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Sonoma Family Life Magazine

How Would Your Toddler Rate You?

By Shannon Carpenter

It’s time to improve our parenting! What better way than to ask a focus group of toddlers for suggestions.

Cindy, age 4 Yeah, I just think that he came off as a complete poopy-head. Like, the other parents just seemed a lot more put together. I guess I’m saying that presentation matters, and when you have kid boogers on your shirtsleeve, that is not a style that says “winner.” 

Dakota, age 3 Do you even know what the term organic means? Your Cheeto fingers would suggest that would be a no. Then I’m served hotdogs and there is no macaroni. What kind of Mickey Mouse operation is this? And were those off-brand hotdogs? At least have them locally sourced. I’ve had better meals from the dog bowl. If you want anyone to buy into your parenting, go vegan or go home. I’m going to call my Senator. 

Jayden, age 4 First off, Cindy stole my juice box. Not to make a big deal of it, but it happened. Now let’s talk bedtime. Look, I know things are busy, but if you skimp on the details that doesn’t fill me with a whole lot of confidence. I’m supposed to get two stories, a glass of water, and a half-hour of you begging before I go to bed. 

Aiden, age 2 Are you going to eat that? What about that? How about that? Why is the sky blue? Did you know I can make sounds with my lips? I farted but it wasn’t a fart. Cindy stole my juice box. 

Brayden, age 3 So, let me get this straight. That was an organized playgroup? Did the parent even try? I left without even a gift bag. Who does that? 

Nevaeh, age 4 My mom makes hearts out of my sandwiches. My mom wakes me each morning with the sounds of birds playing flutes. My mom sings every chorus of Encanto while completely in character. My mom does goat yoga with me at the vineyard. You are certainly not my mom. 

Hunter, age 2 Where’s the diaper bag? That thing looks like a hobo rag on a stick, which perfectly sums up my entire experience with your parenting. Cargo-short pockets are not an optimal place to keep my keepsake snot rags and half-eaten goldfish. I would expect more of a commitment to my overall emotional health. If you are not willing to keep everything that I’ve slobbered on and pretend its God’s gift to this Earth, I don’t think you will make it very far. Does the government know that you have children? 

Felicity, age 3 I don’t think this parent should volunteer at daycare anymore. The songs he chose to sing were embarrassing. And he can’t color. His coloring was barely inside the lines, and the color coordination was all wrong. Is he a parenting intern? 

Tim, age 4 I told on Cindy for stealing my juice box. Oh, this guy’s parenting? He’s cool. 

Shannon Carpenter is a professional humorist, co-host of The DadHouse Pod, and the author of The Ultimate Stay-at-Home Dad Manual (Penguin, 2021).