The Bill of Rights — Parents’ Style

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THE BILL OF RIGHTS — AS APPLIED TO PARENTS

FIRST AMENDMENT: FREE SPEECH

The fact that you have given birth to a child in no way shape or form limits your right to free speech.  If you spill the pink drink in the car, especially if it splashes back on your white pants, you are entitled to free use of any words in your vocabulary, even the ones that make you put a quarter in the swear jar.

 

SECOND AMENDMENT: RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS

A well regulated militia, indeed, is what is required to maintain order when your children come home from tying on the cotton candy, Coke, and frosting at a birthday party.  Bear arms, wooden spoons, time out chairs, or whatever is necessary to keep footprints off your ceiling.  Also, don’t forget your “bear arms” for giving (and getting) bear hugs whenever necessary.

 

THIRD AMENDMENT: NO SOLDIER SHALL BE QUARTERED WITHOUT THE HOMEOWNER’S PERMISSION

That kid from down the street?  The one whose mother doesn’t think ADD meds are a good idea?  The one who bit the cat last time he was in the house and made your daughter cry because he called her an ugly poopyhead?  You don’t have to let him come over.  You don’t have to say why, either.

 

FOURTH AMENDMENT: PROHIBITION OF UNREASONABLE SEARCHES AND SEIZURE

Despite the sticky fingerprints on every single thing in your house, you do in fact have the right to have your own stuff, and you are absolutely allowed to go ballistic if you find pink Build-a-Bear fur stuck in the brush of your new $20.00 mascara.

 

FIFTH AMENDMENT: YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT

No, when you’ve just finished a ten hour work day only to come home and put a load of wash in the machine, you don’t have to answer the forty billion questions about where a rainbow goes.  More to the point, you have the right to be IN silence for at least as long as it takes you to go to the bathroom at least once a day.

 

SIXTH AMENDMENT: RIGHT TO A SPEEDY TRIAL AND TO CONFRONT WITNESSES

Parents are all about swift justice, and confronting witnesses.  Confronting them with the fact that every last one of them will be in trouble if they don’t give up the perpetrator?  That’s totally fair.

 

SEVENTH AMENDMENT: RIGHT TO A TRIAL BY JURY

The problem with a right to a trial by jury is that it ensures that you get a jury of your peers.  You are Wonder Woman.  You have no peers.  It is lonely at the top.  Lucky for your kids, you were once like them, so you can act as judge, jury, AND executioner, thus helping along that speedy trial thing in Amendment Six.

 

EIGHTH AMENDMENT: NO CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENTS

You can’t mete out cruel AND unusual punishments.  But they can be cruel OR unusual.  Besides, sometimes cruel is in the eye of the beholder – my daughter would tell you that six hours without access to Apple products is cruel.  I might disagree.  As for unusual?  I applaud the creativity of certain parents on the internet.

 

NINTH AMENDMENT: THIS ISN’T ALL

In the real Constitution, the 9th Amendment says something like, “just because we didn’t say it here doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist as a right somewhere else.”  I think this gives us the right to claim limitless authority and change our minds with impunity.  It’s a little bit of a stretch, but the stretch marks on your belly prove that stretching is sometimes a good thing.

 

TENTH AMENDMENT: ANYTHING THAT ISN’T A FEDERAL POWER GOES TO THE STATE

This means that if you are tired and simply don’t feel like dealing with it, you can tell your kids to go ask Dad.  Or Grandma.  Or the shady looking guy blowing the leaves off the neighbor’s lawn.  No matter how much of an authority you are, you can always pass the buck.  We’ll call it delegation.

Now.  If you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some rights that need enforcing.

If you enjoyed this and want to read more like it, visit Lori at her website, www.loriduffwrites.com , on Twitter, or on Facebook. For the Best of Lori, read her bestselling books, “Mismatched Shoes and Upside Down Pizza” and “The Armadillo, the Pickaxe, and the Laundry Basket

About Lori Duff 352 Articles
Lori is the author of the bestselling collection of humor essays, "Mismatched Shoes and Upside Down Pizza" currently available exclusively on Amazon. In order to finance her writing habit, she is a practicing lawyer with Jones & Duff, LLC. She is married to Mike Duff, who is a retired DeKalb County Public Safety Officer, and has two amazing children who make cameo embarrassing appearances in her blog posts and who attend Walton County Public Schools. Her legal column, "Legalese", is meant to de-mystify and humanize the Court system. When asked about her writing, Lori says, "Life is too short not to laugh at every available opportunity. My goal is to make myself laugh -- and hopefully you will laugh along with me."

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