Becoming a parent is such a terrifying prospect to us that we don't fully understand how anybody else could choose to take on this sort of personal responsibility. We know that we are not ready to take on that sort of burden and we hope that we actually never have to. We can barely look after ourselves, so the chances of bringing up a child correctly are slim to none.
Beyond the very real existential fear that comes with having a child, there is also the chance that you will spend most of their lives screwing them up in various ways, both mentally and physically. Looking after a child is a hard thing to do without making any mistakes, to the point where making mistakes has sort of just become expected and accepted.
We've had a look through some of the best parenting fails on the internet and we've brought you some of our favorites while making some up along the way. Think you'll be able to tell which are true and which are false? Let's find out!
"I once slapped my son on the back because he was choking on something. When he coughed it up, I realized he'd been in my drawer and found a condom. He thought it was gum."
At first, this story seems really funny, tickling that immature part of your brain that finds things like burps and farts funny. However, when you actually read what is being said, you quickly realize that this is actually an admission of neglect more than anything else. This child could've died! We're not sure whether the parent would've got in a lot of trouble as it was clearly an accident, but it would've been pretty awkward when people found out they'd died choking on a condom...
"Rather than giving my six year old daughter a bottle of water, I accidentally gave her a water bottle filled with vodka. It took me a while to realize."
Wow. Now we're really starting to separate the men from the boys, aren't we? Okay, we're not going to lie, this one is very bad. If you've ever done this to your child, you probably weren't ready to have one in the first place. You're also probably still pretty young as you're hiding vodka in a water bottle. Either that or you're an alcoholic who has various ways of hiding it, which means you definitely shouldn't have children around you.
"My mother once had to stop my sister from giving her baby soda in a bottle."
We always wonder how it's possible that somebody can grow up with such a different mentality from the rest of the people in their family, especially when it comes to childcare. Surely, the only things we know about childcare are based on how our parents looked after us and how the rest of our family looks after their kids. How do you think this sort of stuff is okay if nobody else in your family is doing it as well?
“I left the door open when I had sex.”
To be fair, we've been in situations where we've got caught up in the moment as well, so we can easily see how this sort of thing would happen, but you've really got to start thinking about more than your own wants and desires once you've plopped another life into this world. There is even a chance that getting caught up in the moment is exactly the reason you ended up with a child in the first place, so think on it!
"I spent 45 minutes rocking my newborn baby to sleep only to crack his head on the door frame while carrying him into his bedroom."
One of the many problems with parents is that anybody can become one, even though most people definitely shouldn't become one. We'd argue that one of the main things that you should probably have down by the time you become a parent is an understanding of the space around you. If you can't even do that, how do you think you'll be able to keep your child alive till they reach adulthood? That, and how will you keep them asleep?
"I tried to swat a tree frog off our door one night. Instead of jumping in the direction I swatted it, the frog jumped toward us, landing on my 2-year-old daughter's face."
We think that people underestimate how much their childhood can have an effect on their adulthood, especially when it comes to the experiences that your parents put you through. Most of our personality and emotional responses can probably be traced back to our parents in some way if you look hard enough. What we're trying to say is, this girl is definitely going to now grow up with a severe fear of tree frogs and it's all her parent's fault.
"I once walked in on my son using my 'adult toy' as a bridge for his action men. I have no idea how he got his hands on it."
So, where do you guys stand on this? We know that children need to be shielded from some stuff to make sure that they have a good growth into adulthood, but we're not so sure that sex is one of those things. People need to realize that being prudish about these sorts of things really doesn't get us anywhere. It only causes problems in both the short and long term. Seriously, you can read up about these sorts of things.
"I didn't notice that my son had been dropping coins into the back of our television (this was before flatscreens) until it burst into flames."
Who knew that there would ever be a time where we'd become nostalgic for those absolutely huge CRT televisions that we used to watch when we were younger? It was hard to find space for them in most people's living rooms, and trying to carry them anywhere was a nightmare. Seriously, if you lived in a flat or had to move one of those into your room, we are really sorry. Nobody should have to deal with that level of strain in their lives.
"I once fell down the stairs with my baby in my arms."
We were talking about it before, but we really feel like these parents need to start thinking about their ability to understand the space around them before they decide to have kids. Walking up and down stairs is something that you should have down from a pretty young age if you ask us. If you can't even manage that, it's probably time you had a little word with yourself and get back to the drawing board when it comes to your own life plans.
"I once left my child to sleep in a bed at a mattress shop so I could get some peace and quite while I browsed the shop."
Can you imagine seeing this if you worked in that shop? That sort of thing should not be allowed. That being said, as someone who knows that they don't have to deal with it once they've left the shop, that probably makes for a fun day at work. Imagine getting to chase a bunch of kids around at work and not having to do all of the boring stuff that you normally have to do while you're at work just to get paid.
"When my son was 4 I was helping him brush his teeth when he started screaming that it tasted funny. I’d mixed up the toothpaste and diaper rash cream!"
