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September 22, 2006


We can only imagine the controversy if this letter had been written in some other font.

(Thanks to Justin Barber)


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Sorry, excited about a first!

Harper Valley PTA. Anyone remember that song?

What a jerk.

I'm so glad we homeschool.

Guess what? My children are a higher priority than the PTA.

Bingo, AWBH. Exactly. Self-important, pompus little pr*cks like that give PTAs everywhere a bad name. Sadly, most of the PTAs I've had contact with have been populated with his ilk.

so THAT's why my kids are thieves, prostitutes and drug addicts. if only i'd gotten the memo sooner...

As a proud lifetime member of the PTA/PTSA/IBTC/BINGO and NAACP (national association for the advancement of cuban people), I will say this guy's a MORON.

Sure active parents DO make a difference but not all parents have the time. I was/am lucky that my work has been flexible enough to allow me the time to volunteer, etc. at my girls' schools. Not everyone is that lucky.

/rant & rave

SADDly, all of the news from our school district is bad.

I'd be pretty mad about getting a letter like that, I have 2 kids in school, and I work this job during the day and another one 3 days a week in the eve's so I have no free time to do anything else.

/rant also, lol

besides..what if I WANT my kids to be juvenile delinquents???? MY choice Mr! pfffffft!

I love the smell of Small Town Politics™ in the morning.

Tameca Griffin's mom obviously never got involved with the local PTA. We should write to the PTA president and have him add Assaulter of Police to the list.

By now, his house is tp'd, there's sidewalk chalk all over his driveway, his roses have been 'pruned', and his dogs have been shaved bald. At the next bake sale, everyone's bringing cream pies.

*Snork @ AWBH

I guess that's what happens when you get on the wrong side of the hooligan demographic, eh?

Yep, that's one way to make sure people join your organization-threaten them!

so if I only want my kids to grow up to be drug addicts and thieves, but NOT prostitutes, then what? do I join, but skip meetings?

well, imho, the problem is, he decided to defend it on a 'reality' basis. i'd have just said 'hey, it was a JOKE." if i'd gotten the letter, *I*d have laughed. but maybe that's just me.

We had a Mom on our PTA who said she was volunteering because "I really love my kids" We all said, why, yes, we all love our kids. She said "No, I mean I really love my kids"

I guess we were all faking or something..

...idiot, volvo-driving twit.

I wonder what this guy thinks his kids are doing while he's at his pta meetings, hmmmm? Besides, has he checked out the tax breaks on those activities? Think about it.

judi - I guess I've met some incredibly holier-than-thou pta people. They are not the majority, but they stand out because they're loud and obnoxious. So they're not funny. Unless you take their deodorant away.

Funny, my parents were never involved with PTA etc., and all I ended up doing was graduating school and college with honors- who knew there were so many options available??

I live in a small, semi-affluent community and am also on my school PTA. I wish I could relay this effectively on the blog (but some of you women may know what I mean) - I am constantly the recipient of the "oh, she works" pseudo-insult. For example, "24" would have been able to meet earlier, but she works" or "we will have to help you with this project since you work". It is absolutely infuriating!!!

I think the same people also like to run our boy scout meeetings. Kinda makes you want to dance naked on the tables just for shock value. On the other hand, we'd probably get a lot more boys signing up for scouts!

Me too, chesbn. :)

judi, I agree. His mistake was defending it, thereby saying he really meant it - idiot!

Punkin - hey now - I drive a volvo and I really love my kids. Really. Did I mention I'm also a Yankee fan?
But I know exactly what you're talking about. I volunteered at a bake sale (on my lunch break from work) and stood next to a stay-at-home who complained the whole time about how she was so busy that she barely had time for a pedicure. Poor thing. I wanted to feed her a cupcake or three or four.

I know what you mean 24! Sometimes they ask if I still do my "little job"? I'm such a bad mother that I didn't give up my career, but then my priorities are all screwed up and I think its important that my kids eat food and sleep indoors. Sheesh.

Artchick - you are so on the mark! I work so that we can afford to live in our community and send my kids to the best school. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Oh, and my son is a Boy Scout so amen to that comment above!

