How to Sell Your Child to the Gypsies

It’s important to be aware that there are procedures here that will ensure a smooth transaction as well as top dollar when it comes to finally selling your kids to a troupe of musically oriented nomadic Romanians. A haphazard approach to child sellage compromises the satisfaction of the exchange, both from a return-on-investment standpoint and in the personal sense of a job well done.

Because really, what did you HAVE the kids for if not to provide for you?

And why wait until you are old and the kids are picking your nursing home? You don’t really want to do it that way.  By then they’ll have power of attorney and they WILL remember that time you grounded them for cat frisbee.

So it’s really better to get what you can for them NOW, before they can legally move out and/or vote for legislation that might hamper this process further.

Step 1:
Appearance. Yes, as shallow as it sounds, how your children look will affect the price they fetch. It’s important that they look clean, but not entitled. Well fed but not greedy. Humble but not downtrodden. The band of gypsies in question is going to consider the manner in which your child will enhance the presentation of the caravan. Adorning a hoodie with ribbons is a good embellishment, as are bells on the Converse tennies.

Step 2:
Abilities. You need to think ahead for this one. As handy as it might seem to teach your children skills that make YOUR household run more smoothly,  let’s face it, they’re not going to do those things ANYWAY. You will get a better yield, kid-to-gold-wise, if you teach them things that your typical traveling gypsy population will need. Camel grooming is always a good one, as is wagon-wheel fixing. More creative children can learn fire juggling and advanced tambourining skills.

Step 3:
Timing. This one is important! As tempting as it is – and it will be soooooo tempting – do NOT try to enter into negotiations for the sale of children immediately after you have discovered an iPod in the peanut butter or a freshly shaved chihuahua. You will NOT do your best haggling at this time! You will find yourself offering to PAY the gypsies to take them, and in your desperation you might even consider throwing in one of the family cars and/or DVD players to sweeten the deal.

People have asked me, “Lori, how do I know when my kids are ready for selling?”

The answer is both complex and multi-factorial (and those are totally DIFFERENT things). The formula is this: divide your child’s age by the number of times you have to remind them to put the seat down on the toilet (for boy children) or unplug their flat-iron (mostly for girl children but not always). Multiply the quotient by the number of weekly refrigerator re-stockings and then add the number of days you have needed to prepare scale model replicas of historical sites in the hour before the first period bell rings at school.

If the answer to that is >1, the time is now.

And if you have at any time in your child’s life needed to utter the words, “I’m really sorry, I’ll make sure to get your son’s underwear back to him by tomorrow” to another parent, the time is yesterday.

Happy bartering!



  1. Hmmm…I’ll bookmark this for future reference. Mine are still at that “cute” stage where…just when I’m ready to call my handy dandy broker, they say something sweet and adorable like, “I love you, Mommy.”

    I’m thinking they’re too smart by half.

  2. Haha.
    So do the gypsies give more for kids than the circus?
    Because, you know… I wanna get the biggest bang for my buck.

  3. I love your bubbles and love your advice. Is there a certain age that is better to sell at? Maybe a formula for the high tech devices they covet….ex: “I am the only kid in middle school that doesn’t have an iPhone.” I am mad and the gypsies just may get them for free.

  4. Lol! Did you happen to hear today that Romania’s witches and fortune tellers and the like are now going to have to pay taxes? I wonder if gypsies are in the bunch, too. I may have to put the kids through a crash course in tax law before showing up at the bartering table…

  5. Thank you for this extremely useful post. I shall turn to it whenever I feel desperate. Like now, with my son playing his electronic game loudly in my bed before 7am.

  6. Mommy’s always threatening to list me on craigslist, but your plan is much more well thought out; she’s going to sign me up for trapeze lessons and negotiate with the circus…

  7. ROTFLMAO!!!

    I remember very clearly my mother saying to me once, through clenched teeth, that if I didn’t get a move on she was going to sell me to the first band of Gypsies that rolled through town. I can’t remember what exactly I was supposed to be doing (I was about 2nd grade age), but I was dragging my feet and holding up the works somehow. Poor Mom, she’d just reached the end of her rope that day!

