Being a parent is awesome. It teaches you about yourself. For example, you get to learn your true “patience” threshold and if you need to work on it in order to make it through the next 18 years (short answer: Yes, you do). You get to go see blockbuster movies that some people without kids don’t even know exist (I know people who haven’t heard of Moana; meanwhile, we watch it almost daily in my house, I quote from it regularly and it made over $640 million worldwide).
You also get more intimately exposed to things that make you realize how much of a racket this whole parenting thing is. Listen, there are people making a MINT off of the child industry. There are inventions and additions for almost everything related to children. Did you know there are “wipe warmers”? Yes, baby wipes have the ability to be warmed up before they touch the baby-soft bum of your child. There is this dumb-ass grass-looking dryer rack for bottles that I’ve had to talk more than one person out of while I definitely had one gifted to us. Get a towel, homie.
While the rest of you are out here learning about bitcoin and telling the world through Facebook how many thousands you made while still owing me money, those of us with kids are looking around at the simple world of getting over on parents and watching dollars go out the window in so, so simple ways. We get got all the time. How so? Glad you asked.
1. Bounce Houses/Bounce-House Party Spaces
Bruh, the bounce-castle birthday party is the biggest hustle ever. I don’t know how much it costs to buy a bunch of them bounce houses, but it can’t be too much. But if you have a child between the ages of 3 and 9, you are guaranteed to attend a party AT a bounce-house warehouse or have somebody deliver one to a space you rented. I’m guessing the insurance is a fothermucker, but all you really need is a big-ass space that can fit a bunch of them joints and people will show up.
Every single time I go to one of these parties, I wonder why I don’t own a warehouse and stuff that bitch with bounce castles instead of doling out $24.95 per kid AND signing a waiver stating that if my kid dies, maims or is injured beyond repair, the facility is not liable. When’s the last time you, nonparent, signed over a waiver on your life? Probably been a while. Me? Last week. My kids can get injured in, like, 12 different places in the Washington, D.C., area and I can’t sue. Meanwhile, if you fall at Walmart you’re a millionaire. Read that shit again.
2. Chuck E. Cheese’s
You’ve been to Chuck E. Cheese’s. We’ve all been. It’s such a simple investment. Bad food? Check. Bad games? Check. A big-ass rat? Check. Staff with the patience of saints? Depends on the location. There is nothing to Chuck E. Cheese’s, but kids love that damn place. You corral a bunch of children into playing with colorful, light-up shit for two hours a pop for a few hunnid and boom, your kid screams when you try to leave.
Every single time I’ve been to Chuck E. Cheese’s, a conversation with other parents starts about how we all need to pool our money and just franchise one. We could even call ourselves Dem Franchize Boyz if the name’s not already taken. I’m just saying, Chuck E. Cheese’s is a TOTAL racket, and yet I’m sure I’ll be back there soon. At least I don’t have to sign a waiver, AND they make sure I leave with the kids I came with via invisible stamp.
3. Trampoline Parks
I’ve seen some real injuries in these places—my own daughter sprained her ankle at one—but ya know, I signed the waiver and shit. Just push a bunch of trampolines together, add some padding, throw on some EDM, add some balls so kids can play dodgeball and some plush blocks so little kids can jump in and get lost under a mountain of foam, and #WallahMagic, you have ANOTHER way for your kids to get injured without liability that costs, like, 20 bucks for an hourlong stretch of time. There has to be all kinds of money in this venture because I’ve never been in one that didn’t have a sizable number of people who all paid a court jester’s ransom to be there. Why all of these places don’t have wet bars is beyond me, especially since they make us sign over our lives annnnyway.
4. Car Seats
Listen, I have PICTURES of myself in a car at age 6 without being in a car seat. My little sister was 3 and she’s in those same pictures ... NOT IN A CAR SEAT. We had a Volvo 740 when I was little and four kids. We took family trips and I vividly remember sitting on my big sister’s lap sometimes.
I’m not saying that was a safer time—clearly it wasn’t—but right now you can find a car seat for $1,000, no problem. If you think the cost makes your kid safer—and who doesn’t?—there is a car seat to soothe your soul and run your pockets. I don’t know if a $100 car seat is significantly less safe than a $400 one, but who wants to run that risk? We associate more costly with better, so you can find me in the $300 aisle with the rest of the people saying, “Hey, it HAS to be better, right?” (See also: strollers.)
YOU think you need to get that toddler that new hot shit. YOU think that Christmas will be an exciting time for your family as your kids open up those boxes of new hot shit. YOU find out that all your kid really wanted was the box. Toys? What’s that? This box though, fam, is where the action is. It never fails. Every single year, little kids go for the shit you didn’t spend money on over the thing you stood in line for or outbid somebody for on eBay that cost you $100 more than retail but that shit is sold out so you gotta do what you gotta do.
Of course, that’s not the case when they are picking out their own toys. But I’m saying, I can scroll through Amazon right now and see all these great gifts for 3-and-under kids, and I know good and damn well that most of us who buy those things will be wasting our money. Listen—balloons, boxes and water, b. That’s all our kids want at that age. And yes, I bought them all the toys. I’m a parent; I get worked over.