If My Kids Wrote a Tour Rider

Brooke Kwatny Kravitz Stay at Home Parent

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Kids can be demanding. Finicky. Downright irrational in their requests. Quite frankly, not unlike rock stars in their insistence on particular things that they absolutely MUST HAVE, lest all hell break loose. If my kids had their way, they would hand me a rider that would rival Van Halen’s. I think it would go a little something like this (all apologies to Dave Grohl, author of the most entertaining rider in the history of rock):

The following sets forth the non-negotiable contractual requirements of _____ (collectively “The Children”) for the duration of their childhood:

  1. All nail clippers must be removed from premises. If you cut our nails, how are we going to dig out our boogers?
  2. 25 boxes of tissues. Actually, scratch that, we’ll just use your shirt.
  3. 250,000 cups. Because we love water.  Lots and lots of water. We love drinking water and leaving it in cups all over the house.  And no matter how many cups of water we have strewn about the premises, we will still wake you up in the middle of the night and tell you we are thirsty.  
  4. Songs played on car rides shall be performed by persons no older than 3 times the age of the oldest child in the car. The driver and any adult passengers must refrain from any singing whatsoever. That includes mouthing words or hand motions. As such, if you are old enough to buy liquor, you may not Whip or Nae Nae.
  5. 4 rulers, 5 measuring tapes, 2 protractors and an abacus. Because if you give us each something, you better make sure they are precisely equal in size.  
  6. 125 boxes of neon orange mac and cheese. We don’t care how it gets orange, just know that “organic white cheddar” is not an acceptable flavor.  
  7. 50 bottles of ketchup. To make your disappointing dinners more pleasing to our discriminating palates.
  8. 600 bags of cheddar Goldfish. Because goldfish are not only a delicious snack that will fill us up so we aren’t hungry for whatever meals you “cook”, this doubles as a beautiful garnish for the interior of your car.
  9. 8 pounds of raw broccoli: hahahaha just seeing if you are really reading this
  10. Crusts shall be removed from all sandwiches and toast. If the crusts are not removed from toast, we are not responsible for the voluminous quantities of crumbs that you will see under our chairs, as we will tear that shit right off.  
  11. No herbs of any kind shall be brought within 40 feet of The Children. We don’t know why we have to even bring this up. We prefer our mac and cheese to glow in the dark, do you think we care if our pizza has flavor or not?  Under no circumstances shall any form of herbs touch our food.
  12. Chicken shall be served for dinner at least 5 nights a week. Child 1 requires chicken to be in nugget form and served with a shaker of parmesan cheese (any brand, as long as it is in a can). Child 2 requires chicken to be sans breading, not touching any other food and served with a blue Elsa fork (substitution of other Disney characters is not permissible).   
  13. No coats are permitted on premises. The Children do not believe in coats, and do not feel this alleged “cold” that adults continuously reference. Under no circumstances should adults reference garments to be worn if the temperature dips below a certain number.  
  14. All tags must be removed from all clothing. They itch. Besides, we don’t care if our shirts are on backwards.
  15. Two plungers. This is not for us, it’s for you. We like to experiment with what can be flushed, and what can’t. You’re going to be so amazed when you see how far a Matchbox car can travel through plumbing.
  16. Bedtime. Yes, we know that this is a sore subject. We can smell your fear. The following tasks must be undertaken for all children under the age of 10 to ensure we fall asleep within 3 hours of our projected bedtime.

          a. Bunk beds, one per child. Because we each need to sleep on the top bunk.

         b. Closets, bathtubs and the area beneath beds shall be searched for monsters 3 times before the lights are turned off. Monster spray is recommended to thwart repeat checks.  

         c.  Once each child is in their bed, the Preferred Parent of the Week (determined each Sunday evening, subject to change without notice) shall read 2 stories to the children. Don’t play cute by trying to read those little board books. War and Peace will do. We’re onto you.

         d. Each child shall be supplied with a glass of water (see #3). However, note that we will not descend the bunk bed during the night to drink the water, so you will be making some return trips.

         e. Child 2 requires a parent to hold her hand until she falls asleep. No, you cannot reach her hand while you are lying in the bottom bunk, so comfortable footwear is suggested.

         f. Child 1 requires a radio to be tuned to a sports channel for the duration of the night, and needs complete darkness. Child 2 requires silence to fall asleep, as well as a nightlight. You’re the so called experts, you figure it out.

         g. Your bed. It doesn’t matter how big or small it is, or how comfy ours is, we just want whatever you are sleeping in, and we’ll eventually oust you. So you probably want to put some extra blankets on those bottom bunks.

Special provisions for any children upon reaching age 12 (herienafter “The Tween”): Under no circumstances shall the parents speak to, or make contact with The Tween outside of the house. When within eyesight of The Tween’s friends, or within a 2 block radius of The Tween’s school, all physical and verbal contact with The Tween shall cease immediately.

Children hereby reserve the right to change any of the above terms, conditions and demands without warning.


I hereby declare and affirm to uphold and obey all terms herein.


___________                      ________________

Date                                 The Parent


About the Author

Brooke Kwatny Kravitz

Brooke is a wife, mom and attorney. Her hobbies include over-caffeinating herself, cursing and decorating her pretend beach house on Pinterest. When she can remember, she tweets at .

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