Tag Archives: parenting

It’s a Generational Thing

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And no, sexting doesn’t count. Your mother and I paid good money for that Gardasil vaccine.

You can’t tell kids to go outside and play anymore, because that’s, like, child abuse or something? I know too many kids who don’t know how to go outside and play; everything they know is on a screen, conceived of, directed by, and produced by other people. Maybe this is a minority opinion, but when I was 16 years old, if I was watching TV, using a computer, or playing a game, it was only because it was not possible at that moment for me to be making out in the backseat of a car. Granted the internet wasn’t as exciting or accessible in the early ’90s as it is now, but I still don’t think it’s better than sex. And you know I love the internet.

Any resemblance to actual teenagers, living or staring like undead zombies into a monitor in a small room with the curtains drawn tight to prevent the glare, is purely coincidental. I swear.

I drew that Ramones T-shirt and now I can’t get…”Sweet Disaster” by Dreamers out of my head. Weird world we live in. Gen X did not expect to live long enough to get sour about the next generation. Gen X didn’t expect any of this. Gen X would like to be sedated, but Gen X is too busy to take a break right now.

 

Who Cares As Long as They Provide Free Childcare?

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Well, SOMEbody’s totally ready for fatherhood.

When you have 2 comics that you started weeks ago and never finished because of reasons, the thing to do, of course, is start a whole new comic. But that just means there are definitely 2 more comics coming. Obviously, I haven’t been drawing any comics lately, and it’s been a while since I drew any of my own, or any without a political agenda: last year was almost entirely Linda Addison, Bonnie Jo Campbell, and my personal fear and loathing regarding the state of the union. So let’s see what it’s like to be a webcomic again.

Obviously, shout out to Archer here. I almost drew Archer or Mallory into the comic. Then I just decided to give the dude Archer’s hair. Then I gave up on that and just tried to get the characters to look like the same character in every panel, at which, I calculate, I was 66.6% successful. Anyway, I assume this guy’s the dad and he’s just gearing up for the day that his children are sufficiently fluent in the English language for him to drive them insane. He’s practicing for the triplets.

Actually, The Man is the ultimate dispenser of dad jokes and I’m pretty sure I’m the target way more often than the kids are. You simply cannot tell this man you’re hungry, thirsty, tired, dirty, damp, whatever you’re feeling or experiencing, unless you want him to introduce himself to you. “I’m starving.” “Nice to meet you Starving, I’m Daddy.”

He is lucky I haven’t stabbed him during a low blood sugar crisis.

 

Superkids

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No adults were irrevocably scarred in the making of this webcomic.

Pop Quiz!

You are in your house. An adult is in the kitchen, cooking dinner. There are 3 burners lit on the stove, which is 5 steps away, in various directions, from the 3 separate counters where the ingredients have been prepared and the utensils are stored. You feel the need to wash your hands for a full 60 seconds, for the 4th time in 2 hours. Do you use:

A) The bathroom sink

B) The sink in the perfectly functional 2nd bathroom that you decided 7 years ago was creepy even though there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it, but you still refuse to you use it and have only ever set foot in its vicinity under extreme duress

C) The kitchen sink where the adult is attempting to drain a boiling pasta pot into a colander

If you answered C, congratulations! You may possess one of the myriad superpowers of childhood. You likely have the ability to look directly at a person who is holding a knife in one hand, a spatula in the other, and stirring a pot over a gas flame while walking back and forth between multiple points in the kitchen, and decide that that very best place for you to observe the action is the mathematical center of the room. You may even develop the extreme power of not having any idea that your actions are inconvenient or dangerous, despite having been told as much repeatedly over the entire span of your conscious life, including 3 times in the previous 3 minutes.

Ha ha. I exaggerate. But aren’t they so adorable when they’re asleep?

Goth Mom Knows How to Suffer

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You don’t understand me! You’re probably not even my real mom! You probably kidnapped me from my real mom! My real mom is probably Marilyn Manson! Or Bela Lugosi!

