection in a week).  She was due to start work at 5pm and I was in charge for the evening. 


Here was my picture perfect plan. 


5pm – mow the back yard. 

6pm – shower (it was still 29°C/84°F). 

6:30pm – grab some dinner for everyone down at the shops

7pm – let the kids wander around the shopping centre to each find a gift for their mother (our only incomplete Christmas shopping task).


Here was how my plan warped and wobbled into existence. 


5pm – mow. 

6pm – still mowing (it hadn’t been mowed for 4 weeks and we have had 3-4 storms a week and high temperatures, heaven for grass).

6:45pm – I finished the mowing just as the light gave out.

6:50pm – I jumped in the shower to cool off and clean-up.  As I entered the bathroom I called to the children to get changed into clothes for going out.

6:55pm – As I was towelling off, Mr7 came in to tell me he couldn’t find any shoes.


It’s time to convert from a dot point summary to a word for word, blood and guts description of this event.


Me:  Look outside the back door.

Mr7:  OK.  (turning to leave)

Me:  HEY!

Mr7:  Yes dad?

Me:  What happened to your hair?

Mr7:  Nothing.  (turning quickly to leave)

Me:  HEY!

Mr7:  (turns back with head bowed)

Me:  What happened to your hair?

Mr7:  Um, me and Ms4…

Me:  MS4!

Ms4:  What?

Me:  HERE!  NOW! 

Ms4:  (gingerly appears in doorway)

Me:  Right.  What happened to your hair?

Ms4:  Mr7 did it.

Mr7:  No, Ms4 did it.

Ms4:  Liar!

Mr7:  Liar!

Me:  QUIET!  Get out.  Both of you stand in the kitchen, I’ll be out in a minute.


The final chapter of the story.


What did I see?  What’s with all the questions about their hair?  A picture is worth a thousand words.  But wait.  I promised mathematics.  Let’s tie all of the initial facts into the story.  Fact #2 is easily covered.  It was the cause of all this mid-week late-night lawn mowing.  Fact #1 and fact #3 are the mathematics I warned you about.  Mr7 had a $15.95 hair cut on Saturday.  On Thursday I affected repairs on said haircut using the number one comb on the electric clippers.  So our $15.95 hair cut lasted 5 days.  That’s $3.19 a day.  That’s a Hollywood priced haircut. 


Now let’s look at the mess.







Mr7 has had the electric clippers take him back to a sad prickled little boy.  Ms4 wasn’t mangled as badly.  A $20 visit to the hairdresser fixed her, but her hair that was closer to her belt than her shoulders is now a bob.


What about the aftermath.


So it’s 10 days to Christmas, probably the most photographed event in our family each year.  This year’s photos won’t make everyone happy when they are dragged out and dusted off in years to come.  Should I sue the rental agent for causing me to ignore my children and put them in this situation?  Just joking – I’m Australian; we don’t sue (much).


What about you.


Tell me all about what you got up to as a child that turned your parents grey overnight (or what your kids have done to you that turned you grey).





Help save the world.  World Vision allows you to purchase a huge range of items that assist people in developing nations to become self-sufficient.  You can buy anything from a pair of laying hens for $25 up to a fully equipped well in Africa $16,000 or Haiti $18,700. 

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57 Responses to Questionable Parenting Skills

  1. Tom Stormcrowe says:

    I was a good lad, I never made my parents get gray hair………….unless you count the time I took off on my bike for an early morning ride when I was 15 and my parents didn’t realize I had my bivvy sack with me!I called them that evening to let them know I was alright! Unfortunately, they hadn’t gotten the note I left them that I was going camping, mainly because I forgot to leave it! It was still in my little black book with the phone card and ID! They were used to me going camping, this wasn’t the problem, it was the fact I actually hadn’t left the note. They were relieved I was OK, but a little bit upset I was in Michigan instead of my home state of Indiana, about 85 miles away, at the Pidgeon River. Dad told me I better enjoy the fly fishing as I was grounded as soon as I got home!

