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Shirlee Smith | Parents Create Pinocchios

Published on Monday, October 17, 2016 | 5:40 am

While she went to the counter to pick up the food order, Mom left her blonde curly-haired, dimpled darling at the table in the small eatery.

Upon her return, on the restaurant wall was a huge smearing of ketchup and mustard. The ghastly sight was only a few steps from where little Ms Dimples was sitting.

The only other patrons in the area were two elderly women.

Who might have created this unartistic mess?

A reasonable person would know the elderly folks didn’t. A reasonable parent would know, without a doubt, their kid had misbehaved.

Unfortunately, there aren’t too many reasonable parents out there these days. Instead we’ve got a bunch of ‘em taking a wild stab at raising kids that the rest of us are having to put up with.

Ms Unreasonable Mom asked Dimples IF she had decorated the wall with the condiments.

What would any kid answer, when confronted with a choice concerning what even the kid knew to be a punishable deed?

Ms Unreasonable Mom seemed to think it was time for discussion. After the kid’s first shaking of her blonde curls, Mom asked the question again. and again.

Each time the repeat response was more adamant then the first and delivered with little arms folded across the chest and a “you don’t trust me” scowl on the little girl’s distorted face.

Ms Unreasonable – middle name Mom – let the issue rest. Since the condiment containers on their table were empty, she reached onto another table for the ketchup and mustard needed for their hotdogs.

Uh, huh!

When I was told the story, Ms Unreasonable Mom replied, “She said she didn’t do it!” was her confused response to my alarm at how the situation was handled.

Mom knew who put the stuff on the wall
Mom should not have asked, “Did you do this?”
Mom set kid up to tell a lie
The issue should have been confronted – head-on
Management should have been asked for cleanser and rags
Under Mom’s supervision, kid should have cleaned the mess as best possible

No condiments from another table – dry hotdogs become one of the consequences of this intolerable behavior.

Too many unreasonable parents think this type of behavior is cute. In my reasonable style of parenting – there are no cute kids.


Shirlee Smith is a former Pasadena Star-News Opinion Columnist. She is a Los Angeles Press Club first place awardee and author of They’re Your Kids, Not Your Friends and the Spanish edition, “Son Tus Hijos, No Tus Amigos.” Smith can be reached by email at





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