Of course, I'm not down on moms who don't have to work. I have a friend who is a stay home Mom, but she volunteers at the school every week, helps out at the soup kitchen and at the old folks home, and is the girl scout troop leader. She's pretty amazing.

I 2nd that, Artchick! Stay at home Moms don't have it easy, but it's all a choice and should be respected.

We seem to have driven the menfolk out of this conversation. Hmm, I wonder why?

am jealous that you chics get some condescending sympathy. i haven't run into anyone yet, school, sports or church, who doesn't think that i should be able to make time for their particular agenda in between raising three boys from scratch with very little help,working my 40 hours a week and taking care of my little art thing. /rant.

Gatlin says, "If your childrens (are) not a priority, then your children (will be) messed up."

Childrens? Someone needs some re-edumacation.

And I note there is no option for pimp or stripper. There are so many choices out there, one doesn't limit one's children to mere prostitution, thievery and drug addiction through woeful inattention.

I wanna be a stay at home mom too - where do I sign up for the rich sugar daddy to pay my mortgage and buy my puberty stricken son gobs 'o groceries????

"thieves, drug addicts and prostitutes"

Wasn't that a song by Cher in the 60s?

azred, right here!

crossgirl - it's hard to find the energy to deal with them, isn't it?
btw - I don't mean all stay-at-homes, just some. I've got a few in my neigborhood that won't shut up. I'll get my mail at 11pm just so I don't run into them. They're like little yip dogs.

P.S. Ladies, your above discussion has me believing that you'll all enjoy the book "I Don't Know How She Does It" by (I believe) Allison Pearson.

pssst...no one tell my PTA I'm blogging at work instead of sewing my children's clothes in my down time. Thanks!

I had an unplanned unemployment several years ago. I decided to do all of that volunteer stuff with all the free time that I suddenly had. I discovered that the SAH moms are just about evenly split between "decent, loving parent" and "annoying-holier-than-though twits". My usual reply to one of the AHTTTs was "Now that Little Johny is in school you couldn't get an interview, eh?"

Good one, Sugar Snot! (TDPC) I've been tempted to unload on one, but they're not challenging targets.

Well, having been a Boy Scout Leader for a number of years now, the fact a couple of us idiots well-trained Scouters take 15 noisy, delinquent, trash-mouthed momma's boys into the woods for the weekend does give us the right...umm. Nevermind.

Seriously, the dads who put the time in deserve credit, that's very hard work. Especially when the parents decide to give little Bobby the weekend off his Adderal, and we have to tie him to a tree most of the day. (That's what all the knots are for.)

thanks crossgirl, I just spit coffee

o.b.b., for some reason in my area, the scout leaders are moms. the soccer coaches are moms. we had a mom for a hockey coach one season. the youth group leaders and sunday school teachers are moms. the pta board members are moms. 99% of the elementary school teachers are chics and moms. can i sign my guys up for your scout troop? they are in desperate need of male role models.

Olo, I feel your pain. I was a Tiger leader for a number of years.

"Mr. Dread, how do we make smores?"

"Well, you start with a graham cracker; then a piece of chocolate; then a haldol tablet; then a toasted marshmallow; then another graham cracker on top."

Bravo to you Olo! I guess I shouldn't generalize, we just had one particular leader who used the time for his own personal soapbox. Also, when my son went to scout camp, one of the rules was: Don't Touch The Rocks. This was in the Rocky Mountains.

My mom and I used to joke that I'd become a serial axe murderer. I was an only child, therefore I was emotionally unbalanced (according to the literature at the time) so I would become a serial murderer. And even worse my mother worked, so due to that neglect (also according to the literature at the time) I would become an axe murderer.

Funnily enough, I had and still have a great relationship with my parents. All of the people who I knew who's parents stayed home or who had siblings or both all seem to hate their parents.

DPC - can I join your troop? Will you serve this beverage?

Mr Artchick had an "unplanned unemployment" the day after our first child was born. I had planned to take six months off, as the company I worked for was generous that way, but instead I had to go back to work right away while my hubby cared for the baby because we needed at least one income. On my first day back, an older gentleman came up to me and said, "I don't know how you mothers can stand to leave your babies".
This was after our pediatrician, who also didn't approve of working mothers told me that the baby would "prefer his caregiver over me". (He didn't know that it was the daddy who would be the caregiver, which made a huge difference, but the comment was still really upsetting).