  2. Unknown says:

    My sisters boys once got hold of a packet of Strepsils (menthol cough sweets) which they sucked until they were sticky and then stuck them to the cat. They painted her shoes with nail varnish.Once, my parents left my brother and me at home while they went out. We got into an argument which ended with him chasing me through the house until I ran into my bedroom and shut the door. He punched his fist through the door. We were 19 and 18 at the time. My brother and I had our own parking at the hospital we were there so often. Crayon stuck up my nose, crayon stuck in my ear, daisy stuck up my nose, cracked open head for my brother, cracked open head for me after showing dad how brother cracked his head open, broken wrist for me, broken wrist for him, garden fork through his foot, crushed elbow for me, broken wrist for him, concusion for him in golfing incident, me confined to a wheelchair for a week with a damaged back, numerous bike crashes, cuts, stitches and bruises. My eldest sister never stayed in hospital from the day she was born til the day she went in to have the twins.

  3. AO says:

    LOLwhat is it with kids and hair? when my eldest son was 5 and my daughter 3, i walked into my son’s room and wondered why i smelled burning hair… the son had convinced the daughter to hide under his bed w/ him where he had stashed one of those big ‘clicker’ fireplace type lighters. he then proceeded to "carefully" attempt to burn her hair off an inch at a time. i’m just glad the daughter’s hair was free of any hairspray that day…

  4. Suzanne says:

    How about things your parents do to you that cause you to get old and grey?I took my parents to a diffrent city so my dad could have emergency surgery. The parking garage was in the building next door to the hospital. We got into a full elevator and when the door opened on the ground floor and I got out. They did not….no worries…I figured the would ride it back to the ground floor and get out…I waited…and waited…I walked out side and looked to see if they had gone around the other way…I looked in the hospital lobby…I walked back and waited…I got out a sandwich I was carrying and waited…..eventually I went back to the labby of the hospital…they walked up and claimed to they had been looking for me….I want you to know they got lost in a 4 story building for over 45 minuets…and yes, they knew the hospital was the building next door. I still to this day can not figure out where they where.Nor can they tell me….

  5. Al says:

    Hey Mike, I moved my space, concentrating the blog on a little more day to day work, but will keep adding general entries . . . more to come! Thanks for pinning my map!

  6. Kelly says:

    I used to do that to my dolls’ hair…but never to my own. I did like to set fires though. So maybe your kids’ didn’t do such a bad thing…considering what they could have been up to. =)I finally got paid, so maybe now I can contribute!Kelly

  7. Stephen says:

    Well, lemme see now… hmmm…Got my first permanent tooth knocked out with a baseball bat. (Age 6)Set the woods next to the house on fire and almost burned the house down (Age 8 – almost didn’t make to to Age 9 after that one)Practiced sky-diving, from 6 floors up, at an apartment building under construction across the street, into a 3-story-high pile of sand piled at the bottom. (Age 11)Should I go on? There’s LOTS more…

  8. Jtrav31 says:

    Ouch…aren’t kids great. I have my stories too. They are on my space. I try to put my interesting teaching stories up there. It’s always good for a laugh.

  9. Laura says:

    I wasn’t that bad, i just trimmed the bangles into a W at 3 the day fefore the my pictures… I also wanted to prtend cook in my toy cookware but i need some pretend food so i make hot dogs out of my mothers lip sticks and pretend peas out of he beaded nechlaces which i unstung….My brother on the other hand…Used the drawers as steps to the kitchen counter then climbed up the towel rack to the top of the refrig, opened the cabnet over the refrig and atempt to eat half of a 200 count bottle of St. Joesph chewable asprin – he wasn’t 3 yet… Then there was the hand drill in the electric socket at 3, opening a car door and rolling out while my mom was going a round a corner 4, testing if knifes really hurt 4, running through a camp fire at 5, pulling the emergancy brake to off in a car on a hill and rolling the car in front of a semi (with really good brakes that smoke and made lots of noise) 6, burying my mother jewlry in the garden then forget to teasure hunt it and it rains 6… you get the idea…

