Bethany Sanders: This is "the strongest visual birth control on the market today," jokes the tag line for the newest Internet sensation, "Sh*t My Kids Ruined." The site is striking a chord with parents who've watched some of their most prized possessions go the way of the garbage can after sticky little fingers found them ... and then ruined them.
SMKR, the anonymous New York-area stay-at-home mom who created the Tumblr site, says she just needed a fun and silly way to blow off steam. She told me via e-mail that her kids, ages 2 and 4, have "ruined a ton of sh*t."
"A couple of incidents have been willful, but most of the ruined sh*t was inadvertent on their part," SMKR wrote. "Back in March, my 2-year-old spilled a quart of black paint in our dining room in an attempt to "help" me with a project. I started the site the next day in an effort to turn my frustration into an opportunity to laugh and commiserate with some buddies."
"Sh*t My Kids Ruined" is meant to be a completely affectionate tribute to those moments when you hear a crash in the other room and then silence, and the first thought in your head is, "What NOW?!" One mom writes of her toddler, "Little did I know she was peeing on the couch while I took this photo." Another mom has posted a picture of the new "artwork" on her ruined white-leather couch. The caption? "Permanent marker, Clearasil zit cream and nail polish. We're so proud."
When I was 9, I lifted up my grandma's chest-freezer to hunt for a Popsicle, completely ignoring the huge watermelon that was sitting on top of it until it rolled away and crashed through a window. My grandma quietly shook her head and cleaned up the glass, then returned the allowance money I sent her a week later with a note that simply said, "I love you." That's the tone that SMKR is taking with her site. She knows that kids are impulsive and do outrageous things to our sh*t, but that we love them anyway.
The site is not all iPods (my kids aren't allowed within 10 feet of mine) and broken dishes, though. Some parents are making a bigger statement about the changes parenthood brings by posting images of stretch-mark-covered bellies and saggy breasts, while others point out that their kids ruined their financial stability, their social life and their ability to go on vacation.
There's a line in the Louden Wainwright III song "Daughter" that says, "Everything she takes she takes apart." Something tells me Wainwright has more than a few pictures she could post on "Shi*t My Kids Ruined."
What's the worst thing your kid ever ruined?