Parenting is hard, but donkey braiding is harder.

The worst part about school starting back up again is that there are suddenly a million clubs and advanced classes and other things that make you feel like a shitty parent for pushing your kid to do them and also for not pushing your kid to do them.

I’ve been thinking about it and I believe the only viable option I have to combat the guilt that comes when another mother asks me why my child isn’t in the League of Fancy Horseback-Riding Chess Players is to just make up my imaginary own classes that Hailey is in and then not let anyone else in. Classes like “Duck Grooming” or “Teaching Dogs To Whistle” or “Intramural Sheep Dancing.”

“Oh, your 9 month old is a black belt?” I can hear myself saying. “That is adorable. We’d like to sign our child up for fun little things like that but she’s just far too busy with her Competitive Donkey Braiding. It’s very popular at Ivy League schools. You’ve never heard of it? Well, no, you probably wouldn’t have. It’s very exclusive. In fact, the first rule of Competitive Donkey Braiding is…well, I’ve already said too much.”

PS. If you’re having the same problem you can totally tell people that your kid is in Competitive Donkey Braiding and I will back you up 100%.  In fact, if there’s a party you want to avoid you can just tell people that you can’t go because we’re too busy since we’re about to go to the State championships.  Again.  WE’RE THAT GOOD.

PPS.  Yes, it is real, Susan.  Look at my shirt.  

99 replies. read them below or add one

  1. I hope the start of school goes well without the need for excessive boasting of your donkey braiding skills 😱🤣

    Like

    Gary Lum recently posted Father’s Day 2017.

  2. I need that shirt.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We don’t have donkey braiding in my part of Canada. But we DO have Competitive Synchronized Donkey Dressage…. motto “my ass is grass”. I’m forcing my kid into it this year. Yes, I’m THAT parent. But come on, the matching tutus with ones donkey is just too effing cute, y’know?

    Liked by 13 people

  4. When Marcia Brady was looking to pad her college application with extracurricular activities, she joined the Westdale Boosters. Aside from being kinda stuffy and freaking out when Peter’s volcano spewed mud on their dresses, the members of that club didn’t really seem to have any sort of agenda. If you tell the other parents that Hailey will be dedicating all of her after school time to the Boosters, people will be impressed AND they’ll have no idea what you’re talking about. Kind of a win-win.

    Liked by 2 people

    desertcurmudgeon recently posted Online Dating Or Acid Enema?.

  5. The Bloggess Pals on Facebook group have a thread for coming up with ideas of Bloggess Pal shirt ideas. They would totally laugh to see this shirt. To bad you couldn’t put Bloggess Pals somewhere on the shirt.

    Like

  6. “Bad Ass”…..heh heh

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is the kind of activity I would have excelled at in high school. I feel that I missed out…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. “Bad Ass”….heh heh

    Liked by 1 person

  9. My daughter sings constantly. We told her she had to sign up for choir and you’d have thought we’d just sentenced her to hard labor in a desert prison camp. Did I mention that she never stops singing? Now I’m just going to sign her up for stuff for my own entertainment. I wish there actually was donkey braiding – that would go well with her second obsession; YouTube videos on how to braid her hair.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. “Oh that must be the lesser club to my child’s Llama flossing. Also quite impressive on ivy league college applications but let of a chance of carpal tunnel syndrome.”

    LOL
    You crack me up!!
    By the way Llama Flossing is not a thing and neither is that imaginary child I spoke of…unless I can teach my pitbull to floss a llama…and in that case I am going to be so rich that I will officially create both clubs (fully funded, of course!)

    Liked by 5 people

    thompsonhouseblog recently posted What is Beauty?.

  11. I have questions.

    Does “donkey braiding” involve braiding three donkeys together into one mega-donkey? Or is it merely about braiding donkey tails and manes and prettying them up with ribbons? Or something else entirely that my imagination isn’t capable of?

    Liked by 9 people

  12. You can add a line on the back of the shirt: “It’s all fun and games until someone gets kicked in the face.”

    Liked by 19 people

  13. I kept reading “donkey braining” and I was like, oh this is taking a dark turn. I’m glad I finally figured it out.

    Liked by 4 people

  14. dunno about donkey braiding, but competitive camel haircuts is totally a [surprisingly, non-metaphorical] thing: http://www.boredpanda.com/camel-hair-art/

    Liked by 4 people

  15. This is how we find each other at group things… you hear someone mention their child is competing in Donkey Braiding, and you can ask, “Oh! Do you train with coach Jenni too?”

