crappy law of parenting #9 (crazy behavior stockpiling)

My in-laws are local so they babysit the kids sometimes. They actually remove the children from my house and take them to their house. It is a brilliant scheme. For me. 

When they bring the kids back, my MIL tells me how the kids were and what they did and stuff. They are usually pretty good. Sometimes they are very good.

Like recently..

I like it when they are great for them because I don't want this brilliant scheme to stop happening. So I say good.

But as she says goodbye, what I'm really thinking is:

Uh oh.

The door shuts. She is gone. And almost instantly:

The fighting starts. 

And then the destruction begins:

Crappy Boy cheers on Crappy Baby, chanting "dump it, dump it, dump it!" like a senior frat boy rooting for the freshman to chug another beer.

Which brings me to…

Crappy Law of Parenting #9 (crazy behavior stockpiling) 

The better a child behaves for someone else, the more crazy they will be when they return.

They store up the crazy. Stockpile it until they get home.

Do yours? 



Here are the first 8 Crappy Laws of Parenting. It has been a while since I added one! I'm still planning on picking a few from the (many awesome) comments on that post, thanks again for all your comments!

This entry was posted in crappy laws of parenting, crappy pictures, parenting. Bookmark the permalink.

109 Responses to crappy law of parenting #9 (crazy behavior stockpiling)

  1. Andrea says:

    I only have one. But, he absolutely does stockpile. Someone told me it’s a sign of a secure attachment…he saves the craziness for me because he’s secure around me. Which, while meant in the spirit of reassurance, was not comforting. At all.

  2. K says:

    Yes. Yes they do.

  3. Gena says:

    LOL at “dump it! dump it!” This made my day, laughing my butt off and is so true. Not looking forward to getting home this weekend.

  4. says:

    Sorry, it is a known fact that kids save it all for their parents. Wait until school starts. You will get glowing reports about how well behaved your kids are and you wonder if the teacher got you confused with another parent b/c they are spawns of Satan when they get home. Seriously, I dread 3:35pm!!

  5. Rachel says:

    So timely too, after we got home yesterday from Thanksgiving dinner pretty much this exact scene played out. I LOVE YOU! Your blog always makes me laugh out loud.

  6. Suzanne says:

    All the freakin time, and we threaten that they’re never going to stay out again when really that’s not going to happen as the only person that punishes is us. My eldest is 8 and still does it. My mil says oh she was good as gold and it’s like bang, I am going to exact my revenge on you when we get home, just you wait.

    They know it, they have us by the balls.

  7. M says:

    Yes. Just yes. I have five.

  8. says:

    my daughter is like that and it makes me smile because as Andrea said, it’s a sign of a secure attachment and they feel safe busting out while they’re with you after a long day at school or where ever they’ve been on their best behaviour. When I pick her up at the end of the day, she starts makes all KINDS of sounds in the car, crazy farting noises, singing REALLY loud, LALALALALLA and so on. I actually manage to tune it out for a while and then when I do tune back in, I smile because I know she’s happy to be home and feels safe letting it all hang out. It makes my heart smile.

  9. Sarah says:

    Someone told me that too! I’m going through a nasty visitation battle with my son’s father and was told that’s why our son is good for his father even though he doesn’t know him well and he’s a butt-tard when he’s with me. LOL

  10. Jennett Swan says:

    At first I thought the friend/relative/sitter was being kind by telling me how great my daughter was. They would even qualify it with, “She is such a little angel!” I’m standing there, thinking to myself, “Oh, this can’t be good,” and the minute we get home, the evil twin surfaces and I wonder where that little angel ran off to. And the longer the period of time she and I are separated, the worse her behavior is once we get home. Still, I’d rather have her on her best behavior away from home because that gives me credits for the next time I need a sitter ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Jo says:

    My daughter behaves angelically, but starts complaining horribly before she’s even out of the door. And then it goes on…

  12. mmm hmmm says:

    So THAT’S why my daughter is so good for the ex & a crazy lady when she’s with me! ๐Ÿ™‚ I still love her to pieces though! <3

  13. kella says:

    Yep mine do it too, oh the joy ๐Ÿ™

  14. Abby C says:

    YES! Whenever my kids stay at my mom’s they’re angels and when they get home they are HELLIONS!!!

