How to drive your parents crazy

Kids have secret instructions for creating mayhem. This week in Salon's community, Table Talk, our members share them.

By Salon Staff
June 1, 2007 2:24PM (UTC)
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Family Life

How to Drive Your Parents Crazy -- a thread for kids

Phouka -- 11:23 am Pacific Time -- May 29, 2007 -- #93 of 154

Eat entire can of soup. Claim to be starving and demand more soup. Eat all the soup, despite the disbelieving stare of Mom and cautious questions about being too full.


Run around living room. Do not stop running around even when you start to barf. Cry and wail while barfing and running around so as to cover as much cream-colored carpet with chunky chicken noodle soup as possible.

Before stopping, make sure to bury head in the couch cushions for one last horking barf.

Cry that Mom made you eat too much soup.


Get cleaned up. Announce you are starving.

Eleanor Rigby -- 01:50 pm Pacific Time -- May 29, 2007 -- #96 of 154

While Mom's at work, decide to make yourself some waffles. Get the jug of maple syrup with the cunning little handle on it. Decide it would be a good idea to pretend to throw the jug at the cat who has just wandered into the kitchen. Upon swinging the jug, realize that the cap was loose and the contents of the jug are now splashed all over the horrified cat. Chase cat through the house in an attempt to keep it from spreading maple syrup over half the house, which only serves to freak it out more and spread maple syrup over half the house.


Call Mom at work and ask her in a matter-of-fact tone, "How do you get maple syrup off the cat?"

Phouka -- 03:04 pm Pacific Time -- May 29, 2007 -- #99 of 154

Wait until Mom is quite giddy on Vicodin and ensconced in the chair on the main floor with frozen peas on her ankle to find extremely large bottle of Elmer's wood glue in kitchen cabinet. Quietly take glue upstairs.


When Mom finally realizes how quiet you have been and crawls up the four flights of stairs to the top bedroom to see what you are doing, proudly announce that you have glued down all your stuffed animals to the carpet so they won't run away.

BaileyQuarters -- 03:28 pm Pacific Time -- May 29, 2007 -- #106 of 153

Get bored on rainy day. Find Mom's sewing kit. Extract straight pin from tomato pincushion. Head over to Dad's green vinyl-clad La-Z-Boy recliner. Proceed to stick pin in seat of La-Z-Boy. It makes such a great noise going in. Lather, rinse, repeat many, many times.


Several months later, parents become puzzled when they have to put green duct tape on the La-Z-Boy seat because it is splitting open. They decide to spend lots of money to have the La-Z-Boy recovered.

Several years later (when you are in college) when Mom mulls over "mysterious La-Z-Boy incident," matter-of-factly toss out, "Oh, I got bored one day and did that. Used a straight pin."

Phouka -- 03:35 pm Pacific Time -- May 29, 2007 -- #107 of 153


Admire Mom's lovely new red velvet couch. Spend many hours petting the couch, rubbing the lovely velvet nap one way and then another. Draw pictures using the alternating nap of the couch.

Discover Dad's electric razor. Further, discover that Dad's electric razor does a smashing job of making patterns in the lovely, napped, red velvet couch.

Maple Leaf -- 04:00 pm Pacific Time -- May 29, 2007 -- #112 of 153

Along with little brother, decide that a science experiment is in order. Choose the upstairs to conduct said experiment, out of the view of mum.


Take wads of toilet paper, soak them in the bathroom sink, and toss them upward so they stick to the stippled ceiling. Look up. Wait 30 seconds, then decide you need to toss more.

Continue the experiment until you have splattered the ceilings of all of the upstairs rooms.

Wait until the paper dries to publicize the results of your experiment. When angrily queried as to the reasoning behind your behavior, claim you were just waiting to see how long it would take for the paper to fall down.

Be absolutely stunned with betrayal when you are sent to your room while your parents spend eons using broomsticks to scrape the now dried and solid paper wads off the ceiling.


Karenem -- 04:08 pm Pacific Time -- May 29, 2007 -- #113 of 153

"Paint" Grandma's solid cherry wood bed with Grampa's shaving cream. Let it sit, and sit, and sit ...

Calamity Jeanne -- 04:27 pm Pacific Time -- May 29, 2007 -- #114 of 153

With your little sister, go foraging at the back of one of the bedroom closets and discover a box of old baby clothes. Decide that it would be really fun to dress up the cat, who is asleep on the bed, in those clothes. Start with the christening gown. Succeed in getting the cat completely dressed before it, enraged, goes tearing out of the room and down the stairs.


Wonder later why Mom was so upset about the cat running down the stairs with a shredded baby dress around its middle that she made both of you sit in the corner.

Maple Leaf -- 04:46 pm Pacific Time -- May 29, 2007 -- #116 of 153

When dinner preparation time is nearing, tiptoe quietly and hide around the corner in the next room so you can discover what the dinner plans are.

When the cook exits the kitchen, ensure that you grab every specialized cooking utensil that will ease dinner preparation. Hide them throughout the house.

Deny everything, or blame Dad for unloading the dishwasher incorrectly.

RR Lyrae -- 05:29 pm Pacific Time -- May 29, 2007 -- #120 of 154

While bored one summer day, swordfight your younger brother with wooden dowels you find in the basement. When the inevitable cheek-poking incident happens, necessitating stitches, lie to your parents about how it happened (an accident, really! He slipped!). Casually let it slip, years later, while you are in college, that basement-dowel swordfighting caused Little Brother's scar. Sit back and enjoy the hilarity as your mother instinctively tries to ground both of you, even though you are both adults and do not live at home.

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