    Great post!

  8. What if there are no known gypsies in the area? Do you think I should travel to a gypsy-full area?

    Or would the local circus be a better option? I see that the Big Apple Circus is in town, and I think they have elephants. So although they can’t pick up their g-damned socks, I’m confident that a large burly carnie could teach them how to pick up after an elephant.

    I’m going to go look in the newspaper, or maybe check Craig’s List, under “gypsies.” Because my number is WAAAAAY more than ” >1 “.

  9. It saddens me deeply that you have to put a disclaimer on this.
    When did the world abandon its common sense?


    The time is yesterday, apparently. He started young.

    1. Hee…

      The disclaimer is its own joke.

      I don’t think most people will miss the joke part (at least, who have EVER read me before.)

      But there was a run of my humor posts being linked to “How To” and “Instructional” sites.

      Including one piece on how to keep cats from using your garden as a litter box linking to an illustrated post of mine where I showed how I could launch my cat at my annoyingly perfect neighbor.

      So now I worry that any time I write anything that someone is going to link it somewhere as an instruction manual.

      I don’t need that kind of worry.

  10. ‘They look clean, but not entitled’ has actually been a personal motto for me for years. In case my kids dont sell, I can always run away with the caravan myself.

  11. I left part of a step out! That’s why the gypsies didn’t want my children. There were no bells! BELLS are key!!

    Also, I’m LMAO a little due to the fact there are people in this world who actually NEED the disclaimer at the end of your post.

  12. Thank God for you Lori! I was just Googling “how to sell your child to the gypsies” last night and couldn’t find anything!!

    Your disclosure is the best.

    1. Googling that is how I came upon this blog today. I had been trying to give them away for free on fb when it dawned on me that there may be another way. I shared this link, so if it goes viral y’all know who to thank.

  13. snort.

    “People have asked me, when is it time to sell my children.” > my fave part.

    The only thing this needs? a nice Paint diagram for the formula.

    And I may kindly steal your disclaimer for my next post so I can avoid yesterday’s trouble.

  14. Boy – its a good thing I read all the way through or I might have tried this at home – seeing as my child just about made my eardrums bleed this morning! Five is worse that two.

  15. Omg ROFL especially at the disclaimer.

    This is great. I should pass it on to my brothers and sisters who still have kids at home.

  16. This was one of the funniest, most laugh-out-loud things I’ve read this morning, and believe me, I’ve wasted a lot of time on blogs today:)
    Most people don’t know the rules for selling children to gypsies, so you are definitely giving some much needed advice.
    I know you said I couldn’t link it to “fly fishing” but could I link it to “rules of etiquette for foreign exchange students?”

  17. Very funny. Reminds me of Johnathon Swift’s A Modest Proposal (his answer to the irish famine) in 1729. I’m just waiting for the gypsies to roll through to negotiate on my eldest.

  18. Alas, I have waited too long. My children have now left home. And I shall be at their mercy when it comes to nursing homes. Must send bigger gifts at Christmas!
    Such a fun post, Lori. And I have to admit there were many times I wondered what they would fetch!

  19. You need a disclaimer at the beginning: don’t drink and read.
    I just spewed Coke (the carbonated beverage, not the recreational drug) through my nose.

  20. The first sentence of this post is beyond amazing. I think my time for selling is upon me, Lori. Answer me this: where is the closest band of gypsies? Should I just wait in the Safeway parking lot?

    1. I hear Safeway parking lots are where all the quality gypsy troupes hang out.

      And of course we only want the best for our kids.

  21. My dad was almost stolen by gypsies as a wee lad.
    I did not find this amusing*.
    Not one iota**.

    *Do I need a disclaimer or do we all know I jest?
    **What the h-e-double hockey sticks is an IOTA, please tackle in next post

    PS I’m sorry about the Santa bubble bursting, can we still be friends?