    Liked by 6 people

  16. Honestly, I would be much more interested in the Duck Grooming group. Do you know how I can find out where my local club meets? Gary the Guard Duck would be interested in being a model. Pictures available.

    Liked by 5 people

  17. Is Competitive Donkey Braiding only for kids?
    My first thought only regret about reading this post is that I don’t have kids, and therefore any way to use this written brilliance… but perhaps this could be applied to adults too?
    Like – for why I don’t get my ass to yoga. Or do team sport anything. Or jog. Or do anything someone else wants me to do…
    Jenny, there could be adult and kid CDP ass kickers, right? Please say yes. 🙂

    (There’s totally adult donkey braiding. You can’t just let those skills atrophy after you leave school. I’m getting a shirt for myself.DONKEY BRAIDERS FOR LIFE. ~ Jenny)

    Liked by 11 people

  18. My name is Susan and I know you’re talking to me.

    Liked by 5 people

  19. Donkey Braiding #justforkicks

    Liked by 9 people

  20. I love you more than I can say. 🙂

    Like

  21. Parental guilt never goes away so don’t stress about it. Making up stuff sounds very good to me though. Sign me up for a couple. I could be your beard! Yea we have so much fun….too bad you can’t come heh heh heh

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Feeling so blue. Now I feel fabulous. Thank you Jenny and all your people

    Like

  23. Reminds me of a novel I once read, in which the main character didn’t like telling people she was a writer, so she’d make up a different career every time she was asked, “So… what do you do?”

    My favorite response was, “Oh, I’m in puppet repair.”

    Someday I’ma use that.

    Liked by 7 people

    OwnLessDoMore.us recently posted 10 Ways I Stay Fit on the Road.

  24. LOL!! Btw….duck grooming is legit because the fowl have to be bathed & groomed before showing 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Underwater Basket Weaving 101 was my favorite class.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. I know someone in TX who has a donkey rescue. She’s not far from Houston and she and her husband, and the herd, came through Harvey OK. I bet she knows a thing or two about Donkey Braiding.

    Liked by 2 people

    Kelly and Geoff recently posted Does the Night King have Greensight? A theory.

  27. Look out, we got a braidass over here.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. This shirt is everything. 😍

    Like

    Shari recently posted New Article on Tuning Forks and Sound Healing.

  29. In junior high we would make up future careers like iguana rancher or scab picker. My first job out of college was at a horse farm. After a wet spell, the horses came down with rain rot. To treat it, you have to pick off the scabs and treat the skin with betadine. Yes, I was being paid to be a scab picker. Have yet to look into iguana ranching.

    Liked by 6 people

  30. Huh. And I was wasting my morning looking up pictures of cats wearing hoop skirts (as in Gone with the Wind).

    Liked by 4 people

  31. Ha! Ah, yes. Let the helicopter parenting competitions commence!!

    Liked by 1 person

    whatwouldgilliesdo recently posted Summer’s sunset.

  32. I wonder if I would have been a total asshole as a parent. I like to think, not, but it’s the unsuspecting ones who tend to be the worst. Team Donkey braiding is where I stand right now, as a non-parent, because all the cool kids are in or want to be in that fucking club.

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    the incurable dreamer recently posted dude, where’s my goat?.

  33. My youngest just turned 18, but I desperately needed this back in the day.

    Like

  34. May I suggest Underwater Basket Weaving? Best imaginary class ever.

    Liked by 1 person

    Cassie recently posted medicinal kitten.

  35. You’re competing at state levels? That’s so sweet! I wish we had stopped at State, but we bit the bullet and went on to International, which is a right biotch. The French have dominated Donkey Braiding since 1993. We’re thinking about investing in a My Little Pony next year because the more hair they have, the fewer weaves you have to add. But you already know that.

    Liked by 4 people

    becomingcliche recently posted Notes From the Zookeeper: Help!.

