STFU Parents: Story Hour

Some of my all-time favorite submissions posted on STFU, Parents fall under a category I call “Story Hour.” Story Hour occurs when parents decide to reveal a little “slice of life” via Facebook. Sometimes they’re talking about laundry. Sometimes they’re having long exchanges with themselves. Oftentimes, whatever they’re saying sounds a lot more like a journal entry or stream of consciousness writing exercise than a respectable Facebook update.

It’d be easy to say that you know a Story Hour when you see one, because a typical example just looks like big blocks of text all written by the same person. But not all Story Hours are the same. Each one is nuanced and irritating for separate reasons, so today I thought I’d take you through a few examples to highlight those differences. And also to laugh, because while I think we’ve all been tempted to write paragraph-long status updates about baby barf on Facebook, most of us have the good sense to fight that urge. But not all of us. Let’s begin!

1. The Gross-Out

It’s bad enough when you’re the type of parent who can’t help but relay a story about “liquid diarrhea” on Facebook, but when you start the story by saying it’s “some comic relief” and then proceed to laugh your way through descriptions of dripping poop, I start wondering if you’d notice if we stopped being “friends.”

2. The Constant Updater

This is the type of parent who feels the need to update her friends on every “dramatic turn” of a story, be it about potty training, bedtime, a trip to the grocery store…it could be anything, really. I especially like the ones like the above that end with a facepalm-worthy comment like, “19 months. :).” Not that I haven’t met any babies who were potty trained at 19 months, but c’mon. Let’s get real.

3. The MommyJacker

OK, so it’s not a classic mommyjacking because Ale is simply responding to Ali’s update about her own baby. But did Ale really need to go into so much detail? By the end, even she knows she should STFU.

4. One More Thing

The “One More Thing” Story Hour example is a common one. A parent launches into a story about one thing in her status update, but then recalls an entirely different – and yet equally entertaining and important – story with which to follow it up. In reality, neither story should have made it onto Facebook. Clues include words like “cord scab,” “BAAAATH,” “barely digested” and “Exorcist-style.”

5. The Rambler

The Rambler is different from One More Thing in that The Rambler’s intention is truly akin to a diary entry or even a log in a medical journal. No detail can be spared, regardless of its vulgarity, and that’s all for the sake of the reader. Jennifer knows that some of what she’s saying is ‘TMI’, but she’s staying true to the story. She’s dedicated. And that is why The Rambler might be my favorite form of Story Hour. After all, what is a story if not a tale with a beginning, middle and an end? Jennifer clearly learned a thing or two in English class.

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