  10. inggles titser says:

    har har… there are no bad kids… they’re just kids!when i was much younger i used to brush the hair right above my nape with a roller brush with all my hair draped over my shoulders.when my mom got home from work she would use all sorts means to untangle my hair from the brush.sometimes it got nasty, we both got tired and tried to yank it off. of course that didn’t work. well, usually.once we both tried to do the yanking thing and, good heavens, got the brush out alright… with a ball of hair attached. <^_^>Cheerio.-=gen=-

  11. Christy says:

    Each of my children has cut their hair at one time or another, but never on my watch. In fact, I blogged about this not very long ago. Check out the archives at That was my space before MSN became home.

  12. Star says:

    It’s funny, I cannot remember doing anything too bad when I was a child. I was always afraid of my mother so I stayed out of trouble. Hmm, maybe I just blocked the memories of what I did….My sons always seemed to have had a lot of common sense, thank goodness! The only thing I remember is that my youngest loved fire. We did a lot of camping and taught the boys to respect and be careful with fire. Well, we had one of those carousel thingies that you light small candles around it and the heat hits the "wings" on top of the carousel and it will spin. They are popular here at Christmas time. I had a small metal one that the youngest kid really liked. He asked me if he could light the candles. I had the carousel on the brick hearth away from everything and I was in the room with him so I said okay. I also put a bowl of water next to him. Everything was fine until the candles burned all the way down until there was a pool of wax which had flowed onto the bricks a bit. All of a sudden the whole pool of wax was on fire! It was easy to put out and nothing was burned but it gave my son a new respect for fire and how it can get out of control very easily. Later in the year, when he asked if he could make a fire in a rock circle he had made in the woods near our yard, I immediately said no! LOL, but when his dad got home I asked him to help our son build a fire in his rock ring. They did but made sure the hose was nearby.

  13. Unknown says:

    My sister and I are only a year apart and we were terrors. Where to begin….used to make our younger brother watch Creature Double Feature and hide under his bed that night and scare the s**t out of him. Made our little sister eat lite brite pegs telling her they were candy. Parents ended up calling the company to make sure there were no gases in the peg and had to check that it passed without causing any damage. Don’t remember how much trouble we got into for that one. We washed our hair with baby oil and took a baby powder bath once. Took about a week for the oil to wash out. The house smelled really nice though. I’m sometimes amazed our parents didn’t kill us. Fearing the old what goes around, comes around I decided to only have one kid. Worst she did was cut her hair, right in the front up the middle just before school pictures. I’m going to go give my parents a hug now.

  14. David says:

    These pics will probably be favorites in years to come. Most pics are just a bunch of grinning heads – these tell a story. Plus the fliggy look is all the rage – your son looks great!

  15. cosmogrl says:

    I feel your pain… daughter hacked off her bangs to the nub of her scalp. I was mortified because I’m a cosmetologist and everyone knows that I cut her hair. So, you can imagine my horror over the past several months that it has taken for them to grow back. I could have killed my X (where she was when she did the dastardly deed) when I saw it–but I know that I, too, have been distracted many times and it could just as easily have happened at mine and Frroggie’s house. Aaaargh! Kids! hehehe (They’re great aren’t they?)–Wen 🙂

  16. MizAngie says:

    Awesome! My brother did almost the same thing to my sister when they were kids, but only on one side of her head! When I was in the 7th grade I wanted "highlights" so after much begging and pleading Mother allowed me to get "Sun In". You were supposed to spray it on your hair while you sat in the sun and it would lighten "naturally." Pfffft. I reapplied numerous times and by the end of the day had hair like Marilyn Monroe. That was the end of "Sun In" and I looked like a brindle cat while it grew out.