It’s slightly troublesome to me that I really have no clue where this comic came from. Usually there’s some gamete of an idea–an event, an action, a memory–that spawns each comic. Yeah, there was the sort of goth PTA mom in last week’s cannibalism comic, but that connection came to me afterward. First was just the idea of a goth mom offering an upset kid absinthe and laudanum (the eyeliner idea came later, too, on the realization that even goth mom wouldn’t start with the hard stuff). Then the thought of how the kid of a goth mom would respond (exactly like the kid of any other mom) and then the Taylor Swift thing (her music is just so joyful, even when she’s petty or angry) and finally goth dad, who, naturally, will always assume the worst. Maybe that was a line out of an Addams Family movie or something like that. But what could be worse for goth parents than a kid who listens to upbeat pop?

Not sure what they’ll do now that they assume the worst. Search the kid’s computer for evidence of a Pinterest account? Arrange an intervention? An exorcism?

I happen to know a fair number of goth parents and they all seem to be doing a pretty good job of it. They can dress their kids in skulls and pentacles until they’re about 5, and then the kid turns around and only wants to wear polo shirts or pink tutus or something like that. It’s hard to rebel against goth mom. But goth mom expects your betrayal. She’ll love you even if you become an investment banker or a priest. Goth mom understands that the world is cruel and nobody understands you. Goth mom understands that better than anybody.

Free Range Kids

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Rebecca looked on smugly, secure in the knowledge that her children were safe in their individual kennels while she fattened them up for Christmas. 

More baby cannibalism comics! Modest Proposal jokes never stop being funny. Ditto gags about PTA moms. Together, they’re pure comedy gold.

My Facebook page hosted a long discussion about this family in England where both parents gave up their lucrative careers to live on welfare and raise their children “off grid” without shoes or school or vaccinations or diapers or rules or weaning and is now trying to crowdsource their dream of buying land in Costa Rica so they can live a life of true independence. Cost to you, the non-consumer: $100,000. So far I guess they’ve gotten £47, which is probably £47 more than I would have made if I went on GoFundMe to beg for $100,000 to pay for my dream of self-sufficiency.

There was a lot of argument about the worst part of the story, but ultimately, the most superlative (best, worst, stupidest) part is their inability to recognize the irony of begging for money because you want to be self-sufficient. I’m not linking to their ridiculous story, because they’ve gotten too much publicity already.

The difference between free range and cage free, in the case of livestock, is that free range animals (chickens, we’re mostly talking about) can go outside, but cage free animals cannot. The difference between free range and non-free-range kids, as far as I can tell is that the non-free-range kids don’t want to go outside.

 

Need to Know Basis

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Ned Flanders: That’s the loudest profanity I’ve ever heard. 

I sort of covered this territory before: When Good Moms Go Bad, but @#$&#*!!! does this drive me to the edge. But after I drew that comic I learned that I’m not alone. And it’s not like there’s something inherently wrong with the question. It’s not like you can ask them to stop asking. But I wish they would stop asking. For one thing, I feel that a reasonable person can usually answer it themselves just through a few moments of being observant. For another thing, what difference does it make to you now? You’ll find out when I serve it to you, and until then, it has no impact on your life. I’m working. Please stay out of my circle of influence.

And I swear the other day, I did get, “Why can’t we have x?” in response to my answer. We can’t have x because I’m not making x. I’m making the thing that I’m making. Not everyone wants to eat macaroni and cheese 7 nights a week.

If you cook for kids regularly, you get it. Otherwise it’s probably not relatable. Although maybe cursing loudly on a mountaintop is universally relatable.

This comic could use a lot of shading and other things but I didn’t start it until very late and I don’t have much left in my hands at this hour. We did take a lovely drive through the mountains, through a monsoon. The photos ought to be resplendent.

Kid Logic III or Seriously, When Does School Start?

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In the next panel, the kid puts on winter pajamas, wraps herself in a quilt, and goes to sit in the stuffiest room in the house, and we’re back to the situation in Wednesday’s comic. It’s a vicious cycle. 

Whew! Better late than never. Part III in the continuing saga of children in the summertime. The temperature actually dropped almost 20 degrees since I had the idea for this comic, and it’s only in the 90s, but it’s getting humid. Soon the monsoon rains will come.

