Our New Policy

January 18th, 2011


To: The Kids
From: Mommy
Re: New Family Policy To Be Effective Immediately

Dear Kids:

Based on a few serious discussions that have recently taken place between your father and me, I must inform you that there will be some major changes taking place in our household starting today. The reason behind this big shake-up is simple: you’re both major disappointments to us.

And we will no longer live with the humiliation of average children.

Oh, sure, we let you slide for a while. We gave you plenty of breathing space when you were learning to walk and to read and to potty train, but now those salad days are over, man. Like Tina Yothers found out when she reached her teen years, you can only stay adorable for so long. Now you slackers are actually going to have to work at being special. And good frickin’ luck with that.

Because seriously, you two are now 7 and 9-years-old and just what have you accomplished? I don’t see a national chess championship trophy on your dresser. There’s no agent on the line waiting to negotiate your talent deal with Disney. And don’t even get me started on your dismal Olympic chances because we all know the 3-year-old next door with the private archery coach can kick both your asses. Blindfolded.

See, even though you’re both “well adjusted” and “happy” and “enjoying childhood,” has it ever occurred to you how that load of crap makes us look as parents? Has it? Robert Kennedy Jr.’s wife gets to tell people that their 9-year-old son just read the Odyssey and is now writing his own version. You know what I get to tell people? That you can burp the Sponge Bob Square Pants theme song while accompanying yourselves with armpit farts. Isn’t that just terrific? If I were a Tiger Mom, I’d probably push me down and kick me in the crotch until the cops showed up.

“But, mommy,” you’re saying, “maybe the reason we didn’t win the spelling bee or the science fair is because you didn’t forbid play dates or bribe us with an iPhone like the other parents at our school (allegedly) did. It’s not our fault—it’s yours!” And, yes, you’re probably right on that count. I didn’t take the elementary school competitions seriously enough. I didn’t push you to exhaustion. I didn’t hire a reading tutor to make sure you totally annihilated the other first graders in the Read-A-Fun! program, thereby ensuring early admission to Brown and a problem-free future. Yep, that’s all on me, kids.

And to be completely honest with you, I also totally regret all the times I forced you to go outside and whack things with a stick instead of making you do math drills. And all the times I said, “I’m proud of you for just trying your best.” (Which is complete bullshit.) And for letting you only take one after school activity at a time because I need to be home for 5 ‘o clock cocktails every night. For the love of God, I’ve been such a jackass, lazy parent. If I’d been Beyoncé’s mother, she’d probably be working the register at Chik-Fil-A right now. Probably wouldn’t even know how to do those super awesome hair flips, either.

So that’s why we’ve decided it’s now crucial that our family enact the “Policy to Render Excellent Student Success Until Rewards Ensue” (P.R.E.S.S.U.R.E.) system that I created after drinking a pot of coffee and seeing Black Swan three times in a row. Your father and I are still working out the details, but just know that from now on, you can kiss all free time, playing outside and watching anything on TV that isn’t narrated by a British man good-bye. Yep, adios, mofo. It was good while it lasted. In their place, you’ll find private lessons, coaches, tutors, cash outlays, tension headaches, resentment, disharmony and possibly a peptic ulcer before middle school if we’re doing our jobs right.

Just remember boys: achieving excellence isn’t easy. Any former child actor/parolee could tell you that. But once you two finally accomplish something noteworthy enough for us to rub in every other parent’s face until they feel completely inadequate and enact their own PRESSURE system at home, it’ll all have been worth it.

Now go put on your shoes because it’s time for your archery lesson.


Your Mother

Entry Filed under: Uncategorized


Add your own

  • 1. Marinka  |  January 18th, 2011 at 8:29 am

    It’s about time. I just pray that it’s not too late for your young’uns.

  • 2. hokgardner  |  January 18th, 2011 at 8:34 am

    I fear that I may be too late to do this with my big two. But I’m so starting it with the littles. That way they can lord their “success” over their older siblings. And then I can write a best-seller about managing toxic family dynamics the Tiger Way.

  • 3. The Other Wendi  |  January 18th, 2011 at 8:34 am

    So Wendi, were you possibly a drill sergeant in a past life? Or perhaps you’ve seen An Officer and a Gentleman too many times?

  • 4. Tonya  |  January 18th, 2011 at 8:40 am

    I’m actually worried your still being a little to lenient. Have you thought of also instituting the “lose a limb” policy? Nothing says ‘You WILL be at MIT by the age of 12″ like losing a pinky.

