How to be a very bad cool parent in 10 easy steps

1. Promise your kids you'll take them to an amusement park all summer, but don't do it. Because you're horrible parents, that's why.

2. Take them to a Fright Night thing like Six Flags parks do. Make sure it's one who's website cautions, "Not recommended for ages 12 & under, Seniors 65+, people with sensitivity to strobe lighting, people with high blood pressure, pregnant women or scaredy cats." Make sure they hear the sales lady, the neighbors and the parking attendant say, "You're taking them there?" Take them anyway.

3. Talk it up so much that by the time they hit the main gates, the kids are scared to death.

3. Do easy things first, like the Super Scary Maze of Doom and the swings.


Get their defenses down.

4. Walk them past all the Haunted Houses in the park. Try to drag them in, because you LOVE the Haunted Houses. When they refuse, take them on the whip-you-around-in-a-circle-going-3-bazillion-miles-an-hour rides. (NOTE: if your child is just barely tall enough to ride the ride, he is also just barely short enough to almost slip through he guard rail, and it's really hard to take a good picture going 3 bazillion MPH.


5. If it's your kids' first time being tall enough to ride rides, take them on this first.


The Hellevator. It's that slingshot thing where they shoot you up to the outer layer of the Earth's atmosphere and then pull you down again. Say goodbye to 3/5 of your family, who you are sure were all about to die a fast and fiery death, and hold your breath. Make sure you hold their hand reassuringly when they say to you from 5 miles up in the air, "Dad, I don't think I can do this."


6. Now that they have the cheat-death buzz, take them on roller coasters. Take them on every one they're tall enough for. And maybe one or two they're not quite tall enough for. It's almost more fun if you're trying to hold your kid down in a seat. Once they get this look on their face...


...you know they're hooked.

7. Smile and console when your son, at about this point, confesses that he peed his pants a little on the Hellevator.

8. Find something, anything, called Baywatch, and ride it.


No man can resist Baywatch. Ride that thing over and over again. Let it spin you and whip you around until you remember A)what you had for lunch and B)your chiropractor's number.


9. Meanwhile, the other parent should be walking the toddler around the park. Make sure your baby knows what scary is. "SCARY! Momma, no SCARY!" Watch as the toddler figures out that Scary isn't going to bother her if she looked at Scary (man in Texas Chain Saw/Demon costume) and says, "Bye Bye Scary!" in her really really cute voice. Your toddler is brutally smart, that one.

10. Do ALL of this on a school night. Get them to bed 2 hours past bedtime.


The very next night, also a school night, let them stay up until midnight so they can watch the (expletive expletive) ROCKIES WIN THE PENNANT!