    I swear the horns sprout as soon as she shuts the door.

  15. Julia says:

    This is soooo true!!! My kids go to a dayhome once a week and on those evenings when they get home it’s like they’ve turned into little devil-spawn children! I say it’s because they used up all their “good” for the dayhome lady and have no “good” left for us. LOL

  16. Couldn’t be more true. get SO tired of this. Mom, how was he? Oh, he was great! Friend, how was he? He was so helpful! So sweet! Get home, abducted by aliens and replaced with demon spawn, lol

  17. Karla says:

    So true!! My kids could be calm and lovely with my mom, and as soon as I walk in, all hell breaks loose! I think this is associated with the phone too–they will be playing quietly, and as soon as I get on the phone, there is a major behavior crisis. This is also confirmed by my teaching–I have kids who I adore, and when I tell their parents, they say, “my kid? really?”

  18. hahahah oh so THAT explains it…. Darling Child #2 is the worst? best? at this…. He goes on playdates and his friends mum is all “oh he was so good, such a help, “can I put this away for you? Would you like me to carry the bags for you?” and the minute we pull out of the driveway to head home all hell breaks loose

  19. Brenda says:

    This is hilarious. However, having been a young mother, I want to assure you, the time will come when you get to return the grandchildren to their parents, and they are wondering the same things.”Why are my Crappy kids so good with them and just crappy kids for me?” And the Greats will come and you get to experience this mystery all over again.

  20. Oliviah says:

    Now I understand!!! (why he gets crazy after “a great day” at daycare)

  21. MommyDanielle says:

    Yes, this!

  22. Wanda says:

    You have a gift for distilling down our experiences into TRUTH and yet making it funny too. Please write a book so I can give it to all my mommy friends!

  23. Sally says:

    A thousand times yes! Thank you so much for the laughs today!

  24. Amber Dusick says:

    I’ve heard that too. It IS comforting. Kinda.

  25. Amber Dusick says:

    It does make sense. It is how I am alone with my husband after being in public for example. Singing & fart noises even. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  26. Elizabeth says:

    Yes!! Same scenario with in laws and my 18 mo daughter, but I didn’t know it was a thing. Thanks for making me laugh. And now I know – she isn’t alone!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. Amber Dusick says:

    Ha, that is cool you’ve seen both sides!

  28. Amber Dusick says:

    I am most certainly looking forward to that. ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. Becca says:

    Yes. Seriously true. My 2 were rockstars yesterday at Thanksgiving dinner but little douchebags today. I’m very thankful for no meltdowns at my ILs, but would have greatly appreciated at least moderately good behavior today. Ha ha ha.

  30. Amber Dusick says:

    Mine too. Thus, I thought this particular post would be timely today!

  31. K says:

    I am an ex in home childcare worker and I have witnessed this phenomenon many times! Angels all day, playing nicely, using manners….the moment mum steps through the door they transform into different kids. Amazing!

  32. L.R.Knost says:

    Love the frat boy comment, so funny!

  33. says:

    Hmm…. I must be really secure in public then ๐Ÿ˜‰

  34. Jackie says:

    Yes!!! My daughter does this EVERY time she stays with her Grandmother… it sucks!

  35. Suzanne says:

    I always check with my girls’ teachers to see if they are the same drama queens and screamming meanies the can periodically be at home–thankfully not. I’d prefer they loose their cool at home than at school. I like when other people like my kids.

  36. Andrea says:

    Oh my word I just laughed out loud. We are adopting a baby. We found out about her on Monday 11/14. she had been born on 11/11 and needed heart surgery. All this to say that the older daughter ended up with grandma and grandpa quickly, and without a good ‘what’s about to go down’ discussion. I expected a phone call within 48 hours of a little girl melted down. Nope. She was great. Not one single issue out of her. She joined us yesterday to wait out the remaning two days of little sister’s hospital stay in the Ronald McDonald House. I have been told no and pushed more times that I can count.

    Good to have the perspective now that she just saved it all up for me….and she doesn’t even have anyone to fight with. ๐Ÿ™‚

  37. Charles says:

    The better a child behaves for someone else, the more crazy they will be when they return.

