Last week, many took to social media to describe themselves in three fictional characters, so I thought because I'm always a week or several years late to the au courant meme du jour, I would make this week's post a fun one, wherein we describe our unique PARENTING STYLE(S) with three fictional characters.
I assumed this would be a VERY EASY (and quick) post to put together because HOW LONG COULD IT REALLY TAKE to put together a meme that relates to personal parenting styles? But then, like four days later, here I am, mainly because I was thinking about fictional MOTHERS to identify with and kept coming up short. Which may be worth discussing in another post. (Why are there so few relatable mother characters? Why are most "mothers" depicted on screen, and even in books, relatively... well... similarly? What does a "mother" look like for the most part? What are her traits? Positive attributes? Flaws? Failures? Who does she look like? And how does this "depiction" affect us? Not just the mothers but the women, the fathers, EVERYONE who assumes mothers walk and talk and look and feel a certain way?)
I have always had a hard time identifying with "mother characters" in television and film, which is why I now realize, as I'm typing this, that I should have included Better Things' Sam Foxin my "three fictional characters" meme.
(If you're not already watching and loving Better Things, YOU SHOULD. It's, by far, the most relatable show about motherhood I've ever seen. I'm not even a single mom of teenagers and yet Pamela Adlon's Sam SPEAKS TO ME ON SO MANY LEVELS. And I think she will speak to you, too. (You can read more about Better Things, here. Also, set your DVRs. Thursday nights. FX. Boom.)
Anyway, now that I have digressed away from my meme, here is what I came up with that I have already redone in my head.
Three Fictional Characters that Describe my Parenting Style:
1. Mr. Keating, Dead Poets Society
Every night, before bed, I climb onto a dresser and PREACH POETRY AND REBELLION...BECAUSE, MY CHILDREN, WORDS ARE YOUR WEAPONS! QUESTION EVERYTHING! LISTEN TO THE POETS! WHAT ARE YOU WRITING TODAY TO CHANGE TOMORROW!? POETRY POETRY POETS AND DEAD POETS AND LIVING POETS AND SLAM POETS AND QUESTION EVERYTHING. IF THERE IS ONE THING I CAN TEACH YOU, IT IS THAT.
I realize I am nowhere near as eloquent as Mr. Keating, but I certainly believe that parenting IS teaching and that standing on desks, tables, dressers, beds, the hood of my car is a GREAT way to call attention to the subjects that are most important to discuss. I also believe that is my job to inspire my kids to be the best versions of themselves and to feel fearless when it comes to speaking their truths and LISTENING to the truths of others. WHAT WOULD MR. KEATING DO, in my opinion, should be a thing ALL educators (and that includes parents) should ask themselves.
2. Sue Ellen from Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead
Over the years, it has become increasingly clear to me how much of my parenting style has been inspired by Christina Applegate's 1989 "I'm right on top of that, Rose" DIY sister-mother ... I think more than anyone, she is probably the most accurate representation of who I am as a parent AKA more of an "annoyed older sister type" who despises preparing meals (here's a bowl of cereal with four spoons!), smokes sometimes (don't yell) and loves a good shoulder pad. She also loves her children unconditionally (and yes, her siblings are basically her children), is frustrated by having responsibilities (ugh! the worst) and really HATES the idea that children should have to wear uniforms.
3. Clark Griswold of the Vacation Movies
EVERYTHING IS AN ADVENTURE! COME ON, KIDS! PRETEND LIKE YOU'RE HAVING FUN ON THIS EIGHTEEN HOUR ROAD TRIP WHERE NO SCREENS ARE ALLOWED AND THE SCENERY IS SO GORGEOUS. LOOK AT THAT DEER! ISN'T IT AMAZING!? ISN'T EVERYTHING AMAZING! OH, LOOK! WE'RE GETTING PULLED OVER BY THE HIGHWAY PATROL FOR SPEEDING! WHAT AN ADVENTURE, WE'RE ON! LET'S GO DANCE BY THE LIGHT OF THE MOON, HAL, GRAB YOUR GUITAR, WE'RE ON AN ADVENTURE, HOLD ON I THINK I MIGHT PASS OUT FROM OVERENTHUSIASTICITIS BUT DON'T WORRY I'LL WAKE UP SOON AND THEN WE'LL KEEP GOING I'M OKAY EVERYTHING'S OKAY, OKAY?
Annnnnd because I thought it would be fun to give my parenting co-pilot, the same assignment, this is what Hal (very accurately, may I add) came up with:
1. George Bailey
2. Coach McGrath (Wildcats)
3. The Incredible Hulk
I just got off the phone with my mother who is, as I type this, with HER mother and they both agreed to join me (and Hal AND YOU!) on this assignment.
Wendy (my mom)
(This is LITERALLY SO TRUE OMG.)
1. Molly Weasley
3. Jack from LOST
Nana (my grandmother) went with:
(pigtail braids for all!)
1. Dorothy Gale
2. Mrs. March (Little Women)
3. Anne Shirley
Oh, and here's my Dad's which is THE CUTEST:
(And also extremely accurate.)
1. Gru from Despicable Me
2. Mrs. Doubtfire
All right, you guys. You're up. Describe your parenting style in three fictional characters! You can leave them in the comments, here. Or on Facebook. Or twitter. Or wherever. Hashtag #parentingstyleinthree.