    1. My dad was almost stolen by gypsies as a wee lad.
      I did not find this amusing*.
      Not one iota**.

      *Do I need a disclaimer or do we all know I jest?
      **What the h-e-double hockey sticks is an IOTA, please tackle in next post

      PS I’m sorry about the Santa bubble bursting, can we still be friends?

      I’m glad I googled “how can I sell my kids to the circus”. Now I know how. I think an iota is the dot on top of the letter i. (Spanish for j is jota, and a jot is also another way of saying iota).

  22. LOVE.

    My Romanian friends looked at me in shock when I told them my parents used this threat on me all the time. Their response? “They say that here, too???”

    Seriously, they were in disbelief!

  23. My mom used to tell me and my siblings that she bought us from the gypsies. If we didn’t behave she’d threaten to go find the receipt and take us back. I always wondered how much she paid… I’m sure I was very expensive!

  24. Did you say “sellage”? Because I can totally get behind sellage when it comes to my children.

    Do you think it’s odd people always ask you about sellage to the gypsies, by the way? I mean, do you just have that expert look about you or what? Is it the ribbons on the hoodies that give you away?

  25. Dang… why did I not thing of the gypsies?!

    We often remind them that we have a Harry Potter bedroom under the stairs…. they are young… we are starting them early with the fear of the Harry Potter bedroom!! =)

    once again.. I laugh… and laugh… why why do I not visit daily?! =)

  26. I think you have more disclaimers than anyone I’ve ever seen!

    Camel-grooming is good, but what about helping to conspire to get even with neighbors who decorate the outside of their homes too lovely??

  27. Okay. Gotcha. I’m ready to sell.

    However, I have no idea how to find a band of gypsies. I looked in the yellow pages under “gypsies,” “nomads,” and even “circus” (I thought I’d broaden my horizons a little), to no avail.

    Maybe Google.

  28. To those who are curious: this how-to guide actually works! I was able to trade my kid for a fair-condition violin.

  29. Good thing my mom didn’t know about sellage. She threatened to give us away. A lot. The only reason she didn’t? Most people required her to pay them to take us.

  30. LMAO!!!!!

    So I have so many unanswered questions.

    Is it better to sell them as a grouping or one a a time?

    Can the gypsies return for a refund?

    Can it ever be traced back and used in a court of law?

    And for those without gypsies. I saw real actual gypsies in Bulgaria when I was there on business last year, the flight may be a little pricey, but it’s definitely less than a college tuition. :)

  31. Pingback: Mommy Knows Best |
  32. YOU ARE HYSTERICAL!!! And the funny thing is my parents always told my sister they adopted her from the gypsies and would give her back if they ever came across that band again. I have always told my kids I got them on the clearance aisle at WalMart and if I ever find my receipt I would return them!!!

  33. This was such an unexpected treat! I found you by way of Joann at Laundry Hurts My Feelings, and I’m so glad I did. Your gypsy sellage how-to is delightful and I’m off to share it with all the other moms I know. At least, the ones with a sense of humor, and those are the only ones who count, anyway!

  34. I IM’d my husband a few minutes ago to tell him to start Googling “phone number for gypsies” for me. (It’s been a rough day with the 4-year old.) A couple minutes later, he IM’d me back this link. A) How awesome is my hubby? B) THANK YOU. This was just the tension reliever I needed. :)

    1. That is simply one of the best compliments EVER.

      And remember…hold firm to your pricing strategy! Only haggle if it seems you can get them to throw in a camel or fertile goat!


      Glad you got some laughs, dear lady. It seems you needed them!

  35. This is HILARIOUS!

    I’m having one of those days where I would pay the gypsies. Glad you are teaching me the error of my ways.

  36. I wish I’d read these tips a year ago. I’m realizing now what a low price we got for our kids and think attention to the details you mentioned would have made a difference.

  37. Just stumbled upon your blog – this one’s hysterical! But, as a Romanian, I fear that there are special rules I must apply to selling within our tribe that I don’t know about. And perhaps they don’t want to purchase one of their own. Then where am I left??!!

  38. Hi I would love yo sell my healthly nine year old kid. She’s as healthy as a horse and strong as a ox. She is not fat. She is a good kid smart.

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