Annie, 24, et al:

I have nothing against Volvos - I think they are a nice, safe, boxy car. It's just that it seems to be the car of choice for SAH Mom's/Doctor's wives in our town. Our town is based on our great hospitals and a prestigious academy, so lots of SAHM's are the wives of doctor's and professors.

Going to a PTA meeting, or "Friends of the Library" or something is like stepping into "The Stepford Wives". They all have the same haircut, weigh between 115 and 128 lbs, have names like "Muffy, Val and Cin", kids named Cole and Orion and the ever-stuffy Ashleigh, wear only Talbot's or Land's End casual, drive volvos and try to outdo eachother with what pre-pre-pre-school their fetus made it into. They DO look down on "THE WORKING MOM'S", "poor things". And sometimes I just want to tie one up and drag her to Wal-Mart, dress her in "wal-clothes", have her hair cut at Cost Cutters and make her drink TAP water that DOESN'T sparkle!!!!

Sorry Wench - I'm retired (from BSA leadership). Besides, coke is an upper, not a downer.

Actually, I'm hoping I can enroll my 6-year-old with Olo's pack.

I've been on both sides of the at-home/work fence. To be honest, I prefer the work side. While I may not volunteer for the PTA or somesuch, I routinely have all my daughter's friends over on the weekends to hang out and have fun. Guess what, I know where they are!

Also, I do the really unthinkable, and engage my kids in conversation about all sorts of stuff, even stuff they like to talk about. I know which anime they watch and what music they listen to. All without spending time paying attention to other people's kids through PTA and other activities.

I admire those parents who take the time and have the patience for all that volunteering. It's enough that I get volunteered to pick my kids up at the mall on Friday nights (along with most of their friends). But hey, I get a kick out of teenagers and enjoy having them around. Maybe there is something wrong with me. :)

Yay Mary! I'm really lucky now that I'm self-employed. It means that I can take time off to be a part of their school activities (within reason), but I still get to have a career.

By the way, crossgirl, what sort of "art thing" do you do?"

DPC - any shopping planned for the weekend?

Punkin - we got the same thing here. (btw - my volvo is an 8-cynlinder suv, just for fun)
The local SAH's were feeling sorry for me when I got divorced...until they noticed that I'm much happier now. Four of them have asked for my attorney's number. IANMTU.

cg, no problem. We have some good dads. Watervliet Michigan, Tuesdays at 6:30. It may not be PC, and it's not always true, but most boys would do better in Scouts with no moms around. With the moms around we have trouble practicing perspiration flatulation and regurgitation.

Artchick, I know why they do that...20 kids on a hike, and they all have to throw rocks down the mountain, twice. (Why?) Because they're boys. How many troops go through there, how often each year... After a couple years, there are no more rocks on the trail. It's a great program, but Scouts can easily make major changes to the landscape because there are so many of them. Leave only footprints, take only photos. Etc.

I stand corrected.

Artchick - Please sit down - on this blog hike, you're not allowed to stand.

Wench - maybe. The "person who needs to be shopped for" has other plans.

Olo, I don't think I can drive all the way to Michigan after work on a Tuesday. Dang.

When I was a leader, the best event we had was the K9 demonstration by the local police units. One of the dogs was very serious about his job, but the other had a lot of fun and knew the difference between "chew off the bad guy's leg" attack and "slobber all over a squealing little boy" attack. Loved the look on the SAHMs faces when the officer pointed at the line mob of kids and yelled "sick 'em".

oooh..."other plans" sounds like more fun!

i'll have to pass on the michigan trip too. sigh.

artchick, i mostly make crosses.

Artchick - In response to your earlier comment about the menfolk leaving the conversation...I can't speak for my Y-chromosomed brethren, but personally I can say that as a dad, I've noticed that women get a little touchy when it comes to this topic. I prefer to stay out of it. (Though I will say this: My wife is a stay-at-home mom of 5, and she's thankfully NOTHING like the SAHM's Punkin describes.)

Scott - how would she have time? She is obviously a saint...

