All parents know that kids are master manipulators. They know how to push the limits, and they know how to teach you patience. They also are skilled at the art of making you wait. If your kid doesn’t yet know how to postpone everything, then this guide is for them.
1. Wake up as early as humanly possible and sneak down to the hall to watch three hours of TV before 9 am. When your mom calls you for breakfast, yell “It’s almost over!” and hope she doesn’t notice when the next show starts. Next time she calls you yell, “five more minutes!”
2. While eating breakfast, knock things over and spill some stuff. Cry when your brother looks at you the wrong way, and get into an argument with your sister about what color your blood is. Get out of your seat and do a little dance every three and half bites. Get distracted and run and get your favorite toy. Come back to the breakfast table when your mom gets mad to find a full bowl of soggy cereal. Tell her you’re no longer hungry.
3. Ask for a snack five minutes later while you brush your teeth.
4. Argue that your sock feels funny for 15 minutes. Finally change socks, and demand to a ridiculous outfit. Cry when your mom says no. When she finally caves, tell her you actually don’t want to wear that, you want your spider-man costume instead.
5. When it’s time to get in the car, decide to poop. Take 30 minutes. Then “forget” where your shoes are while everyone is in the car. Poke your head out the front door and yell to your mom, “I CAN’T FIND THEM! I looked EVERYWHERE!” Wait inside doing nothing while she comes back in to find your shoes sitting right by the front door. Say, “OH.” when she points them out to you.
6. When you arrive wherever you begged your mom to take you, act uninterested in getting out of the car. Stall for as long as possible. Unbuckle yourself as slowly as a sloth. Pick at your hangnail. Look for something you dropped two weeks ago in between the seats because you suddenly remembered it. Find a french fry. Eat it. Then, slither out of the car backwards because you can.
7. When you’re at the fun place you really wanted to go, ignore your mom when it’s time to leave even though you’ve been whining for the past 20 minutes that you’re bored. Run away from her whenever she grabs you to get in the car. Laugh a lot so she gets angry. Hide in a corner so she panics just long enough to convince herself that you got kidnapped. Then flail around a lot when she finally catches you and act like you want to live there now.
8. When you walk out to the car, drag your feet. Look for some trash to pick up off the ground. Find a penny. Jump in a tiny oil puddle left by another car. Get grease on your clothes. Cry because you forgot to do that one thing inside one more time. Lay down in the parking lot. Refuse to get back in the car to go home. Take 8 minutes to buckle yourself in.
9. When you get home, unbuckle quickly, but then take repeat step 6. When you finally get out of the car, let your mom go ahead and unlock the door. While she waits for you to come in, play with a dead grasshopper. Then, say you’re too tired to walk anymore. Lay down on the front porch.
10. When you’re mom is trying to make dinner, circle around her like she is in shark infested waters chanting, “Can I have some fruit snacks?” 82 times. On the 83rd time, say, “I’M SOO Hungry!” Lay down right next to her crying for your fruit snacks while she tries to fix you something for dinner. Ask her to hold you.
11. Wait five minutes then ask for goldfish. Cry until she says, “just a few” Shove 5 fistfuls in your mouth as quickly as possible, then say you’re full when she offers you dinner.
12. Ask for a snack immediately after brushing your teeth before bed.
13. Delay bedtime by asking her to read the biggest book on your shelf. Three times. Cry when she won’t. Get out of bed to pretend pee, and be pretend thirsty. Do that at least two more times. Tell her you’re scared, and you need her to snuggle with you. Then ask for your dad to do the same thing. Ask an existential question about the universe. Demand answers.
14. Close your eyes and pretend to be asleep. When your mom starts to leave the room, ask her for a band-aid. Cry when she says no. Then ask to be tucked in again, “the right way”. Ask for another hug. Tell her you’re hungry.
15. Wait long enough that you think she’s finally relaxing then come out of your room and announce you have a big boogie and need a tissue.
16. Find 382 other excuses to get out of your bed until it’s 11pm. Finally fall asleep. Repeat all steps tomorrow.