I wouldn’t have blamed my neighbors for calling the police if they were alarmed at hearing me yell so loudly at my daughters last night. To put it mildly, I raged like a lunatic. (Although in my defense, I was dealing with two Tasmanian devils.) Child A took Child B’s most special doll, prompting Child B to push Child A, which then resulted in Child A pinching Child B’s butt, at which time Child B swatted Child A down to the ground. Tears were streaming, noses were running, bloody murder was being attempted. It was anarchy.
Parent Zero (who was me) could have done many things at that moment — including quietly separating the girls to let them cool down and then talking calmly afterwards about the importance of sharing, being kind, and respecting personal space. However, I opted instead to scream like Janet Leigh showering at the Bates Motel.
I’m fine with that. I own my parenting style. It’s not perfect, but it (usually) comes from a good place. That being said, if reality TV cameras, a reporter from US Weekly or TMZ photographers were tracking my every parenting move, there’s no question someone would send Supernanny to my house, or have me star on I’m a Bad Mom, Get Me Out of Here (assuming such a show exists, because, why not).
Poor Neil Patrick Harris. Dude just wanted to go somewhere with his 4-year-old twins recently when one of them had the audacity to meltdown in the presence of a paparazzo.
Neil Patrick Harris Caught On Camera Turning Into ‘Daddy From Hell‘ reads the headline on Radar Online.
There’s not a whole lot of substance to the story — but there are a whole lot of pictures. Of a crying child. Of a very, very mean looking Neil Patrick Harris. More crying. More mean looks.
“On a recent cold New York morning, Neil Patrick Harris is snapped in the midst of a temper tantrum directed at his adorable 4-year-old twins,” read the caption to one of the photos. (Because the story wouldn’t be as juicy if the kids weren’t adorable while being yelled at by their dad. Let’s face it: ugly kids just don’t deserve that much sympathy.)
“His face contorted in anger, the ‘How I Met Your Mother’ star is seen manhandling his son, Gideon, taking the toddler by one arm down a steep set of icy cement steps!” was the caption to another. (By the arm?! Down stairs?! With ice?! And cement?!)
“One spectator told RadarOnline.com: ‘I was scared for the poor little boy because of the way Neil was acting — it was completely out of character. He had turned into the daddy from hell!'” it said in another caption. (Out of character for whom? An Oscar host? Doogie Howser?)
“Once on the sidewalk, Harris — carrying a shopping bag and holding a coffee — quickly began walking down the street, leaving both children behind!” was the caption showing a heartless Harris walking away from his weeping child. (OH. MY. GOD. Who does that? Drinks coffee and holds bags while with children?! The horrors! And no other parent in history has ever feigned leaving without their children. Gawd, NPH. Way to send your kids to straight into therapy.)
“’Gideon was still crying, but Neil didn’t seem to care,’ an onlooker told Radar.” (WHAT? You mean there are parents who don’t wipe their children’s every crocodile tear? What kind of world do we live in?)
But the best caption has to be this: “Without his husband or a nanny present, the entertainer appeared to be getting Gideon and Harper off to school — but the star suffered a meltdown, and onlookers said they were horrified by his ‘outrageous’ parental behavior!”
YES! IT MUST BE THE PARENT SUFFERING THE MELTDOWN. Because 4-year-olds are usually angels when you’re trying to get them out the door to go to school in the morning. And Neil Patrick Harris must not really be a big star if his team doesn’t “handle” his kids. Quick — someone revoke his A-list status.
Put a camera on most every parent, and without context, you could have a field day wagging a judgmental finger at situations about which you know nothing. Put a camera on a celebrity whose kids are being kids, though? While it’s hard to pity the rich and famous for problems associated with being rich and famous, it’s surprisingly easy to commiserate with another mom or dad, no matter who they are or what they have.
Regardless of the size of your bank account and the scope of your fan base, at some point your kids will lose it and so will you. Kids have this funny way of not caring at all if you’re a big star or the guy at home whose job it is to get the plunger when the toilet gets clogged. The only difference is some kids’ meltdowns are in the produce aisle at the grocery store and no one notices or cares, except maybe the produce manager — and the others happen to Neil Patrick Harris. No one is making commercials advertising it, but sometimes membership in the non-rich-and-famous club has its privileges.