I’m NOTa Parenting Genius

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Do you ever have moments in parenting, when you know you are GOOD? Like – REALLY good? Like – a borderline genius?

These moments are very few and far between for me, but every now and then every single thing is going according to plan. Kids are sleeping when they should be sleeping, eating when (and what) they should be eating and playing really, really nicely with each other. All is right in the world.

I love those moments.

And I had one last week.

Simon was sleeping, the sun was shining and Miles and Alice wanted to play in the backyard. Perfect.

And my genius idea?

I gave them their safety scissors to cut the grass.

They were in heaven.

I was in heaven.

I sat in my lounge chair, read a magazine, drank some iced tea and thought to myself,

“I’m pretty good at this parenting thing. I should have at least 10 more kids.”

The rest of our day was fairly normal – but I held onto the memory of my genius mom moment.

Fast forward to last weekend when Even Steven walked into the house looking like this:

Even Steven

Somehow, while I was busy thinking of names for my 10 future children, Miles and Alice managed to cut every single hosta in our yard.

And Even Steven’s grill cover.

My first response when Even Steven showed me the damage was to say, “WOW! Can you believe that safety scissors can cut through a grill cover? That’s amazing! Isn’t that amazing?”

He wasn’t so amazed.

Even Steven

So – Poor little Nora, Linda, Jane, Stewart, Rachel and Roy (twins), Belle, Ruby, Evan and Ted – my 10 future children. Sorry – guess I can’t handle you after all…


  1. Bethany Thies

    May 22, 2012 at 8:22 am

    My husband is one of 13. I’m ok with my 4, but, the parties for big families sure are fun! p.s. despite the damages, I think the safety scissors were still a genius move!

  2. Bridgette

    May 22, 2012 at 8:25 am

    If the kids had stuck to just cutting the grass, that’s practically like mowing the lawn! I definitely see a potential for genius in that! 🙂

  3. Kai

    May 22, 2012 at 8:56 am

    Despite the – ummm – extra cutting services they performed, they still did well to cut some grass! BWAHAHAHA …! You should have sent them AND the scissors over HERE! They could have cut my hair!!! Now – later this morning – I actually have to PAY someone to butcher me – uh – style it. Note: When my daughter was almost 4, I let her practice phone manners on our (unplugged) phone. She was having a great ol’ time, answering imaginary calls, MAKING imaginary calls, etc. I went to the kitchen for 8 freakin’ minutes to get some coffee & start her lunch. Came back and she had taken EVERY. SINGLE. PIECE. of that phone apart to ‘see who was stuck in there because no one was answering and it must be clogged up.’ OH, MY HELL. So much for MY bright ideas, huh?

  4. Steph at The Healthy Mom

    May 22, 2012 at 9:46 am

    I love it! Totally something that would happen in my house, too. Except in my house it would go something like this – in fact, it did this past weekend. I had all the neighborhood boys in my back yard playing a nice game of catch. I was out there sipping on my wine, soaking in the gorgeous weather. My husband gets home and I say, “look how great! They’re all playing in our back yard having a blast doing what boys do — throwing the baseball around! Finally, the kids want to hang out at our house!” His response, “they’re killing my grass!” My response, “Go back the golf course.” The grass does look like crap now, but who cares? THe kids had fun and I was relaxed!

  5. Trish

    May 22, 2012 at 10:26 am

    That’s usually how my parenting genius moves turn out, too. And those safety scissors should come with a warning label! When my oldest was 3 she gave herself a pixie haircut with them!

  6. Michelle

    May 22, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Can’t help you with the grill cover, but the hostas will grow back, right? I have to watch my little guys like a hawk in other people’s yards because we’ve got four acres and they haven’t quite developed a concept of landscaping. Here, most of what’s growing is fair game for picking or climbing. I’m trying to convince them to leave the flowers for the bees, but it’s not working yet…

  7. Mom

    May 22, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Oh that is SOoooo sweet! You were going to name one of your children after me? I am touched, really. Thank you! You made my day! I’ve never really met a young person named Linda….but perhaps it will make a comeback 🙂

  8. Mrs B

    May 22, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Now that was funny!

  9. Rachel

    May 22, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    Don’t think the fact that you named one of your kids after me, got lost. But Linda??? Seriously? My kids (nearly 7 and 10) still cut my grass with safety scissors. It keeps them busy for hours. Thankfully, they haven’t managed to cut anything else…only grass. Wanna know another genius parenting idea? When they were toddlers, I gave them a cup of water and a paint brush and they painted the house. Just don’t let them near real painT!

  10. Rachel

    May 22, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Oh, just saw your mom’s comment…got it. Linda is after her. Sorry Linda. 🙂

  11. Max

    May 22, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    Wow, what a load of uninteresting crap.

  12. sparkling74

    May 22, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    I can’t get those safety scissors to cut a piece of paper, let alone a grill cover!!

  13. imklvr

    May 22, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    It WAS genius! Don’t sell yourself short! Just that your kids are more genius. Geniuser? Well, you know what I mean. Love it!

    (What’s Max’s problem?)

  14. Motherhood on the Rocks

    May 22, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    lol! Oh boy have I been there!

  15. Sarah @ Just The Bee's Knees

    May 22, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    I still think the scissor idea was genius!! I had a genius idea this past weekend when my hubby was away. I headed for target and bought the big triple wide slip and slide for the kids. The played on it for HOURS!! I sat and read and had a margarita! Life was good! Until I took it off the lawn and now have a very large burnt patch on it! Oops. Hubby was not impressed.

  16. Chewing Taffy

    May 23, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Oh my gosh, this is awesome.

  17. Meredith

    May 23, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    I’m so happy for you that you had that moment of total parenting brilliance, even if it was short-lived! And sorry for the “loss” of your 10 future children…great names, BTW.

  18. Amy @ Cheeky Cocoa Beans

    May 24, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    I was still congratulating you on your brilliant idea and was as surprised at you at where your story led. OK…probably not close to how surprised you were…but seriously? When have safety scissors cut anything they were supposed to?? I still think it was a brilliant idea! If only the kids will stick to grass in the future. 🙂 I’m not sure of your kids’ ages, but when they’re older you can give them real yard scissors and let them do some trimming like I do. Of course, we don’t have a grill or a grill cover, so we’re safe in that regard. 😉 Thanks for sharing your story! Loved it!

  19. Emily

    May 27, 2012 at 9:56 am

    I actually snorted when I read your post. I’ve been there with my son but with markers. Until the hubby pointed out the damage. Soon there will be two of them and honestly I think I’m going to be in trouble!

  20. Liz

    May 27, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    Ha! Isn’t it always the way that just when we finally think we are some sort of genius, we get a rude awakening? Oh well, the grocery bill for 10 kids would get pretty crazy and you’d spend all your time cooking and cleaning. At least now you have time to sit and check out a magazine while they cut the grass, etc.


  21. Crystal & Co

    May 28, 2012 at 8:56 am

    At least they did not cut their hair…. or each others hair.

    Can the grill cover be sewn back together? Maybe?

  22. Michelle g

    May 30, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Obviously Max is still working his way UP to safety scissors…still not allowed sharp objects…..Such a trooper though! Was so “uninterested” he had to comment on it! ROFL

    Ah yes….do NOT underestimate those “safety scissors” Those give a mean haircut!! who knew about the grill cover though!? Can you make something fabulously crafty out of a grill cover? hmmmm….. 🙂
    Love the “look” hubs is giving in the pic…..think its a universal hubs look!

  23. [email protected]

    June 6, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    So did they get paid extra to cut the hostas and the grill cover?

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