  38. Amanda says:

    Amen! Mine are “so well-behaved and really sweet kids” until they get off the bus. They are fighting as they walk out in the door…I guess its better that they only do it at home.

  39. Gill says:

    Amber thats sooo funny and sadly soo true… hope your feeling better and glad you are still writing.

  40. Naomi E. says:

    I think it’s more than just a parenting rule. For some reason we all do it. We’re extremely pleasant for others and save our worst attitudes and moods for those we love most. ๐Ÿ™‚ Perhaps we know who can and can’t get rid of us!

  41. Melissa says:

    Any time someone tells me how good they are, like in Sunday school, I ask them why they can’t give me those kids to take home.

  42. Grandma Laurie says:

    Theres a lot to be said for kids that are well behaved while out of the home. lol personally I was glad my daughter was welcome everywhere. Trouble was no one believed me about what she got up to at home lol

  43. Kimberly says:

    Yes, exactly! Even my six-year-old agreed!

  44. Amber says:

    I just cut my losses and pat myself on the back that my kid loves me enough to put on a good show to make me look like a good mom in front of others ๐Ÿ˜‰ it makes the hard times easier to breathe through.

  45. Deetz says:

    yes! This always happens! I always assumed that my in-laws were lying about how good my kids were or maybe my kids didn’t fuss for them because they let them do whatever they want and don’t discipline them… but maybe they are good for the in-laws after all… hmmm…

  46. Tami says:

    You make me laugh! Always!!

  47. Stacey says:

    The worst is when the person who had them behaving so well figures they are so good at parenting and the kids do this with you because they can “get away with it.” I’m sure it’s the stockpiling and now I can say, “No, I’m awesome. It’s just a condition kids have.” Besides, let’s face it, grandparents let grandkids get away with stuff they wouldn’t let you get away with as kids.

  48. Naomi says:

    ALL THE TIME!! I have been afraid to leave or even bring him out in public with me on more than one occasion, only to be disproved by him being completely angellic and even adorable, saying please and thank you and you’re welcome, getting out of peoples way and sharing. But once he gets home……

  49. mumof3 says:

    My 3 children are in daycare 3 days a week. Their teachers love them and always tell us what well behaved children they are. I absolutely totally dread the ‘day after daycare’ every week. They go completely bonkers, fighting, hanging off me, screaming in my ear, scratching, biting, hitting, ignoring anything I say, throwing monster tantrums… I love my children, but I hate that particular day of the week.

  50. Annamumof3 says:

    You are just hilarious and spot on! Just discovered you through FB, your sketch about how it is not to sleep was the funniest thing I have ever read in my life – funny because it is so true but also because you have such a witty way of telling those stories. I echo those that say put it all into a book and start cashing in. Keep those sketches coming…

  51. Kristen says:

    oh yes. although i also think that GPs tend to be totally delusional when it comes to their precious grandchildren. I often think my mother must either be bullshitting or on crack when she reports back on my children’s apparently impeccable behaviour.

  52. Sonia Luscombe says:

    yeah my kids do this too – all the time! glad to hear it’s not only them, the other day I even asked them could they be a little naughtier at school so that it would be out of their system by the time they get home!! I also put it down to better contingency management systems at school, ie they know if they misbehave they will end up with a white slip and eventually a detention . however they are also great for their grandma, who does not use any contingency management but does provide great snacks!!

  53. Patrick says:

    Ok, I think there’s another possibility. The kids are angels at grandma’s (according to grandma) because grandma lets them have and do whatever they want, and thinks their obnoxious behavior is “cute.” Then when they get home, they act like monsters because they’ve been completely spoiled and treated like royalty for hours. Seems like we have to go through a “you’re not the center of the universe” retraining every time they come back from a stay at grandmas! BTW, we have a crappy boy (3) and crappy baby (1, also a boy) too. Every post is like reading our diary!

  54. Nikki says:

    Mine our on the way home from Grandma’s right NOW! I am afraid ๐Ÿ™

  55. debbie says:

    My mother always smiled and said “Remember, your children are your parents REVENGE!”