  36. I used to do competitive Donkey braiding but recently it’s gone so commercial. It used to be about the braiding, but now its all about lining up corporate sponsors. .

    Liked by 7 people

  37. Gosh. How I love you. Let me count the ways…nope, way too many. I am having awful anxiety and dread at the moment as part of my ‘condition’, I know you relate, it is something that can come in waves and is not necessarily predictable or rational, though lordie, folks seem to NEED to understand, but YOU always make me feel better. Even if just a crack in the dark. You are that sliver of light. Thank you. If you send me a donkey I will be yours forever. From my side of the pond to yours. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Cat currying and dog doodling. I also donlizard lunging, fish finagling, goat griping, duck dancing and chicken clucking. I have lots of animals but my daughter is grown. She can carm snakes

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

  39. 40
    fruitcakewriter

    In regard to careers, I had an artist friend who, if he didn’t feel like telling people that, told people he was a rubber spatula salesman

    Liked by 1 person

  40. I need to be better at coming up with pretend clubs for my son to be in. Because we suck at finding things that he can succeed at.

    Like

    mommatrek recently posted The Non-Existant Boat.

  41. Deer Shit Art Classes. That’s what we did when I was a kid. We went out into the bush and found Deer Shit, then took it back to the art room, stuck toothpicks in it and made Deer out of Deer Shit and sprayed it with some shellac so it would last forever. Some kids put little red dots on the Deer’s nose and called it Rudolph. One kid made a whole Nativity Scene with Deer Shit. When I took mine home to Mom she went “Ewww……what in goodness is that?” and I said “It’s Deer Shit. This is what we do in school now – play with Deer Shit.” and she threw it in the garbage. Right after she slapped me for swearing. Apparently I was supposed to call it Poop.

    Liked by 3 people

    Mrs. Completely recently posted Come Out Of The Shadows Jesus.

  42. Remember that Hailey’s on the VARSITY Competitive Donkey Braiding Team — none of this JV shit for her! 😉

    The school where I taught also had a Synchronized Spiderweb Weaving Team, but I don’t know if you want Hailey putting teeny tiny Gentle Leaders on Orb Weavers and teaching them to spell multisyllabic words in formation. PM me if you want training tricks.

    Liked by 2 people

  43. 44
    namingfragments

    I just want to warn you that Competitive Donkey Braiding can be intense at the higher levels. BecomingCliche has mentioned the false weaves, and some competitors have added weave-in braids. And the payoffs to the judges! There is a seedy underbelly to the glitz and glamour of Donkey Braiding. Just be sure that Hailey understands it’s for fun, and perhaps also the excitement of seeing your three bow sequined Donkey Braid take first prize

    If the pressure is too much, I suggest Sloth Racing, which is not as well known, but still a great learning experience.

    Liked by 2 people

  44. I kept reading donkey branding and I’m like I’m not going to hurt them but if it’s like advertising branding I’m up for it but then I realized I just can’t read 🤷🏼‍♀️

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Um isn’t she the president of the junior unicorn success club. That’s a pretty high honor.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. I love everything about this and I’m not even a parent! Can I be, like, a competitive donkey braiding groupy?

    Liked by 1 person

  47. What I really wanna know is … can a donkey braid MY hair? Trust me, it’s a challenge for me to do mine. 🐫 OKAY. I know it’s not a donkey emoji, it’s a camel. Obviously, emjohi-ing for donkeys is non hip for them.

    Like

  48. Um, even with the period after Ass. that wouldn’t fly at my school. When my now 27 year old was in second grade, her teacher nicknamed her “Special K” (obvi, her name starts with K). So, when she was in 6th grade, we found a Special K tee shirt (with the Special K logo). I got it for her, she wore it to school and I received a call saying she couldn’t wear it because it promoted drug use. Evidently “Special K” is some sort of animal sedation drug that is used in other ways. Sheesh.

    Like

  49. 50
    Pam Sowerwine

    Clearly this kind of donkey is needed for the advanced classes.
    https://www.pinterest.se/pin/330310953897016846/

    Liked by 1 person

  50. 51
    KellyK-Fielder

    Now don’t hurt your hands and wrists too much with that braiding; we want you to continue to be able to write this blog!

    Like

  51. This is beyond brilliant. I love it. You know donkey braiding would look great on college application. It would really make her stand out to the admissions board.