Can you imagine how terrified you would be in that moment, desperately scrabbling for the packaging of the cream to check whether or not it was toxic? That is a pretty awkward visit to the ER. You'd either get an older nurse or doctor with their own kids who completely get where you're coming from, or you'd end up with a younger version who would almost certainly be judging you with their eyes, wondering if they should be ringing social services.
"My brother once shaved off his babies eyebrows because he thought it was funny."
The really bad thing about this one is that we know that if one of our friends did this we'd find it hilarious as well. We know that it's not okay and nobody should be encouraged to do something like this by laughing at it, but we would definitely find it funny. In fact, we would like to encourage anyone reading this not to do this to their child unless they know us, then they should do it and send us pictures.
"I once let my sister babysit when my hands were tied, knowing fully well that she had a drug problem. It was all fine, but I would never do it again."
Once again, these can get pretty dark, but at least nothing bad happened, right? We reckon there's probably a lot more work that needs to be done here, regardless of whether anything bad happened that specific time. There are too many unanswered questions brought about by this quote. Does the sister still have a drug problem? Why did you need a sitter so badly? Don't you have other friends or family members who aren't addicted to drugs in some way?
"I once used my child to get into a rock concert for free. Don't ask how."
If we don't ask you how you achieved this, then how are we supposed to correctly judge you for using your child as a commodity? This is something that you often see in celebrities, who will have children and then use those children as some way to get more fame or even more money. You know we live in depressing times when people will use their children as some sort of marketing tool to get poor people to buy their stuff.
"I walked into my 2-year-old’s bedroom as he triumphantly shouted, 'MUM STICKERS!' His bedroom walls were covered in (unused) sanitary pads."
Okay, this is probably our favorite story in this entire quiz. Does anybody else feel like referring to sanitary pads as woman stickers from now on, because we know that we are! Obviously, we're not so sure how this will go down with the women in our lives who expect more from us because we're adult males, but if they see this as a surprise from our mouths, they clearly don't know us very well in the first place, do they?
"Couldn't find my child for a few minutes and started to panic. Turns out they were asleep in the dog's kennel."
Rather than a sign of neglect or a parenting failure, this just looks to us like the child loves their pet, which is definitely something we wish we'd had as a child. Our parents didn't get a cat until we were late into our teens, so we never got that fluffy love that some toddlers and young children get. Definitely jealous of the sorts of children that got a chance to get lost in the dog's kennel if we're being honest.
"My 6-month-old son knocked over my Dr Pepper and I didn't notice until I heard him slurping it off the floor."
There's nothing wrong with this if you ask us. Well, it's a shame that a six-month-old ended up tasting soda, but the idea of them slurping it off the ground doesn't bother us. If it had been water, we would've let the kid slurp away all day. That's just the closest place to them so they're obviously going to be searching for liquids pretty low down. Throw some in a dog bowl for them for all we care.
"I once saw a woman drop her baby while lighting a cigarette."
Yeah, this is taking the neglect to a new level. You really need to ring the social services if you see something like this happening and if you're the kind of parent who thinks this sort of stuff is okay, you should be voluntarily handing your children in if you have any form of love for them. Yes, this just got real, but how can you have anything other than a real response to such a horrendous story and unpleasant image?
"I sent my first grader to school dressed up in full pirate costume. Turns out Pirate Day wasn’t until Thursday."
This is how you get your child bullied for the rest of their time at school. Whoever did this should be absolutely ashamed of themselves because this is pretty much the same as physical or emotional abuse if you ask us. Do you realize that this child will now have a pirate themed nickname that will follow them throughout their entire school career? If we were the parent of this child, we would get that kid out of school and move as far away as possible.
"One night I woke up to feed my baby, and must not have closed the bottle all the way, because when I went to put the bottle into her mouth ALL of the milk spilled onto her face and pajamas."
This is one of those things where if you don't agree with us, you're really not going to understand where we're coming from, but hear us out. Cleaning up, in general, is obviously a bit of a pain, but arguably the most annoying form of cleaning up comes from when you accidentally spill any form of liquid. There are bonus points added to how annoying it is if the liquid is sticky, or you accidentally spill it while you're in bed.
"I accidentally made my 2-year-old throw up while trying to help her brush her teeth."
All we can think about is how it is that the parent has been able to brush their teeth this entire time without making themselves throw up? How badly do you have to be brushing somebody's teeth to make them throw up? Surely they were gagging numerous times and retching before it got the point where they managed to get anything up from their stomach? We would never trust our parents again if they did this to us while we were children.
"I once played beer pong with my baby in a papoose on my back."
At least you're being honest? We don't think there's anything wrong with having some fun while your child is around, as long as you stay sober enough to look after him. Once you pass that point though, it's probably time you left it out. That being said, the idea of someone playing beer pong with a child hanging from their back really makes us happy. That is one of those mental images that will follow you around and make you giggle for a long time.
"During a middle-of-the-night feeding/changing session, I buttoned up the onesie, then put on the diaper. Needless to say, the onesie was drenched and filled just hours later."
