18 True Stories That Show How Hilarious Parenting Can Be

These parents get it.

A classic guilt trip

Allyso/ShutterstockWe were at the dinner table eating pizza when I asked my son Logan if I could use some of his blue cheese dressing to dip my crust. He obliged after a long deep sigh of annoyance. (These are the 11 things every parent needs to know about raising boys.) I was offended at this reaction and decided to remind him of the strenuous labor and delivery I had bringing his 9.9-pound body into this world—the old "I gave birth to you" guilt trip. His response: "Really Mom, how long are you gonna ride that scooter?”
Karly Molleberg

At least he tried

Guy Bell/REX/ShutterstockAs educators, my husband and I encouraged our son, Kenny, to always try to do his best. One afternoon, his dad, his godmother, and I took him to view the Henri Matisse "Paper Cut Outs" exhibit. (Here's how to tell if you're raising a child genius.) Kenny was five years old at the time and looked a bit befuddled by the artwork. He mused for a bit and then, with his hands clasped behind his back, remarked, "Well, he tried his best!"
Catherine Russell

Inside voices only

Take-Photo/ShutterstockWe attend a small church in south Mississippi where small children usually sit with their parents during mass. I was so proud of our two year old that day because being quiet during the sermon. (These are the 13 things priests, rabbis, and ministers won't tell you.) Toward the end of the sermon the preacher—my dad—began raising his voice to accentuate his main points. Our little diva stood up and yelled, "Calm down Pawpaw!" Everyone in the church, including my dad, took a moment to laugh.
Cera Thompson

Content continues below ad

People hunting

Stock-image/ShutterstockMy great-nephew is five years old and loves sports, yet he was amazed when he visited his friend's house and realized they were hunters. There he saw antlers, mounted deer heads, and shotguns. He came home all excited. "Mom, for Christmas I want a bow and arrow or a gun!" he said. "I’m sorry, buddy," his mom replied, “but we're just not hunting people." (Here's how to find a new hobby you'll love.) "Oh, I don't want to hunt people, Mom," he said. "I want to hunt animals."
William Livers

In case of emergency, eat snacks

ViktorKeryPhotos/ShutterstockAfter moving to the country, my three-year-old daughter and I were often alone in our house. Because we lived in a rural area with no close neighbors, I wanted to make sure my daughter would be able to call 911 in the event that something happened to me. (This is what parents of young children wish you knew.) After instructing her, I decided to test her: "OK, what would you do if you found me on the floor and you couldn't wake me up?" I could see her little brain working. To my surprise she finally said, "I would go into the kitchen and eat anything I want."
Laura Albrecht

Reading lessons

Babysitting my two great-granddaughters, ages three and four, I read them stories and then, needing a break, I suggested they watch cartoons for a while. (These are the 11 reading habits to make kids love books.) As they were engrossed in their show, I decided to relax and finish a book I had been reading. The four-year-old kept looking over at me and finally asked, "Nana, what are you doing?" I told her I was reading my book. Looking puzzled, she said, "but you're not saying anything."
Patricia Spillman

Content continues below ad

Not enough pixie dust

Halfpoint/ShutterstockI was outside pruning my roses when I heard a loud thump and a cry. I ran to find my four-year-old son, Alex, at the bottom of the stairs in the garage. I found out that he had jumped from the top of the stairs, trying to fly like Peter Pan. (These are the 16 best funny family movies.) After a long talk about reality versus make-believe, I walked away feeling I had gotten my point across. That was until I head my son whisper, "Must not have been enough pixie dust!”
Sharlene Landau

Dropping the ball

i-am-way/ShutterstockA very close friend of ours, Bob, had passed away and we took our eight-year-old son to the gravesite service. He was in awe the entire time. After lowering the casket, Bob's grandchildren gave each person a golf ball. Bob was an avid golfer and his widow decided to drop golf balls into the grave instead of flowers. Everyone smiled and joked. (This is why you should always go to the funeral.) When we finished dropping the balls, our son, speaking in his outside voice had everyone laughing when he said, "Mom, it's a good thing your friend wasn't a bowler."
Jim Lyons

Don't tell Papa!