"o.b.b., for some reason in my area, the scout leaders are moms. the soccer coaches are moms. we had a mom for a hockey coach one season. the youth group leaders and sunday school teachers are moms. the pta board members are moms. 99% of the elementary school teachers are chics and moms. can i sign my guys up for your scout troop? they are in desperate need of male role models."

Not to toot my own horn or anything *toot* (excuse me) but I coach soccer and teach Sunday school. Oh, and I'm a guy. Mrs. Mud could stay at home full time if she chose to, but choses to work outside the home. She also helps out at the school, and teaches Sunday School as well.

Ninnies and twits come in all shapes and sizes. Choose your priorities, follow them and ignore the ninnies and the twits.

We got the SAHMs good once, too. Coats from Goodwill, burn off a sleeve. Get a big ol' cow leg bone from a butcher, and break it off. Mix white syrup with red food coloring, and a bit of chocolate syrup for the right opacity. Perfect blood, and tastes great over ice cream. A pint of this can look like an axe murderer (almne?) has been through the area. You can see where this is going...

Kid lays on the edge of the sidewalk outside the meeting with all this blood coming out of the burned coat and the bone sticking out, and another runs in to the meeting screaming. "There's been an accident!!" Great emergency preparedness practice/First Class requirements.

One mom didn't catch on quickly, and holy crap was she mad when she finally did. It was hard to keep a straight face as she yelled at us. I think she's still pissed. (BTW, it's a good idea to call the local police and EMTs ahead of time if anyone is thinking about doing this for Halloween.)

My thief can beat up your drug addict.

" Four of them have asked for my attorney's number. IANMTU."

And three of their husbands have hit on you. Tell the truth now.

hey mud, you got a brother?!

"other plans" involve the kids.

"Duuude, don't hit me just because I like to drink milk."

DPC - step away from the gumball machine

Olo, that's fantastic, and is going on my list of things to do for Halloween this year. :-)

Mrs. Hands stays home as the result of many years of hard work to put ourselves into a financial position where we could afford for her to do so.

We maintain a nice, but not glamorous lifestyle. By a combination of good fortune and good planning and some measure of innate ability, I earn a good living, and could choose to earn more at any time.

We aspire to greater financial success, but the goods and services we could buy with her income are not - to us - worth the loss of her ability to stay home with the kids.

I envy her the ability to do so, and have cherished the various periods of unemployment/underemployment/self-employment that have enabled me to stay with her at home.

I do feel that it's to the kids' benefit if a parent can stay home with them, but I do not impose this belief on others, even to the extent of sniffing at folks who choose otherwise.

Uh oh...my parents never contribute to the P.T.A. things at my school.
I guess I have pretty bleak future ahead of me.
*steals mudstuffin's wallet*

OK Being the freah meat newbie, could someone pleas explain to me the blogisms

Is "parfait" related to this?

gumballs refer to the story about the marijuana gumballs that were being given (or sold?) to school children.

I believe a parfait is some kind of drug reference as well? I don't believe it is what you fantasized thought it was.

crossgirl: yes, but he's even older than me.

Clean Hands - No way could I have said that any better. You described our situation, as well. Preach on, brother.

24 - If there were a category above "saint," I would nominate my wife for it.

awwww...Scott - you and Mr. 24 must have gone to the same "how to make your wife feel like a million bucks" seminar! Hope your wife is as crazy about you as I am about my other half.

Thanks, Scott. I try not to get too preachy around here - it is, after all a humor blog - but some issues really get under my skin. :-D

I have nothing to add - just felt sorry for Clean being left in the 69 position

I completely agree with that newsletter & believe that the problem with most parents today is that they live with their heads up their asses, only removing them long enough to check out what's on TV that night, and then when the kids go wrong the parents look for someone else to blame.

When my daughter started middle school she came home after the first day to announce that she hated the new school, the students, the teachers, the desks, her new pencil... And she didn't want to go back. I told her to give it one week. After that I would allow her to drop out ONLY on the condition she get a job. She was all for it. We started checking the classified ads for work that didn't require at least a high school education. Things were looking bleak until I picked up one of those pulp weeklies at the corner store- the ones that have one legitimate article & miles of Massage & Escort Services in the back. I brought it home & had her take a look at all the wonderful job opportunities for a beautiful girl with no education.

