STFU Parents: Giving Thanks For All The Cool Parents
One of the best parts of runningÂ STFU, ParentsÂ is that atÂ least once a week, I get an awesomeÂ email,Â comment, orÂ tweetÂ that says somethingÂ like “your columns make meÂ laugh,” or “my wife and IÂ read your blogÂ together,” or “the community on your Facebook pageÂ helped me through a hard time.” It’s niceÂ to hear from total strangers, knowing we’re connected by The Power Of The Internet and share a certain sensibility, but the real bonus is the effect it has on me.Â Just ONE person reaching out and saying something niceÂ makes me think about allÂ the people who I could (and often do)Â reach out to who make *me*Â laugh, think, or cry with their work, no matter how serious orÂ absurd that work may be. Telling peopleÂ that you appreciate them is a major gift, and I try to remember to pass on the kindness whenever I get totally unnecessary, out-of-the-blue messagesÂ like these:
See what I mean? HOW SWEET ARE PEOPLE? Sure, they’re not ALL sweet…but you can’t please everyone, you know?
That’s why I’m so glad I have anÂ annualÂ traditionÂ onÂ MommyishÂ of writingÂ a column that’sÂ pure appreciation. If I’ve ever needed a time to consider how much I appreciate everyone who reads STFU, Parents and this column, it’s now. And if there was ever a year I’veÂ appreciated the funny parentsÂ in my own Facebook feed, it’s this one. Amid the onslaughtÂ of election posts, campaign ads, viral political web stories, and continuous fake news garbage, some (if not most) of my parent friends have managed to continue cracking me up and making Facebook aÂ less shitty place to be. So thanks, readers, and thanks, funny parents, because your humor is needed, and so are your kids. Our future depends on yourÂ open-minded guidance to prepare “the next generation of thoughtÂ leaders,” and so far, I think you’re doing a great job. Here are some examples of parents in my own newsfeed (some of whom I’ve never even met in person before) who I wouldÂ happily have at myÂ Thanksgiving tableÂ this year, or any year.
1. Simple & DirectÂ
This is funny on its own, but it’s especially funny if you consider how many anal-retentive parents have hunched over this question and scribbled, in teeny tiny script, each and every concern relatedÂ their infant’s being ‘too quiet’ or ‘not making enough noise.’ Sure, babies’ behaviors should be observed and analyzed if something of worryÂ comes up, but when a baby is just nine months old, what exactly can be expected other than some goos,Â laughs, screams, and babbles? I’mÂ confident there are overbearing parents who study their child’s every squeak and burp, and I’m happy to say that Evie is not one of them.
2. Disney Shade Is The Best Shade
Okay now, I know aÂ lot ofÂ STFU, ParentsÂ readers areÂ big Disney fansÂ — but that’s not even what this status update is about.Â WendiÂ isn’t necessarily commenting on whether or not she has an affinity for the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and the Be Our Guest Restaurant, which has ‘Meals Fit for a Queen — or Beast!’; rather, she’s commenting on the mere premise of “going to Disney World with children.” As a mom of two, she knows what kind of bullshit and expenditureÂ lay ahead for the parents who get roped into a trip to Disney. Truth teller, indeed.
3. A Word To The Wise
I’ve knownÂ Libba since kindergarten, and now she has a Master’s in childhood education andÂ teaches kids around that age. It’s funny how far we’ve come, and alsoÂ how much we’ve stayed the same. TheÂ Libba I knew in elementary school,Â high school, and college would’ve found this end-of-the-school-year joke funny, so why wouldn’t theÂ Libba I know now, who educates kids for aÂ living and has two kids of her own, make this joke on Facebook for everyone to see? This joke might be seem obvious and relatable, but I’ve yet to see another parent make such a bold statement so publicly. It seems as though parents are supposed to feign interest in their kids’Â artwork, classwork, and crafts to the point of plastering the never-endingÂ sheets of paper and macaroni noodleÂ designs on refrigerator doors or bedroom walls. Some even frame various artworks to create a gallery wall in theÂ living room, or get their kid’s drawingÂ tattooed permanently on their body. NotÂ Libba. No, she’s all set on any further hoarding of herÂ kids’ artwork. Some might even call it ‘giant stacks of shit.’ She certainly would, and IÂ love her for it.
Raquel is one of the funniest parents on the planet and writes the blogÂ ‘The Ugly Volvo.’Â She alsoÂ published a bookÂ this year that I highlyÂ recommend to new parents — but I have the great fortune of being friends with her on Facebook on top of being her fan. And holy fucking shit, she cracks me up. She just has a special way of pinpointing the absurd and reframing her observations as funny stories, rather than as straightforward recaps. I have a whole folder of submissions involving parents “transcribing” asinine conversations with their kids that are boring as hell unless you’re the kid’s grandmother, but Raquel would never do that. She onlyÂ posts the most entertaining exchanges, and often at her kid’s expense. I’m endlessly amused.
5. Jeff’s Kid’s Mount Rushmore
ThisÂ drawingÂ of Mount Rushmore wavers between ‘hilarious’ and ‘terrifying’ because it was drawn before Trump won the election, and I’d previouslyÂ only considered it for what it was: a joke. Now, of course, our country is that much closer to this being a reality, and this drawing serves more as a blueprint than as a comedy prop. The downside to this is if this were to actuallyÂ happen, Trump’s face would be carved into a national memorialÂ on the face of a majestic mountain. The upside is that Jeff and his wife’s faces will be carved into the side of the mountain, too. I’m not going to wish himÂ luck, per se, but I do appreciate those prospects, as his friend. Jeff, if you’re reading this, I hope you punished your kid for the next four years for imagining up this nightmare — but I wouldÂ understand if you pardoned him, too. It isÂ Thanksgiving, after all.