  56. KelleyD says:

    My oldest does this when it comes to school. He is in kindergarten {full day} and he spends all day being good so he can stay “on green” {the classroom reward system} that when he gets home it is just sometimes UN.BEAR.A.BLE. And to top it all off he has homework MTWTh. So I try to get it done the second we set foot in the house while he is still riding the school behavior wave. Somedays it works. And somedays it just doesn’t.
    The younger is 19 months old. And all I have to say about that is that he is 19 months old and acts accordingly of course!

  57. Ellie says:

    Probably, but see, I never even believe the preschool worker/friend/my mother when they say ‘oh, he was fine! Good as gold’. I just go ‘hmm’ and assume they’re putting a gloss on.

  58. Julie says:

    Yes. Dead on again. I worked in child care before having kids and I saw it then too. The REALLY good kids would have meltdowns for mom/dad when they got picked up. The naughty ones.. well they were the same, basically. No change in behavior. Maybe even a little better. I eventually decided that a meltdown at the end of a long day was definitely a good sign and I’d tell the parents of the good kids that. I’d say don’t worry about it – it’s always the well-behaved kids who act like this when mom shows up. They only test boundaries when they feel safe. And my child turned out like that. She wouldn’t dare act up in school or for a babysitter. Some people think she’s always well behaved. But my neighbors know quiet well that she’s no angel for mommy. It’s OK. I’d worry more if she was always perfect. I want to raise a kid who knows the time and place to push limits and question authority. And I like that I can trust her to be on her best behavior when I’m away. My son.. well, he’s good for his big sister, so I guess that will do for now. He’s only one.

  59. Mine is young (only 10 months!) but we have the same reactions when we are in public or in other people’s houses! “Oh, what a cute baby! How quiet he is! Look how he is playing with his toys…” Of course, at home we take shifts in…guarding him!

  60. Biolith says:

    My mother says that the reason kids get on so well with their grandparents is because they have a common enemy…….

  61. Mine is only 10 months but we have the same reactions when we are in other people’s houses. “Oh, what a cute baby!Look how quiet he is playing! He is a little angel!” Of course when we are home we take shifts in guarding him…!

  62. No I actually think the grandparents lie. They just don’t want to admit the fact they can’t make our kids behave either. I just don’t believe it.

  63. Julie Bernhardt says:

    Yes! That is why evenings are so long, because they have stockpiled all their badness for one healthy dose before bedtime. Grandma always says, but they were so good all day, I don’t get it. So nice to hear it’s not just my kids!

  64. Kim says:

    As a teacher, I think this can work in reverse as well, because every little hellraiser I’ve ever taught has a parent who swears up and down than they are angelic at home.

  65. Nikki says:

    YES! This is exactly what mine do! They are constantly described as beautiful and wonderful and ‘good’ kids by daycare/preschool/school teachers/friends/relatives. ALL their crazy is saved for us. Although I’d rather it this way than the other way around!

  66. Melissa says:

    I have 12 kids. The youngest is too little to know yet, but of the other 11, 9 of them are like that. One is so shy in public she screams if anyone looks at her. Another is usually good at home, but if we are out or have company, he becomes a wild maniac.

    It makes it hard when you get home, but I’d prefer my kids to fall apart when we get home than to fall apart in public. It’s harder to deal with when you’re talking to someone or otherwise busy.

  67. sherry says:

    never. stop. blogging. you’re the best!

  68. Brandon says:

    Seems my 6 week old has already begun stockpiling. No one can believe he could ever cry or get fussy like we’ve described. But they have yet to be awakened by his disdain for his bassinet at all hours of the night.

  69. Amy Band says:

    Oh yeah, this definitely applies to my children. My older 1 stays with his Grandfather on occasion and is pretty much as good as gold and has a few really ratty days when he gets back. On the same principal my daughter who has yet to stay away from home will be well behaved out of the house but as soon as the door closes at home the screaming starts

  70. Bahaha! This is awesome. Sounds exactly like my 4 & 2 year olds.

  71. Jodi Aman says:

    Yes, but we need to judge our parenting by how they act with others.

