I've always been a people watcher; it's a hobby of mine. I like to study human behaviors and personalities.
I also enjoy playing a game of bingo.
I present to you: PARENT BINGO (patent pending): the game you never knew you needed and now forevermore will never be able to live without.
If you find yourself stuck at a basketball game, livestock show, little league game or junior rodeo, feel free to now whip out your bingo card and have a little giggle while your kiddos play. Chances are, it will help lighten everyone's mood in a world that is becoming far too serious these days.
Like traditional bingo, please mark your cards when you identify a parent that fits a particular description, either with an X or bingo chip. If a parent in your vicinity happens to exhibit more than one behavior at a time, please choose only one behavior. That parent cannot be used again for a minimum of 20 minutes in order to allow other players a fighting chance.
Below is a non-alphabetized glossary of terms to assist you, as well as 30 randomized bingo cards and one master calling card. Be advised, this list is by no means exhaustive, rather, it only highlights many common parenting personalities. New editions of PARENT BINGO with highly specialized categories are currently in testing phases with our research and development team.
- 5 o'clocker: Knows that it is five o'clock somewhere... like Tibet. Who cares that they are eight time zones away?
- Chihuahua: A little too high strung, tends to be incredibly jumpy and skittish. Be careful with loud noises around these.
- SUPER Busy: Spends most of their time telling you how SUPER busy they are, because they are SUPER. Spends most of their time in meetings on a phone, checking email or not paying attention. You know, because they are SUPER, SUPER BUSY.
- "For The Kids": Their mouth professes that everything is "for the kids" but their actions leave you scratching your head.
- The Jolly One: Always smiling, always giggling. No reason needed. Often the comedic relief of the group.
- Hot/Cold: These parents go from Mother Teresa to nuclear warfare in the blink of an eye.
- Chicken Little: Their life was forever ruined because the piano was out of tune during a talent competition in 1980; their child's life is now ruined by a missed shot/red ribbon/foul ball, etc.
- Headless Chicken: The parent that constantly runs around like a chicken with their head cut off. Missing ball point pen? Someone alert the president.
- Intensity: Don't talk while their child is performing. Don't blink; don't breathe. We will win and we will win at all costs, even if it kills us. (This generally means that everyone in the vicinity wants to inflict harm upon YOU.)
- Gloater: A cross between "For the kids" and Intensity. They may smile and say something like "bless your heart" but then follow it up with "you tried but we just did better!" This is often followed up by a cheerful "Maybe next year!"
- Living Vicariously: This parent had aspirations of becoming the next Troy Aikman but fell just a little short. As a result, their child has been in football pads and a helmet since birth.
- Space Cadet: They show up to events but forget the major accessories (i.e., going to a baseball game with no glove). Common phrases often include "that was today?" or "can I give it to you later?" or "is it really necessary?".
- Rules, but...: The rules apply to everyone, all the time. Except this one time for my kid.
- Babysitter: They enroll their kids in extra-curricular activities just so someone else will watch them for a few more hours.
- Scheduler: Practice must end by 5:01 because we must all be across town for piano lessons at 5:07 and then off to ball practice at 6:15 before tutoring at 7:30.
- Social Media Maven: Every waking minute of their child's life is documented on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and the family blog (yes, I see the irony there and trust me, that's why I try to only update once a week).
- Old School: They sit back and watch as their kids' earn some bumps and bruises. Common phrases include "when I was your age" and "it builds character".
- Cool Mom: For reasons unknown, they try reeeeeally hard to be liked by a gaggle of 10-15 year olds. Their verbiage includes words that no one else understands, like fleek, bae and bish.
- Perfect Parent: This is a unicorn. It does not exist. If you mark this space on your bingo card you are lying.
- The Complainer: Nothing is ever good enough and everyone around them is stupid.
- The Thinker: They know everything - just ask them. All of the world's problems could be solved if you had just asked them.