I wanted to draw and post this comic last night but it was really kind of a delirious day and I didn’t get to the computer until after 11, at which point I couldn’t focus on drawing, so I put it off and put it off. I wanted to have it up by 2 pm today, at least, but then the Fox wanted to buy us chicken and waffles and then go swimming and hang out and The Man wanted to talk and my parents called, la la la.  I’m supposed to be at the Misseses Kitty’s house in 4 minutes, which obviously isn’t happening either.

There are highs and lows, but ultimately, I have to admit that my life is pretty blessed. In terms of privilege, I’m probably in at least the top 10%. Things are going to be OK.

Kid Logic II, Simple Solutions to Complex Problems

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It’s like walking in a winter wonderland in June. With strawberries and organic greens.

Kid Logic, part 2, the sweatening. Pretty self-explanatory. This would have been the segue if I had done an 8-panel comic. The punchline didn’t come to me until after I had drawn the entire thing. Originally, it was just setting up the next part of the comic and less funny. Personally, I don’t like going into the walk-in fridge at Costco at all, but at least in the winter I’m dressed for it.

Today the heat backed off and it was only 103. They’re predicting the monsoon will start this week, 2 weeks ahead of the historical schedule and probably 3 weeks earlier than it’s been since I’ve lived here. We haven’t even turned on the air conditioner yet; we’re still on evaporative cooling, which you usually can’t use during monsoon conditions. Weird summer.

Kid Logic I, or Same Planet, Different Worlds

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I get chills just thinking about it. But that’s probably just this fan blowing over the sweat.

Originally, this was panel 1 of a much longer comic based entirely on actual things that the Girl did/said this week, but the day got out of hand and it would have been hubris to imagine that I could complete 8-panels in the time allotted, especially since I had already been to the Fox’s writing party and gotten 1500 words out.

The point is, it’s hot. Like, sick hot. Well up over 100 degrees hot. And despite the fact that they have lived here their entire lives, certain children seem constantly surprised by desert summers and repeatedly ill-equipped to deal with them, which is hilarious if you can remove yourself from the situation of being the person in charge of helping those children deal with them.

This hypothetical little person didn’t actually think that Frozen pajamas were cold; I suspect she was wearing them for more idiosyncratic reason, probably connected to a desire to wear all her clothes equally, in their turn, but she was wearing long sleeved flannel pajamas, and she did complain that she had trouble sleeping because she was too hot, and she does habitually wrap herself up in a warm blanket, regardless of the ambient air temperature. She also willfully fails to comprehend the use of evaporative cooling, despite the fact that we’ve explained it to her 100 times. Ergo, she never, ever considers opening her window, even when we tell her to open the window, meaning she is deliberately keeping her room 15 degrees hotter than the rest of the house. No matter how many times I outline the process by which she could end her suffering (wear less clothing, use less bedding, open the freaking window), she continues to act as a fully autonomous human, choosing to create an uncomfortably warm environment, and then complaining about it and ignoring any real solutions.

She did have her own solution, though. She got a fan and pointed it at her bed. So she could blow hot air at her heavy quilt and winter pajamas.

When Good Moms Go Bad

Dad thought he had the situation under control until 9:30 pm, when someone remembered that they had to build a scale model of the Great Wall of China out of sugar cubes before second period tomorrow.

Dad thought he had the situation under control until 9:30 pm, when someone remembered that they had to build a scale model of the Great Wall of China out of sugar cubes before second period tomorrow.

If you’re like me, the question, “What’s for dinner?” fills you with terror and rage. It’s not that I mind sharing descriptions of my culinary genius with my family; it’s that this question is actually a prelude to prejudgment. Since I already know what the kids like and what they don’t, I’m well aware which dishes will be greeted with cheers and which are likely to result in disgusted faces and half-hearted whining. And I don’t care. I don’t care about your weird macaroni fetish or the fact that there is only one texture of food that you find palatable, which is mushy. There are more than 6 foodstuffs available for human consumption. The ability to eat countless dishes, comprised of many different ingredients and many different flavors and textures is one of the great benefits of being an omnivore and grownups who enjoy good food shouldn’t be held hostage to an undeveloped palate.

So, really, “What’s for dinner?” is a dangerous thing to say to someone who’s spent an hour in the kitchen.

Of course, when you’re a kid, it’s wholly innocent. It’s only 30 years later that I understand why my mother would get so bent out of shape about it.