  72. Angela says:

    Yes, I agree! When kids act nicely for others (but crazy for us) it is a sign of secure attachment to the parents. Which is what you want, obviously.

  73. Tessa says:

    SO TRUE!!! My when my DD was in second grade I was never able to convince her teacher that she was always loud and super hyper at home.

  74. Sam says:

    Sarah, I wish I could say it gets better – going through a nasty time with my 18yo daughter playing the game between me and my soon to be xh. I don’t have to say she’s a butt-tard, even though I’d like to, because she’s living in my house, and hasn’t spoken to me in 2 months.

  75. Ros says:

    Ooooohhh, yeah…hear hear!!! I used to think my mum was lying when she said how good they’d been and how they hadn’t fought at all. Then i wised up and realised she’s telling the truth..she just gets a different version of my kids than what she returns to me! Thanks for sharing your story and letting us know we’re all in the same boat!

  76. MaryMargaret says:

    you have literally ripped the words from my mouth…. Just wait till they start school….

  77. Jennifer says:

    Yes! My kids act like little assholes for me and like angels for the babysitter. I’m glad, and yet…

  78. Bronwyn says:

    Totally. Have a feeling it has something to do with the large quantities of sugar given to the incedibly ‘good’ children. How sweetly a child smiles when faced with a handful of lollies ๐Ÿ™‚ Still, its great when the in-laws have them and I wouldn’t give it up even if it does result in bad behaviour stockpiling ๐Ÿ™‚

  79. I love this picture!
    Great job!

  80. I teach and I often get this response when I talk about what a great job a kid is doing…the parent is often like, “MY KID?!” and then sometimes they just vent to me about how horrible the kid is at home. Hm….

  81. Making it Through The Teen Battles says:

    I love these. I can relate to the 18 yr old who is not talking to mom… may be like that even if she was not playing you against the ex….((HUGS)) This too will pass(for both of us I hope!!)

  82. Making it Through The Teen Battles says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE your comics!~!! Gives me something to look forwards to when my teens are driving me craaazzy….believe me guys, the younger ones are easier. REALLY. Enjoy.

  83. Chapman says:

    I love your comics! So funny

  84. Leah says:

    Oh, they stockpile. I thought it was just us… but now that I think about it, my mom used to say the same thing when I came home from my grandparents.

  85. Letitia says:

    Yes it is. It’s so mad for parents. But it is also good. At least we know that children know how to behave – it should be ๐Ÿ˜‰
    And it also means that they feel safe at home, to shed accumulated crazy.

    Have a joyful day. Leti.

  86. heatherhamadyk says:

    I have two boys, ages 2 and 5. After a weekend of being good as gold for my in-laws, they are no sooner through our front door before they’re climbing up the walls and swinging from the ceiling fans. What’s worse is the next morning when all the activity of the weekend and lack of sleep (my MIL does not follow my well-established sleep/nighttime routine as closely as I’d like her to), catches up to them and they become whiny, clinging, cranky, downright unbearable little monsters. I’m tempted to film it one of these days, so my MIL can see her fine work.

  87. Sandra says:

    I couldn’t agree more Mar.murray! I am always just aghast at conferences when the teacher talks about how well-behaved my little tyrant is! But honestly, I’d rather they behave well for others than not.

  88. Kristal says:

    I am terrified…DS (age 21 mos) is in the middle of spending a week with my parents, all the way across the country. According to my mom & dad, he’s been fantastic…which terrifies me for when he returns home. There is no way he is going to adjust to only having Mommy around, when he’s been doted on by his grandparents…OH GOD ๐Ÿ™

  89. nina says:

    oh totally, my 6 year old stockpiles it all day at school (to the tune of teachers – including subs- coming up to me outside of school and telling me how well behaved she is and what a pleasure she is to have in the classroom) then comes home and turns into a totally different person for 45 minutes to an hour before returning to her normal self. my three year old son is starting to pick up on the habit too.

  90. Jennifer says:

    Yep, I’ve heard this, too – that we should take it as a compliment and it means they’re most secure, confident, and can be themselves around their parents. HAHAHA!

