10/01/2013 04:59 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Government Shut Down -- Parents Can Too!

Look, I understand the frustration my fellow Americans may feel about today's federal government shutdown. Truly, I do. I mean, we pay well over 1/3 of our income to taxes, too, and, you know, we'd very much like to see that money used to Keep Doing Stuff, to use the technical, political term.

However, I'd like to take just a few minutes to stop all the doomsday talk and take a deep breath together and look on the bright side.

The bright side!

Because as I dashed around the house in my sexy, threadbare university logo nightshirt circa 1991 trying (and failing) to find the checkbook that represents our depleted account so I could pay for another school picture day, and trying (and failing) to find clean clothes for kids to wear in said pictures, and trying (and failing) to find my car keys, and trying (and failing) to find my pants, I realized the federal government is onto something.

I mean, let's be honest; the signs have been around for a LONG time, right? Years and years and years of the federal government and I trying (and failing) to keep our crap together.

Which is why today, in solidarity, I've decided to join my government and shut down.

I'm so excited! I didn't even know we could do this!

The governing bodies in our household can't ever decide on a budget, either! And we practically invented operating on an increasing deficit with no end in sight. And, just like our government, I have no reasonable plan to fund things like higher education for my children.

So, I've come to the obvious solution.

I'm shutting this hot mess down. HOORAY!

Like the federal government, I'll be spending the day dividing services into essential and nonessential categories. And, like the federal government, I'll retain all essential workers (read: children) but without pay. Allowances? FROZEN. Work? STILL REQUIRED.

Here's where we'll use a (grossly simplified) government list of what's essential to inform our own. Essential services still provided during this shut down include:

  1. All personnel and services that provide for the the safety of life and property. Except, in our case, minus the safety of property, because we haven't been good at that for years.
  2. Air traffic control. I'll still totally holler at my kids to quit throwing stuff.
  3. Emergency medical care using our usual rule of thumb: real sympathy requires real blood.
  4. Federal prisons. Read: The Time-Out Chair, which is about as cushy a sitch as the Federal Pens in that there are all the books you can read, access to television and people who can be bribed to smuggle in snacks.
  5. Law enforcement, as much as can be provided by your chief law enforcement officer, who will be in the bathtub with a vampire novel and a glass of wine.
  6. Disaster assistance where "disaster" is defined as widespread flood damage, blood damage or anything to do with smeared poop.
  7. Overseeing the banking system where "oversight" is limited mostly to sighing and shaking my head.
  8. Operating the power grid. As in, How many times do I have to tell you to turn off the lights when you leave the room?

So. What is non-essential?

Basically, everything else.

Laundry? Non-essential.

Making dinner? Non-essential.

Finding pants? Non-essential.

Wearing pants? Non-essential.

Homework help? Extra, extra non-essential.

Like the federal goverment, I expect our shutdown is going to be effective and nonchaotic for approximately 45 minutes. But that 45 minutes is going to be RAD.

beth woolsey

Beth Woolsey is the humorist behind the Five Kids is a Lot of Kids blog where she writes about pee and sometimes things that matter. You can also find Beth on Facebook.