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  52. When I was in college, we had the International Wall Gymnastics Championships, which was way cooler than the Tiddlywinks Club.

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    Janet Coburn recently posted What’s With All the Crazies? Are They Crazy?.

  53. Well who doesn’t love donkeys

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  54. My kids are in their thirties now, but I would totally join any of those clubs! You rock, Jenny!

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  55. Love the camel hair designs. I don’t really like telling strangers on the plane or anywhere else what I do for a living so I am adding “I am a professional donkey braiding coach”, “I am in camel fur design”, and “I’m a duck groomer” to my personal repertoire. I have been known to say “I grade piano wires”, and “I re-hair bows”, although the latter in a way doesn’t count because I actually did spend almost three years being a bow re-hairer. So it’s real. But since no one knows what that means, it usually works to stop the questions.

    Like

  56. I really need to see a camel hair contest,and I want that T-shirt.

    Liked by 1 person

  57. You come up with the best ideas! Competitive Donkey Braiding… I don’t think we have many donkeys around here, but we have lizards for miles, so maybe competitive lizard-tail braiding?

    Like

  58. I’m buying that shirt IMMEDIATELY.

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    Awkwardly Alive recently posted Just doin’ my job, sir..

  59. I’m all in. Sign my kids up.

    Like

  60. My Ghod, woman, you’ve cut to the heart of clubs! As a sponsor of a High School club in “one of the best schools in the country”, I must demand Student Activities add Competetive Donkey Braiding!

    Like

  61. There is always Fainting in coils. As well as Laughing and Grief.

    Like

  62. Oh man…I’m that mom too! Wish i would have thought of these. Kids are old enough to sign up and drive to all the activities…like donkey dressage. 😲😊👾

    Like

  63. I REALLY REALLY wish you lived next door to me!! (I was gonna say worked in my office, but then I really would never get any work done)

    Like

  64. I am good being a shitty parent. I embrace my shittiness

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  65. We had to pull my daughter out of donkey braiding this year. It’s just too competitive in our area.

    Liked by 2 people

  66. 😂😂😂😂😂

    Like

  67. Damn! I really want to be the State Champion of Donkey Braiding. Forget the kids! Sign me up!

    Liked by 1 person

  68. Done gone and bought one 🙂

    Like

  69. Thank you Jenny for Donkey Braiding and to Pam Sowerwine for the Poitou donkey. Wonder how many of us saved that pin?

    Like

  70. Hilarious today! Competitive Donkey Braiding. Reminds me of some little shit who asked what kind of majors we had at Pepperdine and before I could answer he said “Underwater Basket Weaving?”

    Asshole.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Liked by 2 people

  71. What if there aren’t any donkeys in the area? Can we use goats?

    Liked by 1 person

    Tanya Goffy recently posted August Wrap-Up.

  72. Donkeys! Donkey braiding! Cracker dressage! 😂

    Like

  73. […] Parenting is hard, but donkey braiding is harder. | The Bloggess I may have offered infinity internet points to the 1st person who cornrows a donkey…yup that […]

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  74. I know this is supposed to be the kind of conversation to have on twitter but my twitter is locked and is a display photo of a headless hot body – that’s confusing – but the point is I thought you would like this and you should look at this if you have not https://storify.com/moby_dickhead/dear-david | P.s. he is still updating this in real time on his twitter

    (I’ve been loving watching this story. ~ Jenny)

    Like

  75. I like telling people I am a shepherdess. I even put it on my IRS form. The reality is that I own 12 sheep and have to round them up sometimes but mostly just watch them out the window. It’s pretty relaxing work most days. Except when the sheep are naughty.

    Like

  76. I went to one of them Fancy Schools. The secret to my success? DONKEY BRAIDING.

    Like

  77. Pleeease add children-sized tshirts with this logo! I showed my husband your post and his reaction was “OMG we have to buy one in a childs size and put it on our daughter!”