  • 5. Brian  |  January 18th, 2011 at 8:44 am

    Creating super-successful kids = non-traditional retirement planning. Great idea! Love the Tina Yothers reference.

  • 6. Invader_Stu  |  January 18th, 2011 at 9:01 am

    Do you really want to start them with something that involves firing sharp stick at high speed? I’d start them out one something a little more safer. Especially considering they might be a little upset at you at the moment.

  • 7. Tweets that mention Wendi&hellip  |  January 18th, 2011 at 9:02 am

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tracy Hahn-Burkett. Tracy Hahn-Burkett said: Ha! RT @WendiAarons: New post–my kids are losers & I'm not standing for it any more: [...]

  • 8. suburbancorrespondent  |  January 18th, 2011 at 9:13 am

    Thanks for the wake-up call, Wendi! Would you believe I let my kids outside to go sledding on the ice this morning instead of making them do their schoolwork? What was I thinking?

  • 9. Lynn MacDonald (All Fooked Up)  |  January 18th, 2011 at 10:03 am

    You’re right! Your kids suck! Hahaha…mine do too though

  • 10. Andi  |  January 18th, 2011 at 10:51 am

    Hee-hee…don’t have kids but love this!

  • 11. Crisanna  |  January 18th, 2011 at 10:59 am

    I’m so moved by this. I think it means you’ll finally be able to hold your head high at future PTA meetings – goodbye gosselin wig!

  • 12. alexandra  |  January 18th, 2011 at 11:13 am

    Oh, oh, oh…my bladder hurts from trying to keep from wet-TING my pants.

    TMI? Sorry, I’m all aspie like that.

    Oh, this is so great.

    AND? going up on our fridge.

    Slacker, happy,underachievers.

    They gotta start kicking some ass.

    Don’t forget to show them who’s in charge: the one with the orange peels slipping out from under that cure all bandana. (;

  • 13. Suzy  |  January 18th, 2011 at 11:18 am

    My parents were “those” parents. If you know me at all I think you see where it all went horribly wrong.

  • 14. Mad Woman behind the Blog  |  January 18th, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    My husband must have read this. Why else would he be torturing us w/ all the classical music lately? I’m waiting for him to try to pipe it into my uterus for our unborn son.
    I’m quite certain if he has his way our daughter will be speaking fluent chinese by her 4th birthday.

  • 15. MarathonMom  |  January 18th, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    I make mine take practice SAT’s at 7am every Saturday while I run. They WILL get perfect scores so that when that Duke Talent Program comes calling in 6th grade it will be a clean sweep.

  • 16. Jeffrey  |  January 18th, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    Somewhere in Austin a child therapist is buying a condo in Maui. You should have continued to let your kids be slackers and bought the condo yourself. Maybe your therapist on a vacation paid for by your kid’s treatments will see my kids pro-bono, it is vacation time you know!

    BTW… my local PTA is recruiting me to be the PTA president. I am balking at the notion
    Excuse No. 1) The PTA Pres must have pole dancing skills (a little tip I learned from you) and then asking if they really wanted to see me working a pole… and then I give them the option before or after my wife shaves my back…
    Excuse No 2) I am still under investigation; going to work that one for a long time as well.

    And your closing point, “Adios Mofo…” now part of my lexicon!

  • 17. Liz @ Peace, Love & Guacamole  |  January 18th, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    It’s about freaking time you got with the program! We have all been badmouthing you behind your back for your so-called “parenting” skills. Or should I say, skillz.

  • 18. Fragrant Liar  |  January 18th, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    Yikes! Watch out that those arrows don’t fly in your direction! :-)

  • 19. shelley e  |  January 18th, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    Love it! :) I should do the same….

  • 20. gigi  |  January 18th, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    Bwahaha!!! good God, I would love to send this anonymously to most of my bobbleheads, I mean neighbors.

    let me know how that works out. I’m still promoting mediocrity in the “try your best” and “only one activity at a time” camp.

    Proud to be an underachiever,

  • 21. Becky Mochaface  |  January 18th, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    Isn’t that how you’re supposed to raise children?

  • 22. Keri Stevens  |  January 18th, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    You said “Tina Yothers.” Hee.

  • 23. Issa  |  January 18th, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    Have you made them recite this to you, in it’s entirety yet? That’s what a good mom would do.

  • 24. Mandy  |  January 18th, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    HAHA! “Yep, adios, mofo.” I’m glad you’re finally working on being a good mother.