  17. serf says:

    Just the normal stuff like your kids are doing. But one of my kids entertained themself by pulling out all of their eyebrows. It did look funny (but I didn’t laugh in front of my wife).’rett

  18. BIg Mike In Oz says:

    Stormy – grounding; the miraculous, one-punishment-fits-all parenting tool.Tim – your childhood could never happen these days.nikared – that’s very scary. But hey, only another 20 years and they’ll be out of the house.Suzanne – my mum lives 20 minutes away and everytime the radio reports a car accident in her suburb I ring her to check up.Al – I’ll adjust my bookmark.Kelly – they’re only kids, but it’s fun to compare horror stories.Pilgrim – I’m just amazed you still have a pulse.Josh – we love them.Peng – you weren’t that bad? My theory is that we filter ourselves in our memories to block out the naughty deeds.IATROGENIQUE, ShortFatMama – kids and hair. You proved my point.starstuff942 – allowing their inquizitive nature to be fed in a controlled environment, well done.Northeast Sue – it’s all a learning curve.DavidShag – I’ve already got them tagged for their 21st’s.Wen – that’s why we go grey.mizangie57 – if all else fails, follow the instructions.’rett – mine got shaved when I went to university first time around.

  19. Aynde says:

    I totally cut my own hair. I always wanted feathered bangs (hey! it was the 70’s!) and my mother was dead set against bangs.I know I totally sent my parents into heart failure when I was once asked "what are you and you sister doing?" and I replied "playing witch burning" ………

  20. James and Miranda says:

    Hi There!Just stumbled upon your site and loved it.Giggling about the haircuts, thinking of my stepkids and the things they do… :)The 10 year old has figured out how to get onto internet adult sites, which has caused us to parent control EVERYTHING… Can you believe he admitted to this while getting busted for something ELSE? :)Keep writing, very funny!Miranda

  21. Margaret says:

    I think most kids cut their own hair at some point. My best friend and I did way more damage than your daughter did. My sister wrapper the hair right on top of her forehead tightly around a comb in an attempt to curl it. The only way to get the comb off was to cut the hair!!My boyfriend and his brother used to get Christmas and birthday cards from the Emergency Room as they were there so often. There stories are more gruesome than funny, though, so I won’t elaborate.

  22. flooz says:

    SO cute! My husband and I discovered that it was just impossible to anticipate the wild acts my son could dream up to do when unobserved–as it was, there was a half hour’s worth of "don’t do this, don’t do that" while we’re gone and if he could come up with something we didn’t think to mention, he would. But, obediently, he would avoid any of the things we thought to mention beforehand.About your weather, I’m afraid 90 degrees is well ABOVE my 5 degree comfort range, and if pressed to decide, I think I’d prefer to freeze to death than to roast to death. As long as I had enough cats to drape over me.

  23. Honor says:

    My mother was prematurely gray, and I suspect parenthood was the culprit. (By the way, I feel for you – my youngest has given us THREE unexpected trips to the barber, all resulting in having to be shaved to the skin.) Anyhow, when I was 4, my mother worked nights, so would sleep during the day. Which often left us unattended. One day, while she happily slumbered, I painted the kitchen. The refrigerator, cabinets, sink, walls, door, everything. Let me just say that she was NOT pleased with my effort.

  24. Zed says:

    You know, nobody buzzed my hair until I was 19 years old. Now, that’s the only kind of haircut I get (for free from my wife), and I quite like it. You never know, maybe it’ll become a trend and save you a whole bunch of money.

  25. Julie says:

    When I was about 14 I "trimmed" up my younger sisters hair – cause I thought it would look better shorter only to chin level up from the shoulder. She was so upset – I have never cut / trimmed hair since then – not even my bangs or a couple out of place hairsThe incident probably traumatized me for life more than it did her.

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