    (You can switch the the t-shirt to any type you want. Where it says “style” you can choose kids or mens or whatever you want with the same logo. 🙂 ~ Jenny)

    Like

  78. Things must have gotten way different from when I was in elementary/middle school, yikes. I did absolutely zero after-school activities until I reached high school (and only then in eleventh and twelfth grade: Scholar’s Bowl). My sister did marching band in high school, but nothing in elementary school. My mom probably didn’t hang around with the crazy PTO moms who were all about “JIMMY NEEDS 3.2 MILLION EXTRACURRICULARS SO HE CAN MAKE IT TO HARVARD!”

    I like your plan 😉

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  79. intramural sheep dancing can get very BAAAWDY.

    just braying. i mean saying.

    Like

  80. If Carol finds out where the Iguana Ranching takes place, please tell her to contact me. My childhood skills are not up to snuff. Iguana Ranchers, where the leather meets the road.

    Like

  81. I am seriously considering getting this shirt, because I am so tired of the family asking why Zoe isn’t in Girls on the Run this year. Because they don’t offer it Barbara. They offer Donkey Braiding instead and she’s kicking ass at it.

    Like

  82. 83
    Tracey the Rat Lover

    Donkey Braiding. Thus should be a thing.

    Like

  83. My kids do one thing at a time and I still feel guilty when they ask why we took the summer off from doing any sports…..KIDS, IT’S SUMMER!

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    onegirlbreathing recently posted Race Report – Apple Festival 8k.

  84. I love the small print. “Bad Ass.”
    I love your brain. ie how you think, No, I’m not a zombie!

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  85. Winner! My kids, 10 and 13, are signed up for NOTHING extracurricular. They have no interest. I am so thrilled I have to drive no one to such-and-such away something-or-other.

    Like

  86. I just sent my 15 yr old your blog link, and told her I was signing her up for competitive donkey braiding. I’m wondering what will happen….

    Like

  87. I never had my kid do most of those things. It was too exhausting to consider, I didn’t want to have to engage w/ other mothers (I always did — and still do — feel like a freak when I’m around them.) Then there was nothing she was aching to do so I thought: fuck it. I’m not going to push it. She’s heading into her senior year at high school tomorrow and I still don’t regret that. She had actual free time in her life, down time, day dreaming time. I think all those things are seriously under-rated. (Or, at least, that’s how I justified it all…)

    Like

  88. I am SO glad I am not alone in the guilt. I never know what I should do with my kids. Looks like Donkey Braiding is calling our names!

    Like

  89. In college several of my friends participated in Ballet for the Terminally Strange. Best part: no recitals.

    Like

  90. This is hilarious. More and more it seems like parenting in itself is a competitive sport. Maybe I’ll take up Donkey Braiding.

    Like

  91. Iguanas are good eating… they’re raised for meat in Central&South America, and we had some on honeymoon in Aruba.
    Tastes like chicken…but you can raise MANY more iguanas per acre than you can chickens, AND it’s most effective when you keep the native rainforest….so some environmental groups are helping small farmers start up iguana-raising operations. Raise a threatened species so you can eat some and release some.

    Like

  92. OMG! This made me laugh so hard! I am not a parent but that doesn’t stop people from doing the same thing to me. In fact, for me, it likely feels even worse because most of them know I’m not a parent due to infertility. So it also stings a little bit. I do reply with a little pet parent bragging. I mean, my boy is very smart and I have taught him tons of tricks. Ya think they will fall for it if I tell them my fur baby is competing in Donkey Braiding?? I’m totally trying it next time!

    Like

  93. This is hilarious! I’ve dealt with people thinking I “push” my kids into too much, but the thing is they’d never try anything if I didn’t push them a little. Plus, they’re MY kids and we mothers have to remember we’re doing the best we can and no one knows our children the way we do……. and oh yeah…..who gives a s*+! what other people think. 🙂

    Like

  94. I’m a CHAMPION at donkey braiding! In fact, I only became an accountant to support my habit.

    Like

  95. Okay these are some seriously funny comments right up in here.

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    Beck recently posted Love Is All Around & Mary Tyler Moore.

  96. I love this.
    …I assume we braid the tails, and not the whole donkey? I’d better take a class.

    Like

  97. I. NEED. THAT. SHIRT.
    Thank you for making me laugh.

    Like

  98. I can’t wait to try this with my sister’s donkeys. I mean, I got to paint Assbutt on one of them this summer. I never thought I could top that, but…..

    Like

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