Wednesday, July 1, 2015

40 Ways to Make Your Toddler Cry This Fourth of July

When you’ve got toddlers, the Fourth of July isn’t so much a “holiday” as it is one giant suckfest. For starters, the main event takes place after bedtime, so you’re basically extending your kids’ waking hours in order to subject yourself to hordes of mosquitoes at a firework show that you probably don’t really give a crap about anyway.

But you know what? It might even be worth the extra stress and exhaustion if you got to see your kids actually enjoying themselves. I mean, I wouldn’t mind spending a late night with my boys snuggled in my lap, their faces lit up with awe and the glow of the fireworks above us, while patriotic music plays softly in the background.

But it doesn’t work that way. Trying to legitimately celebrate the Fourth of July with kids under the age of four pretty much turns the day into one big toddler tantrum. It’s simple math, really:

Overtired Toddlers + Loud Noises + Sparkly Things They Aren’t Allowed to Touch = Tears + Screaming

If you don’t trust in the equation, here are a few real-life examples of things you can do or say to your munchkins to make them weep this July 4th:

1. “No, it’s not a ‘present’ holiday.”

2. “We’re celebrating America’s birthday, not yours.”

3. “No, America’s mom is not providing goody bags.”

4. Wrestle them into their car seats to drive to a family cookout.

5. On the way there: “Sorry, guys, I left Elmo in Grouchland in the DVD player at home.”

6. After they inevitably fall asleep three minutes before arrival, wake them up when you get to the cookout.

7. At the cookout: “Those aren’t bouncy balls. They’re melon balls, and you need to stop throwing them on the floor.”

8. Force them to wear sunscreen when they ask to play outside.

9. “No, you can’t poke your brother with the sparkler. I don’t care if it looks like it would ‘tickle.’”

10. “You can’t eat it either. I don’t care if it looks like ‘sparkly cotton candy.’”

11. “You know what? I think we’re done with the sparklers now.”

12. When someone mentions Uncle Sam: “No, he’s not coming to the cookout.”

13. “…and, no, he doesn’t bring gifts like Santa.”

14. Wrestle them into their car seats after it’s already past bedtime in order to drive to a fireworks show.

15. After they inevitably fall asleep two minutes before arrival, wake them up when you get to the firework show.

16. Hose them down with bug spray in order to save their dewy toddler skin from the onslaught of mosquitoes sure to be there.

17. As you’re laying down a blanket for everyone to sit on: “No, we’re not building a fort.”

18. When they look at you with betrayal and confusion: “It’s the Fourth of July, not the Fort of July.”

19. Pull out the bag of limited edition red, white, and blue goldfish crackers that you foolishly brought in an attempt to provide a festive snack for the firework show.

20. “I didn’t bring orange fishies. These taste exactly like the orange fishies.”

21. Forget to pack juice.

22. Pack the wrong flavor juice.

23. “No, you don’t get presents after the fireworks.”

24. “Stop scratching your mosquito bites.”

25. “No, I’m not spending twenty dollars on a glow stick that’ll entertain you for approximately 15 seconds.”

26. After caving and buying the damn glow sticks: “No, we can’t trade them for the blue ones.”

27. Warn them that the fireworks are going to be loud. Or:

28. Fail to warn them that the fireworks are going to be loud.

29. “No, I can’t make them stop the fireworks.”

30. “No, we’re not going home yet.”

31. “No, I don’t think there’s going to be an Elmo shaped firework.”

32. “No, we can’t watch Elmo in Grouchland on the way home. I already told you, I left it at home.”

33. After the grand finale: “The fireworks are all done.”

34. “Nope, still no presents.”

35. Wrestle them into their car seats for the drive home.

36. After they inevitably fall asleep one minute before arrival, wake them up when you get home.

37. While you tuck them in: “No, Uncle Sam’s not coming tonight to bring presents.”

38. “No, we’re not leaving out milk and cookies for him.”

39. “No, you can’t have milk and cookies right now.”

40. “Yes, the Fourth of July is all done.”

Let freedom ring? Ha. Not if you’re a mom to toddlers.

  Happy “Independence” Day, suckers!

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