  91. Betsy says:

    Oh yes, yes, yes, my friend! In my case it’s my own parents and my 5-year-old twins, but the rest of the deal is exactly the same, right down to the sinking feeling when she tells me how wonderful they were.

  92. jj says:

    Hey, don’t just blame the MIL. What about the FIL?

  93. Bodi says:

    Here’s a Law of Parenting for you:

    Going to see the Grandparents magically causes their stomachs to instantly digest everything they have consumed in the past 24 hours.

    Never fails, I would try feeding them seconds, bring snacks for the car ride (all four grandparents lived close by), even have a last-minute “before we ring the doorbell” snack stashed somewhere …

    Then they pass through the doorway and-

    “Hi Grandma!* I’m hungry, what do you have to eat??”

    (*or Gran, as the case may be).

    It appears to be doubly-effective if the grandparents in question are your in-laws who seem uncertain of your abilities to feed and clothe their perfect grandchildren at the best of times …

  94. Bodi says:

    Should have clarified that the kids would be telling me “Oh, no, I can’t eat anymore, Mummy! I’m too full!”

    (then ring the doorbell, maybe 10 minutes later and …)

  95. Vriesea says:

    Another adjunct law of parenting to this one is for every moment of extra special fun time you have (including but not limited to time with grandparents) you will have an equal amount of grumpy time. The more special the outing, the more grumpy the kids upon return. I find myself mentally budgeting for post-fun trauma because of course I am more tired and grumpy after out of the ordinary outings and it pays to be prepared!

  96. Carrie Dadey says:

    Mine absolutely do this.

  97. Cindy says:

    OMG – my kids are ALWAYS well behaved when they go with anyone else. And that DEFINITELY means that my husband and I are going to SUFFER for it.

    Stockpiled crazy behavior is factual. You know what else is factual? That there is a direct relationship between how well they behaved for the others and how insane they are going to be now that they are back with us. Your post is RIGHT ON!!!!!!

  98. DAC says:

    Quick question, is “butt-tard” an example of portmanteau per the November 29th entry?

  99. Stephanie says:

    Oh so amazingly true and funny. My mom told me just two days ago– “of course they were wonderful. You weren’t here.”. Not 5 minutes later, younger one is pulling out fistfuls of my hair and kicking and screaming about not getting to watch tv!

  100. cindy says:

    YOU need a book deal. Because I’d buy your book for all the To-Be parents. Just so they remember it happens to everyone. To remember to laugh.
    And I am going to add that my daughter’s name is Amber. She was born April 12th of this year. I didn’t know about you then, so its not a stalker kinda thing. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Just sharing! Beautiful name.

  101. My boys (5yo and 10mo) are totally the opposite. We live in the middle of nowhere, and since I drive a pickup that gets roughly 2 miles a gallon, we don’t go out very often, other than the supermarket and places like that.

    Today, Connor went to kindergarten, and was good as gold considering that he missed the bus and didn’t pitch a fit about wanting to stay with me. Kyle played happily for a while and actually took a nap while Connor was at school. Connor came home…they were still being good…

    Then, we had to go to a memorial service for my Great Aunt Dorothy. At a church. With a reception afterwards in a hall. With people. And food.

    I might as well have dressed him up in a ratty looking wolf costume and yelled “let the wild rumpus begin!” My 10mo became possessed by a Sumo wrestler, and my 5yo decided he wanted to win the “Run around the hall and drive his mother crazy marathon”.

    At least they were relatively cute and calm during the service.

  102. Trischa says:

    This is a million, billion % true. My friends and I always joke that no time off from your kids goes unpunished…. but the way you’ve described it here is so much more hilarious. Why do our kids hate us like this?

  103. Shen-Li says:

    Yes! This is exactly how my kids are. Everyone always tells me how wonderful they up but I feel like I’m going nuts with them at home and wonder why I get all the crappy behaviour…

  104. hermes says:

    My eldest is 8 and still does it.

  105. OMG! That is SO true! My daughter was always a perfect angel, especially at school, but a wild woman once at home!!!

  106. Amber says:

    Great, my kid is a mutant. He is a quiet little angel who sleeps in on the weekends at home with me. I can’t get him to shut up or calm down once we are around other human beings, lol. How did that happen??