Sherry Antonetti is a freelance writer, blogger and published author of The Book of Helen. She lives just outside of Washington, DC with her husband and their ten children.
State your evil parent name and testify to the evil parent thing you have done specifically to warrant membership.
Some antics warrant automatic membership. You are not bound by these, and creativity is encouraged.
(10) Serving cauliflower (baked, roasted or boiled) to anyone who has already declared it non-edible. There is no amount of cheese or butter capable of redeeming this cruciferous vegetable for such people, especially when they're perfectly willing to eat broccoli. Your audacity alone in light of your offspring’s nutritional reasonableness warrants admission.
(9) Forbidding television shows even though a child has already seen it somewhere else and doesn’t know why we think it's so bad. If in an attempt to explain the potential moral snares of said show, you garner an “I don't know why you have to go all Catholic on me!” Congratulations! Clearly you know how to abuse your authority as a parent for personal emotional petty satisfaction.
(8) Ordering bedtime, with lights out, and the optional human equivalent of a growling Rottweiler roaming the halls, is an automatic free admittance. But to make sure they go, add the bonus feature — read aloud from some book grownups think kids should read but won’t. Currently inflicting Little House in the Big Woods on the prisoners held in their upstairs rooms. No bail posted.
(7) Canceling Pizza Night during Lent as a modest form of fasting.
(6) Putting on the news, classical or Catholic radio station when people who care about music are in the car. Leaving it on when the doors open as they get out such that other people might possibly (if they were really straining) hear and thus presume such fare is normal (because it is). Ignoring complaints.
(5) Watching an old movie, or any show with people in it over the age of 25 who aren’t rock stars, reality stars or musicians. Making kids watch the show... clearly, thou art worthy of the super villain status. Free parking pass included with your membership if it’s a documentary.
(4) Making them read books NOT assigned, more than once a month, especially if you turned off the Wii or the television or the computer when you did.
(3) Vetoing clothing choices. Ditto with hair and hygiene. Overriding any and all, especially when it's a free dress day, an outing with peers, or Mass, equals instant qualification. You may veto by volunteering to dress to match or withholding the phone and or transportation as needed.
(2) Promising to host a “turning off lights, making beds and putting clothing in a laundry basket” seminar if things don’t improve doesn’t cut it. Actually presenting said lecture, complete with physical prompts, verbal prompts, hand-over-hand demonstrations and making attendance compulsory, does.
(1) Saying “I love you so-and-so” to anyone over the age of 12 for the next six years in public. Bonus points if you do it with startling regularity. Hint: I text it to them when they're at school just to achieve maximum impact.
The first meeting of the Evil Parenting League of Evil will be a picnic in the backyard for everyone to bring their whole family. In addition to picnic fare, some vegetables will be served. We will also play actual yard games which will reveal our age, general physical conditioning, and cause further embarrassment to those who view all signs of affection, humor, silliness and weakness on the part of parents as something shameful. The meeting will conclude with a group photo of all parents kissing or hugging their children, to be posted on the internet as proof we love our kiddos and evidence of our true evilness.