Lena-Dyomina/ShutterstockAfter having a brand-new car for one day, I came home from Black Friday shopping with a fender bender. I told my three-year-old granddaughter, Landree, not to tell Papa or he'd be upset. Pretty soon, here comes Papa and he looked in the garage. Not saying anything, he went back downstairs to his man cave. I asked Landree if she had told Papa. She emphatically said, "No, I didn't Gigi!” I said, “Well, what did you tell him?” She said, "I told him three times, ‘whatever you do, do NOT look in the garage!’”
Dianne Kreick

Content continues below ad

The chain of command

Nares Soumsomboon/ShutterstockI was raised in an Irish Catholic family with a strict father, charming mother, and eight siblings. During Lent, it was common practice for our parish priest to visit our grade school classrooms and help us understand this religious observance. Father Lynch visited my youngest brother Danny’s first-grade class and asked, “Why did Jesus die on the cross?” My brother was first to raise his hand. His answer: “Because his dad told him he had to.” Clearly, Danny knew the chain of command with our family and with God.
Patricia Nihill

How old are you?

nunbhakdi/ShutterstockMy three-year-old great-great niece is a difficult eater. To get her to eat, I will ask her how old she is and she will say, "I am three years old." I will then tell her she has to have three bites of whatever she's eating. She wanted some whipped cream—a treat she loves—and so I asked her how old she was. "I am three years old," she said. I told her she could have three squirts. Her face became very serious and she whispered, " I am four years old."
Barbara Korpal

A busy woman

Meryll/ShutterstockMy favorite moment raising my children happened while tucking my daughter into bed. Jeanne told me she went to the nurse's office that day with a classmate who had just lost a tooth. Unfortunately the nurse said, "You know, your mother is really the tooth fairy." (These are our favorite funny true stories about tooth-fairy mishaps.) My daughter looked up at me and asked if that was true, and I said, "Yes." Then she asked, "How do you fly around to all the houses?"
Maryann Zacchea

Content continues below ad

Speaking human

kikovic/ShutterstockMy six-year-old son came home from school and notified me that they had gotten a new student in class. He said that she was from Sweden and spoke two languages. When I asked him what they were he thought for a few seconds. "Swedish and um, and um," he stammered. Then he smiled brightly and said, "Swedish and human!"
Sheila Bregg

Thanks, big sis

Alena-Ozerova/ShutterstockAfter I had our second child, I was anxious to get home from the hospital to show my five-year-old daughter her new sister. When I got out of our car, I asked my daughter what she thought of her new sister. She looked a little disgusted and replied, "I told you that I wanted a puppy!"
Pam Vogel


unguryanu/ShutterstockLike most dads, I imagine, I’d always assumed that my three-year-old son looked up to me like to a superhero. (Don't miss these 14 short stories about the world's kindest dads.) Until one day, that is. Having picked up my son from nursery school, I saw that our bus home was about to pass us and decided to make a run for it. When we were safely aboard, I noticed that my son was staring intensely at me with his big, blue eyes. “What’s the matter?” I asked him still out of breath. Instead of answering, he simply leaned into my ear and whispered: “Daddy, I didn’t know you could run.”
Tanni Haas

Content continues below ad

'A' for effort

Iudina-Ekaterina/ShutterstockI’m not the world's greatest cook, so I'm always trying to add to my repertoire. I’ve realized, though, that there are only so many recipes you can make with ground turkey and chicken. One night after dinner our son told me he didn't like dinner. My husband quickly got after him and told him he needed to say something nice to me. He thought for a minute or two and nicely said, "Thanks mom for trying."
Karen Heldt

Don't do that, either

Paisan-Changhirun/ShutterstockWhen our son was about three, we discussed the importance of looking both ways before crossing the street. We had a dog, Flower, who loved to play in the yard of our rural home. (These are the astounding secrets your dog knows about you.) One day, Flower got away and was hit by a car. We carried her into the lower level of our home awaiting the veterinarian's arrival. Sadly, she passed away. I explained to our son that Flower did not look both ways before crossing the street. After a few minutes, I asked him, "What is Mommy trying to teach you?" He quickly responded, "Don't die in the basement."
Ann Brothers

Fit for a queen

VGstockstudio/ShutterstockWhen one of our grandsons was about eight years old, he announced at a family gathering that I treat my wife like a queen. Hmm. I puffed myself up and asked him a question, expecting that the answer would give me similar stature. "Since I treat her like a queen, what does that make me?" His immediate response? "A servant." So much for my ego.
Jim Bartos

Content continues below ad

View as Slideshow

Become more interesting every week!

Get our Read Up newsletter

how we use your e-mail
We will use your email address to send you this newsletter. For more information please read our privacy policy.