  • 25. purejoy  |  January 18th, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    i wish you were my mom.

    now i’m going to go grab a butter knife and start on my writsts. b/c my kids are in college now. one just lost his hope scholarship by one tenth of an effing point… and the other is rocking a 4.25 {she smugly adds}.
    but their hearts are golden and their eternity is secure.

    but seriously… that hardly grabs the oooohs and aaaaaahs at a party, now, does it?

  • 26. Nina  |  January 18th, 2011 at 6:00 pm


  • 27. Nancy Davis Kho  |  January 18th, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    Seriously, it is time to crack the whip on the kids. Or at least to blame Tiger Mother for giving us cover. Kids: I expect straight A’s from bartending school, and a perfect vodka gimlet! Get moving!

  • 28. Kate Coveny Hood  |  January 18th, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    It was only this year (five years after giving birth to my first child) that I actually caught on to the uber-parenting judginess going on all around me. I had been too wrapped up in first trying to be a working mother of three under two and then figuring out how to be a stay at home mom…period. I was was totally oblivious to all of the competition out there.

    In the meantime, we’ve had to make so many “special needs family” perspective changes, that I really can’t be bothered with who is raising future Olympiads and Nobel Prize winners.

    I AM a Tiger mother. In that I will CUT anyone who makes MY children feel like they are less than wonderful for being happy and healthy and performing at the level that is appropriate for their own personal capabilities.

    I love that every commentary I’ve read on the subject so far had been funny. Because I find the subject of that book laughable at best. While I’m not loving the idea of my kids skipping class so that they can get stoned in their dorm room with their friends…I’d rather they make some of those mistakes than do everything else perfectly before jumping out the window because they got a B on a quiz. (Note to “Tiger” moms: make sure your college age children have room assignments on the first floor only).

    LOVE you Wendi.

  • 29. Suebob  |  January 18th, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    I’m glad you’re catching on. Remember, there’s no success unless it is measurable success, and what I mean by measurable is “it impresses ivy league college admissions counselors.”

  • 30. Cheryl  |  January 18th, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    With such an amazing assortment of things to call attention to here, I find myself intrigued by the insertion of (allegedly). So besides being well-adjusted and happy kids, they lie?

    Good gawd, Wendi! You really are a jackass, lazy parent.

  • 31. the mama bird diaries  |  January 18th, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    Your motherhood skills are amazing. I only hope to follow in your footsteps.

  • 32. Missy @ Wonder, Friend  |  January 18th, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    Will be reading this to my children over breakfast in the morning. (Have to read TO them, because at ages four-and-a-half and one-and-a-half they still can’t read. Slackers.)

  • 33. Kim  |  January 18th, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    Can you make this available in a wallet-size laminate for easy reference? Thanks.

  • 34. Kelly  |  January 19th, 2011 at 3:20 am

    Brilliant as always!

  • 35. Becky  |  January 19th, 2011 at 5:47 am

    That memo circulates at our house on a regular basis.

  • 36. Diane  |  January 19th, 2011 at 6:52 am

    @Brian Comment 5: Non-traditional you say? That’s the new GenX 401K alternative to social security – didn’t you get the memo? Seriously, you could market your plan as such – THAT would get you a book deal AND an inverview on NBC. Finally. I’m on this – finally, a ROI for my four. Who needs to worry about sagging mutual fund returns when I have for ***prodigies*** in my roost.

  • 37. Cass  |  January 19th, 2011 at 7:03 am

    Thank god you’ve finally seen the light, Wendi!

  • 38. N and Em's mom  |  January 19th, 2011 at 7:57 am

    Great plan. Once you get used to spending major $$ every month for lessons and coaches while they’re growing up, you’ll be able to roll smoothly into the bail money and rehab adult years. And while you’re investing, watch Amazon for a used copy of Tiger Mom to parody; your anti-Tiger mom would be worth the price of a hard cover copy from B&N.

  • 39. cappy  |  January 19th, 2011 at 8:01 am

    I so look forward to reading your weekly columns. What a funny lady you are! I sent New Policy straight to my son’s wife. Do the math.

  • 40. Kokopuff  |  January 19th, 2011 at 8:14 am

    I’m teaching my children how to take credit for others’ accomplishments, assign blame immediately, throw people under the bus and look busy while surfing the internet for porn. Which means while all those Tiger Moms’ offspring are toiling away on the actual work, my kids will have the corner office and be management, bitches!

  • 41. Becky  |  January 19th, 2011 at 8:34 am

    Tina Yothers? Wow. You get an A for the most obscure 80′s reference. Actually, make that a trophy. Then you can really show those kids who rocks.