If there was ever a story that proved human beings should not be put through the sleep deprivation and stress that comes with having a child, it is this one. How some people manage to do this sort of stuff without a partner, often with more than just the one, we do not understand. We obviously give a lot of respect to those managing it, but we also wonder whether any of us should really be taking on this much.
"I thought my kid was asking me if he could play in the grass, so I was like, 'Yeah!' He was actually asking if he could poop in the grass."
We're sort of worried that somebody could talk so nonchalantly about not properly listening to their child. Sure you have to be listening to your child almost all of the time to make sure that they're getting themselves into some sort of trouble? We know that most of the time they're just coming out with nonsense or trying to tell you a really boring story, but it was your choice to house something that has no sort of intelligence or personality. Look after it!
"I turned my back on my child for a second and he managed to eat from a bar of soap. Burped a bubble."
See, your first mistake was having a child and then deciding that it was acceptable to turn your back on them ever. You should never turn your back on your child if you want them to live a long and healthy life. There is literally no way that turning your back on a child can ever go well unless it's because you're trying to teach them a lesson about something. That being said, probably not great to start getting passive aggressive with your kids.
"My sister cheated on her husband, got pregnant and never told him. He still doesn't know."
We can't even come up with something funny to say about this one. Just pretty disgusted to be honest. Why do people think that they can do things like this? It's seriously horrible, and the fact that she feels confident enough to tell her family shows that she probably has no remorse for her actions at all. She is clearly one of those women who thinks that they can get away with whatever they want and nobody will ever pull her up on it.
"I once had a child come into my liquor store with a note from their mother. When I turned them away, his parent came in later on that day to shout at me for not selling their young child some alcohol."
Believe it or not, but this is actually something parents could get away with back in the day. My mother used to get sent to the shop by her mother to buy cigarettes if you can believe that! There is something insane about that if you ask us. You shouldn't be able to buy things with a note instead of a form of identification, although we would've loved to be able to do that when we were younger if we're being honest.
"My husband thought it was fine to pretend to drop our child, only stopping once he actually did drop her."
This is a real boy who cried wolf scenario if you ask us. If somebody did this to us, they'd regret it when they realized that we weren't running in to help stop the baby falling over because we didn't believe them
"My sister refuses to use leashes for her children, both of whom regularly run away from her onto the road."
The weird thing about leashes for kids is that it's pretty much only a taboo concept in North America. There are a lot of other parents around the world who swear by them, and we don't think there's any problem with them either if we're being totally honest. You can't trust your kids not to run off and die when you're out in the dangerous world, so why not prepare some way of making sure that they can't get away from you?
"The zipper on my daughter's winter coat got caught. In trying to free her, my husband’s hand slipped and he ended up punching her in the mouth and split her lip."
This is one of those situations where the child, in their innocence, would end up telling their teacher or a similar authority figure that their father had punched them in the face when they asked them how they'd bust their lip. We wonder how many times people have had the social services called on them, only to have to relay a really boring story once somebody got in touch with them to make sure that they were fit to look after their child.
"My mother used to put me into childhood beauty pageants. Enough said."
It makes us so sad to think that we live in a world with people who think it's totally acceptable to put their child on a stage and teach them to prance around for other people's attention. Do you realize how damaging that can be to a child's mind? Nobody needs that sort of stuff rattling around their brain at any point in their life, never mind when they're trying to figure out who they are and what sort of impression they want to leave on this world.
"Not me, but I once saw my total idiot of a sister tell her son that if he smoke and drank people would think he was cool."
Well, is she wrong? No, seriously though you can't go around and fill impressionable minds with this sort of stuff. However, we do believe that you should be totally honest with a child about the role of drugs and fun in society before they get to an older age and find it out for themselves. If you don't talk to them about it, they'll go and learn about them in an unsafe environment instead. Which would you prefer for your child?
"I left the Vaseline in the room overnight and woke up to a toddler covered in it from head to toe."
What is it about toddlers that make them want to cover themselves in stuff? It always reminds us of that famous viral video of where the kid covered himself in peanut butter with the help of his brother, and he was totally cool with it, enjoying it even. We couldn't imagine anything worse than that sticky nightmare, so why do kids think otherwise? In fact, why do kids have no problem with things that are sticky at all for that matter?
"I sat in some cake frosting today. After I wiped most of it off my 2-year-old daughter creeped up behind me and licked the rest off the ass of my jeans."
Rather than cringing at this story, we think this makes us actually want to have children. We would have them if it meant we could get them to clean up after us and stuff like that! Honestly, the people who have kids so that they can make them do chores, thereby having the amount of work that the parents have to do around the house, they've got it sorted out. They know exactly why kids are worth having, and more people need to start taking notice.
"I had to jump in the way of a bookshelf falling on a child, a bookshelf that I had put up."
Rather than go into why we're worried that this parent still probably has their child, we could use this as a chance to spread the message that you need to start connecting your bookshelves to your walls. There is no telling when disaster might strike! Just because you don't have children doesn't mean you want the thing to come falling down on top of you! Just because you don't have kids doesn't mean you shouldn't live in a safe place either.