Avast Ye Mommies and Daddies!

Become “Parents of the Caribbean!”

Pirates of the Caribbean movies are a thrill-a-minute. But if you really want to add some excitement to your life, consider becoming a “Parent of the Caribbean.” That’s right: Raise your kids as pirates!

I’m not sure when the idea first came to me. It may have been one of those days when I felt like I was on the wrong end of a mutiny with my kids. Or it may have been that Saturday morning when I woke up to my kids shouting and fighting, and realized that, unknowingly, I had already raised four little buccaneers.

Now, if you ask a father, “Would ye like to raise yer wee children as pirates?” you’ll get an immediate, enthusiastic, “Aye aye!” Ask a mother the same question and you’ll get a puzzled, questioning glare.

The reason for the difference is genetic. A person’s gender is determined by the presence—or absence— of the Y chromosome. Men have the Y chromosome; women do not. Never mind a textbook lecture about genetics. All you need to know is that the “Y” in Y chromosome is short for “Why don’t we raise our kids as pirates, honey?” Men don’t have to think about the reasons for raising children as pirates because they know the great benefits of doing so. The same Y chromosome also allows men to know the answer to “Why don’t I dust the inside of the house using a leaf blower?”

Most men have likely stopped reading this article and have started converting the family minivan into a pirate schooner. Converting a minivan into a pirate schooner is such an important project for men that they would do it even if it meant they had to raise their children as rodeo clowns. (Legal disclaimer: Raising your children as rodeo clowns is an extremely bad idea, unless you want your children to grow into adults who wear heavy makeup, taunt other people and hide in barrels.)

Women have two X chromosomes instead of a X and Y chromosome. Studies show that the primary purpose of the X chromosome is to cross out— and negate— ideas created by beings who possess the Y chromosome.

Because the Y chromosome creates ideas that are difficult for women to comprehend, it isn’t immediately apparent to women why they’d want to raise their children as pirates. In fact, when men raise the topic, women usually respond with one of two statements. Either: “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard” or “Next to the time you thought it was a good idea to use the leaf blower to dust the living room, that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.”

But in a recent survey of women who had attempted to raise their children as pirates, 93 percent said they loved the idea once they tried it. One hundred percent of those surveyed still said dusting the house with a leaf blower was a stupid idea.

There are many benefits to raising kids as pirates. If your kids are already rotten, it helps you explain their behavior. Say you’re in the grocery store and your children are destroying the produce section. All you need to say to the manager is, “Arrgh! Me kids have been at sea for months and are looking for oranges to prevent the scurvy.” The produce manager will be apologizing to you, matey.

You want your children to have high self-esteem, don’t ye? Pirates have the highest self-esteem of any occupation, except the occupation of actor. But you don’t want your children to be chased by paparazzi everywhere they go. Pirates are never chased by paparazzi— unless the pirate is Johnny Depp at the opening of Pirates of the Caribbean. However, that doesn’t count because Depp’s not a real pirate.

Raising your children as pirates teaches them discipline, hard work and a colorful vocabulary. Typical household chores become exciting and fun when done the pirate way. Your children may not want to sweep the kitchen floor, but they’ll beg for the chance to swab the poop deck, even if it’s only because they can say the word “poop” without being flogged.

And young pirates are apt to listen to their parents. Though your son may not obey you when you say, “Stop fighting with your sister,” he’ll listen when you bellow, “Avast ye scurvy dog, or I’ll give ye a taste of me hook!”

But the best part is that pirates are happy, deal well with difficult circumstances and are team players. They’re financially independent and rarely live with their parents past age 18. And they love their mothers, as is often indicated by their tattoos. What more could you want for your little urchins?

Besides, when other parents hear you’re raising your children as pirates, they’ll stop asking you to volunteer at school. And replacing “family movie night” with “family terrorizing the neighbors with cannons night” is a wonderful change of pace. Divvying up booty presents good quality time with the kids. Plus, it’s fun to watch the emergency room doctor’s reaction when you say your son was injured during “a little mishap that occurred while boarding a merchant vessel that refused to surrender.”

So, what are ye waiting for, Bucko— a cannon ball through yer mizzen mast? Get your kids some eye patches, a few gold teeth and a dagger or two. Before you know it, you’ll be one big happy pirate family. And you and your spouse can use the college savings for a trip to Las Vegas.