  • 42. Ann's Rants  |  January 19th, 2011 at 9:59 am

    One day you’re a child star, and the next your Rudi Huxtable with a mustache.

  • 43. dusty earth mother  |  January 19th, 2011 at 10:17 am

    Bravo! Amy Chua will soon come to your door, begging for a tutorial. Hilarious.

  • 44. Sarah  |  January 19th, 2011 at 11:46 am

    As always, you are spot on. I am reading that OUT LOUD to my underachieving disappointments when then get home. A’s and B’s at school ain’t cuttin’ it anymore. I want to see really return on my investment G-ddamn it! Private school is expensive and I need something to show for it besides healthy, well adjusted, joy-to-have-in-class children. That’s not going to pay for Mommy’s liposuction and retirement later is it?
    I have to deal with overachieving parents and their undisciplined offspring on a regular basis and I am tired of being looked down upon.

  • 45. Rojopaul  |  January 19th, 2011 at 11:50 am

    SO many gems here but “adios, mofo” takes the cake. Rock on Super Mom! You are my hero!

  • 46. The Flying Chalupa  |  January 19th, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    Okay, fess up, Wendi – just how long did it take you to think of the words behind P.R.E.S.S.U.R.E.? Cause when I try to do shit like that, it takes me a good long time.

    Your children are lucky they have a mother who would delay cocktail hour for extra archery time.

    Hell, put that wine in a thermos and everyone’s happy.

  • 47. The Flying Chalupa  |  January 19th, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Just wrote an amazing comment that disappeared. Something to the effect that you’re so generous for delaying your cocktail hour for extra archery time. I say, put the wine in a thermos and everyone’s happy.

  • 48. Kerry  |  January 19th, 2011 at 1:00 pm


  • 49. Patty  |  January 19th, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Okay, just returned to my desk after a dead run to the ladies — and don’t think THAT was easy after knee replacement. I shall have to read that to my daughter, who wasn’t a National Merit Scholar, and took her sweet time getting through college, and is now employed at the District Attorney’s office and only JUST considering the LSAT. She’s so POKEY. Clearly, I should have lashed her to the desk 25 years ago!

  • 50. KayLinda  |  January 19th, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    5 o’ clock???

    4:30 girlfriends, 4:30!!!

    I like the wine in a thermos idea….I’ve tried it!

  • 51. Tamera  |  January 19th, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    I fear I have been too easy on my child as well, she is two already! And hasn’t even mastered the potty….WTF am I doing as a parent?!

  • 52. Melissa  |  January 19th, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    Your wit and brilliance astound me, Wendi. I look forward to seeing your posts in my inbox.

  • 53. Erin I'm Gonna Kill Him  |  January 20th, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    I just want to make sure you have the bows and arrows locked up before you hit ‘send’ on this. That goes for the Medieval swords and armor, too.

    You’re really doing them a favor with this. They’ll thank you, I’m sure of it.

  • 54. schmutzie  |  January 21st, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    This weblog is being featured on Five Star Friday –

  • 55. Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah  |  January 21st, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    My punk kids are the same way! I mean – don’t they know that the if you are in the gifted program you almost always get to go to therapy before the rest of the kids your age?


  • 56. Plano Mom  |  January 21st, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    In all seriousness, thank you for helping me bring it back down to size about my son’s Bs in Honors Math.

  • 57. Gretchen  |  January 21st, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    I’ve been trying to instill in Jude the need to set goals and work hard to achieve them. So last night he announced that he has decided to break the World Gum Chewing Record – 2 years and 5 months. I’m so proud.

  • 58. Jen  |  January 24th, 2011 at 7:28 am

    You are a mean, mean mother. This whole over achiever thing is highly over rated. Don’t you want your kids to live with you until they are 28? Mediocrity helps ensure kids who don’t leave home. And, now that you can keep them on your health insurance until age 26, why push them out?

  • 59. elizabeth- flourish in progress  |  January 24th, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    mama, you’ve waited till now to issue this letter? noooooo… must really love them kids ‘a yurs.

    frankly, when my kid turned 3, we had the discussion about how she was going to pay her share of the rent. she said crayons. her room is rent-controlled, but it’s still 18 crayons a month.

  • 60. Lucia  |  January 25th, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    Somewhere I’m convinced, burbing along to Spongebob while farting with armpits is considered genius, ya know. This is what I tell myself anyway..sigh..

  • 61. Suniverse  |  January 26th, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    We just keep telling the girl that she’s out of the family if she doesn’t get straight As and excel at every activity on the first try.

    Why settle for less?

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