All across the country, schools are closing down in order to slow the rate of infection of the novel coronavirus. For weeks, a global pandemic outbreak of the disease has been wreaking havoc in countries all over the world. In both European and Asian countries, officials have chosen to institute curfews and even mandatory self-quarantining for their entire populations. In some districts, school closures could last a month or longer. This means that parents all over America are scrambling for ways to keep their kids entertained, distracted, and maybe even learning a thing or two.
But this also means the potential for selling your kids to the circus because you’re stressed out after being cloistered in close quarters with them for a month goes up exponentially as well…or does it? The CDC and the Department of Education have teamed up to give parents eight suggestions they think will be helpful, fun ways to keep your impulse to sell your kids to the circus when it comes to town down.
7. Teach Them the Value of Hard Manual Labor
Is your front and/or backyard an absolute jungle? Have you been meaning to take care of it for months but haven’t been able to because you’re too busy working multiple jobs just to keep food on the table? If you answered, “Yes,” to these questions, congratulations! You have a project you can foist on your kids! Teach them about hard, back-breaking manual labor and keep them out of your hair long enough that you don’t end up going ape shit and putting them on eBay with a ridiculously low Buy It Now! Bonus: your front and backyard will look spectacular, and your property values will go up!
6. Send Them To Their Teachers’ Home to Learn for the Month
Sure, they’ll be extremely pissed. Sure, their homes are certainly not equipped to handle 30+ kids for a month. And, sure, the whole point of closing school was to keep the kids and teachers from spreading it to each other, but these are desperate times. If you’re forced to spend an entire month cooped up with your kids, you might…LEARN something about each other and develop a deeper bond and connection. If that thought doesn’t scare you to the bone, then you might not actually be a parent at all. Are you sure you even have kids?
5. Challenge Them to Play the “Quiet Game” With You For the Entire Month
Playing the quiet game is super simple. You just stay quiet. Completely, totally, and utterly SILENT. That’s how you win. Whoever stays the quietest the longest wins. If your kid manages to go the entire month without saying a goddamn word, then you BOTH win. And, most importantly, they’re not headed for a life of learning how to juggle with the other clowns, or tame a lion.
4. Have Them Arrested for Something
This one will take a little bit of planning, but it might just be worth the effort. You’re going to want to frame them for a crime whose punishment is up to a month in juvenile hall, then call the cops on them. Let the justice system do the work for you! But be careful, depending on your child’s skin tone and the state you live in, they might be tried as an adult and executed. So make sure it’s a low level offense and hopefully your child will avoid too harsh a sentence. Then, once they’ve done their time and served their debt to society, they can come out, come home, and go back to school, with the outbreak of coronavirus — and the crime they didn’t commit — a fading memory.
3. You Join the Circus Instead
Is this child abandonment? Probably. Is this just shirking your responsibilities to your kids? Of course. But do you know how fun it is to swing on a trapeze? Look, maybe your kid will hate you for the rest of your life, and maybe you’ll be arrested outside the big top once the authorities find you, but what’s the alternative? Spending quality time with your kids? Ick.
2. Lock Yourself in Your Panic Room and Give Them Instructions on How to Feed and Care For Themselves Through Your Home’s Intercom System
You DO have a panic room, right? What kind of parent doesn’t have a panic room? Sure, maybe you’re not overly worried about a home invasion forcing you to seek refuge in it, but every parent should have a room they can lock themselves away from their kids in, shouldn’t they? Oh sure, we’re the assholes for suggesting you quarantine yourself from your own offspring. You’ll thank us after you build yours and spend a few weeks hunkered down away from your kids, only talking to them through your intercom to teach them how to make their own Top Ramen.
1. Invent Time Travel. Go Back In Time. Don’t Ever Have Kids.
Granted, this one requires you to invent something that can break the laws of physics. But if you manage to pull that off, you can just go back in time and not have any kids at all. That seems like the cleanest solution to all this mess, really. So, what are you waiting for?! Get to time travelling!
Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook, Spotify, and Instagram, but not Twitter because Twitter is a cesspool.