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A Complete Guide to Parental Freak Outs

Photo by CDC on Unsplash


Age 0–3 months

Hi! Thanks for stopping by. Before you come in, please know that our sweet Baby Emmaleigh-Oliviamelia has precisely no immune system, and the tiniest speck of dirt could kill her. Please remove your shoes, socks, and any articles of clothing that may have come into contact with a carcinogen.

I’ve provided a handy fire pit just there so you can sanitize those items appropriately. Before entering, please dip yourself in this industrial size tub of hand sanitizer.

Please wash your hands before holding Emmaleigh-Oliviamelia. Have you ever seen how surgeons do it? Like that. But more thorough.

If you have had a cough, sniffle, or snuffle, scratchy throat anytime in the last month, I’m sorry, but you‘ll have stay outside a 10-foot radius of the baby.

And Uncle Barry, I love you, but even your thoughts have germs. If you could just not think of my baby, I’d appreciate it.

Should any item of hers touch the floor, please hand it to me. I’ll sanitize in a three-step process before she can have it back.

Age 3–6 months

Oh, thanks for coming. I’m just so exhausted. Wash your hands real quick. Here’s Emmaleigh-Oliviamelia. If the pacifier falls out, just wipe it off with a diaper wipe and pop it back in her mouth.

I don’t think we have any clean bottle nipples, so I’m just rinsing this one off real good for you. I’m gonna go take a nap.

Age 6–18 months

Emmaleigh, no! Oh, sweetheart, we don’t lick the floor at Wal-Mart! I know I laughed when you tried to lick the spilled milk up off the kitchen floor, but Mommy at least knows she mopped that at some point.

We don’t eat books here either. We don’t know who has touched those. And whoever touches it next doesn’t want your drool on it.

Age 18 months-4 years

Emmaleigh, what’s in your mouth? Spit it out! SPIT IT OUT! Oh, it’s a goldfish. Where did you find it? In the couch?

Okay, well, whatever. It’s not an actual piece of poop you tried to play with last week, so whatever. Enjoy your surprise snack.

Age 4–11 years

Oh sweet baby, you’re sick! That doctor’s appointment wasn’t so bad, huh? Ok, well, here’s a big, fluffy blanket, some lovely soup, and a popsicle.

Let’s swallow down your feel-better medicine in one big gulp! Alright, good job! We’ll watch Netflix all day and maybe take a good nap later! Yeah, cuddle up next to Daddy. He can handle your fever sweat better than me.

Age 12-whenever they move out of the house.

Are you sick? Immediate quarantine. GO GO GO, people. I don’t want your germs. You are confined to your room. I’ll leave a baggie of some pills, a tray of food, and your water supply outside your door.

DO NOT open that door until I’ve texted you that the rest of the family is outside the infection zone. And I swear to God if you come out and get anyone else in this house sick, I’m putting you up for adoption.


Age 0–6 months

I make all his baby food by hand. It’s such a quick process. In 4 hours, I’ve got a whole week of food!

I love making my own baby food recipes! My favorite is spinach, rutabaga, beet, and quinoa. Baby Liam-Logan just gobbles it up!

We don’t do cow’s dairy, peanuts, strawberries, tree nuts, or really any of the allergens yet.

Of course, my baby only gets the best, all-natural, cruelty-free, responsibly harvested, non-GMO, non-HMO, non-FBRYIKMO foods produced on sustainable, green farms in the USA.

Age 6 months-1 year

Yeah, I still make his baby food. But he gets tastes off our plate now.

We don’t want him to be a picky eater, so we’re really focusing on expanding his palette right now. We’ll have hummus for dinner, and Liam-Logan is a big fan!

Tomorrow it is a salt-free Morrocan tagine! He loves all the ethnic flavors!

Age 1–3

Liam-Logan Evan-Stefan, we do not throw Spaghettios! Don’t think just because it hit the floor, you aren’t eating it. If there’s no visible dog hair on it, I’m handing it back to you. I don’t want to hear you’re hungry later.

The best part is, you have no idea I hid a whole bunch of cauliflower in that tomato sauce. Sneaky veggies for the win!

Age 3–8

Sweetheart, you have to have more chicken nugget than ketchup.

Pancakes are always that color. It’s not too brown, please just eat your food.

You’ve had macaroni and cheese for the past three meals. Can we maybe try something that isn’t yellow, brown, or ketchup? No? Okay. Macaroni and cheese it is. I’m concerned if I don’t give in, you will literally starve yourself.

Age 8-Adulthood

I made this for dinner. Eat it or don’t. I don’t care.

No, there are no more snacks in the house. You ate them all ten minutes after I got home from the store. I’m not going back until next week. Have an apple for God’s sake. We still have plenty of those.


Age 0–1 year

We are a screen-free family. Blue light is incredibly damaging to young eyes, and I’ve read that screens before age 17 months can stunt brain development.

All the toys we own are Montessori-approved.

Each week we have an educational theme. I get books from the library on the topic and make up a new sensory bin to match. We’ve also started Phonics-for-Infants. She responds so well. I think she spelled her name to me yesterday!

Age 1–3

Yeah, she has a tablet, but we only use it in the car, in line at the store, or in waiting rooms. I’ve chosen all the early reading and math awareness apps. One just shows her random images of numbers and apps.

Of course, when I turn it on, she ignores it until I put Baby Shark back on, but its the exposure that counts.

We read three books every night for bedtime. At least one of those is about how to be kind, caring, and loving. The rest are generally about sparkly fish or saying goodnight to spoons, but at least one of them has high-level emotional awareness as the central thesis.

Age 3–5

That tablet is a life-saver. I literally wouldn’t be able to function without it. She found this thing on YouTube Kids. It’s just a frog that hops back and forth and yells gibberish. She loves it.

Yesterday she watched Froggie Yell Yell Hi! for like two hours straight. I probably should have stopped her, but I got so much done!

Age 5–11

Oh, thank god for all the human beings who become teachers. I don’t know how they do it. I swear if it weren’t for public school, none of my children would read. They would be the reason McDonald’s has to include pictures of cheeseburgers on their menus.

I tried to help her with her homework last night. I apparently no longer know how to math. It was just adding two-digit numbers, and when I started to carry the 1, my daughter told me I was doing it wrong.

How am I doing math wrong? She spent more time trying to explain the borrowing groups than she did actually doing her homework.

I don’t know. She seems to be getting it. I’m lost, but she’s got a B. I just hope to God once she’s done with this she doesn’t need the cheeseburger pictures and can count her change.

Age 11- Graduation

I have accepted my child knows more than I do. Either I never learned that shit, or I forgot it a long time ago.

My daughter is also aware that if she wants to go to college, she’d better earn herself some money because Mom is still paying off Mom’s student loans.

I’m mostly confident she is at school more than she skips. I’m going to consider this successful parenting. Plus, I’ve done something right because she doesn’t seem to get into much trouble.

Why are graduation packages $750? That stupid gown better be made of pure silk.



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