Try something a little different this year. 

By Elizabeth Passarella
Updated March 15, 2017
Janne Iivonen
Janne Iivonen

Illustration: parents sleeping in kids' tipi

When your 4-year-old wakes up in the morning and wanders into the living room asking for a drink of water, just sit back. Let him pick up that discarded, half-full highball on the table beside the couch…boom! Huge gulp of your watered-down gin and tonic from the night before!


Read the e-mail about pajama day at child’s school. Forget all about it. Send child to school in regular clothes. She’ll look mad, but she’s laughing on the inside!


Hear son rapidly unfurling entire toilet paper roll. Ignore. More fun for the next adult to enter the bathroom!


Loudly inform your husband that 4-year-old is dying to play Imaginary Rainbow Lizard Farm with him—and be sure 4-year-old is within earshot. Go for a run.


Remember how you were supposed to stop at Walgreens on the way home from work to buy Pull-Ups? Don’t tell your little one that you forgot. Just rummage around under the bathroom sink, find a maxi pad—funnier if it has wings—and tell her it’s a new brand. (Maybe it will be even better than the real thing! You won’t know till morning! Fun!)


Behold, the bento box surprise: Round out the kids’ Monday lunches with pepperoni you found in the fridge that’s two weeks past its expiration date. Roll the dice!


After the kids are tucked in, cuddle up on the couch with your spouse for the season finale of The Americans, which you’ve saved and anticipated together all week. Except! You totally watched it by yourself while he was out of town for work on Monday! I mean, too good, right?


For this one, you’ll need kids who climb into your bed at night. Be patient. Wait for both to show up. Once you have four people in your queen-size bed, quietly wake your husband and sneak off together to the kids’ room. Crawl into the bottom bunk (spoon tightly to avoid the wet spot on one side of the mattress) or, even better, grab some pillows and that blanket with the pig head on one corner and pass out on the floor with torsos half tucked into their play tepee. You’ll be so exhausted, you won’t be able to see straight in the morning, but the panicked look on those munchkins’ faces when they come looking for you at 4:45 a.m.?! Priceless.


Receive new BopDreamz CD as gift. In desperation during a road trip, pop it into the CD player. Children now know every sanitized word to “Cake by the Ocean.” Wait. Sorry. Joke’s on you.