Needless to say, by 11th grade she acquired enough credits to graduate early with top honors & then went on to college.

The moral of this tale is that parents really need to sit down with their kids & show them the household expenses, have them help balance the chequebook The credit card isn't a "magic card"- the bill needs to be paid at the end of the month, groceries don't magicaly appear in the fridge, it costs money just to flush the toilet. And all those video games are not dropped down the chimney by magic elves. All this is paid for- and how? By having a decent paying career or job. Even first grade isn't too early to explain to your kids "the REAL facts of life". Things cost money, money comes from work (and it's their choice to get a job that they either hate or enjoy).

The PTA letter spelled it out for those parents that even my (then)10 year old could understand.

I was really proud of my son this year. He's only thirteen, so there aren't many jobs he can do, but he wanted to earn money. He put his thinking cap on and now he has a thriving dog-walking business. I was really proud that he took the initiative.

Kudos to C.H. and Scott. So much of child rearing is just plain old spending time with your kids. I know plenty of stay home Moms who spend less time with their kids than I do, but you guys sound like you've got great families.

The one thing I remember about my mom getting involved in school (I was in the advanced classes, and the school held an optional seminar for the parents one year) was how bad things got for a while afterwards. Apparently at this meeting, they mentioned behavioral problems that creep up in kids in these classes and spewed out a lot of psychobabble about why they do those things. So, whenever there was even the slightest leaning toward a behavior like those mentioned, she would tell me, "You're doing that because of X. They told us about that at that meeting." All of the reasons, I said then and still say now, are WRONG. This went on for a couple of weeks, but thankfully it died down. PTA can do great things for kids with the right intent, but it's better to be an expert on your own kid than a generalist on all of them, I say.

(Of course, I have no kids, so I suppose I'm talking out the snake chute.)

Memo to Dread:

Someone at one time somewhere found a roach (of the smoking kind) in a McDonalds' parfait: hence the reference. :)

All questions are welcomed here.

Glix, well said.
Catherine - I am involved with my kids, they're at the top of their classes. I help out in school. I am NOT involved with the PTA. The letter said that if you're not involved with the PTA, your kids will be awful. Wrong!
He wanted a reaction - he got it. If he knew what he was doing, he would have phrased it differently. Maybe his mommy wasn't involved in the pta so he never learned social skills, poor man.

I've always been involved with my girls' schools. I will say that I have never personally encountered those that would frown upon the ones that couldn't volunteer. I guess I'm lucky. Although I know it helped, I don't think my involvement in school kept them away from drugs, etc... It was what I taught them AT HOME that did that.

Artchick, I totally agree that spending time with the kids is the key. I love just being in the car with my daughter. I learn more about her life and what she's thinking driving to the store than I do anywhere else.

Catherine, I also agree that kids need to be given an understanding of finances and where the things they take for granted come from. After my divorce, I sat down with the kids often and showed them our money situation. I think it helps them make better financial decisions.

Once, my daughter was asking why we didn't have credit cards. So, I sat down with her and a pile of legos and illustrated how you can end up paying three times the original cost of something using a credit card.

However, I think one of the best things any parent can do is to find common interests with their children. Things they can enjoy together. And get to know their friends. Especially in high school, friends are their whole world. It pays to know the influences they are under.

I don't think it matters a great deal if a parent works or stays home, as long as that parent takes the time to get to know their child. In fact, I think I appreciate my kids more now than I ever did when I was at home full time. But that's just me. As a parent, you have to do what is best for your family.

*steps off soapbox*

Well put, Mary. And happy to share the soapbox!

Annie, thanks for correcting me. You're right about what he said about being involved with PTA. I wasn't involved with the "organization" because it was too much toe stepping politics for my taste- but I sure as heck believed in being intune with what was happening with other parents (children should not be hanging out in homes where you don't know "what's up" with the parents) & the teachers (like being aware of the teacher who is a little too affectionate, but also appreciating & respecting the ones who truly care). I got all fluffed up & interpreted what he said as wanting parents to be more involved with their children's lives- school & personal.

I love that everyone here is a healthy free thinker, not afraid to speak their mind, point out mistakes, & yet quick to toss out the *SNORKers* as well.

This is the best Blogsite I've ever visited!

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