this is my serious face

by Janelle Hanchett

Some of you may recall this post, in which I suggested that we “not worry about” brushing toddler teeth because “they’re going to fall out anyway.” Newsflash: I WAS JOKING. If I weren’t joking, that would mean I thought it was okay not to brush a child’s teeth until they were 7-8 years old…because they were going to “fall out anyway.” Yeah, so…I may be a bad mother, but I’m not crackhead bad. My kids get fed and bathed and clothed, pretty much daily, and they even, on occasion, get dental care!

I thought my overall tone in that post, dripping as it was with sarcasm, was pretty obviously “full of it”, but I recently discovered, much to my dismay, that some people read that whole toothbrush thing seriously. I was shocked and confused, until a well-seasoned blogger (who you may read at this awesome blog) filled me in on a critical piece of information: some people don’t pick up on sarcasm. Huh. I wonder if that’s why my emails at work keep almost getting me fired. Food for thought.

Wait. Hold up. Can’t read sarcasm? What a sad, miserable life. Almost all good literature is simply fraught with the stuff. Even Jane Austen uses it. (Therefore, it’s valid.) And David Sedaris? Helloooo. The writing of the Gods.

Anyway, I realized that such a person (the person who couldn’t read sarcasm) would be lost and alone and scared in my blog – like a kitten in the Sahara without its mother. So, being an altruistic lover of humankind, on behalf of those people, I’ve crafted a handy little guidebook to serve as a map of sorts, to help them navigate renegade mothering, where seriousness comes to die.

  1. I initially wanted to name my blog “Whiskey Playdates” and I don’t even drink. That’s how full of shit I am.
  2. In this post I compared myself to Ghandi. In this one I said I wanted to beat certain women with blunt objects. And here I stated that I want to bang on my children for “stalling.” And please let’s not forget this post, in which I declared that my kids need to stop attending school because they’re creating too much laundry. If you see statements like these, or any others that could potentially send me to jail or a mental institution, please rest assured that I’m just kidding. Playing. Making fun. Making a little jokey joke. Hahaha. Ha. Ha.
  3. In fact, I’m usually kidding. If I’m not kidding, you’ll know, because the post will look like this one (except for the whole play date in the trailer thing) or this one (Sylvia Plath and ovens and shit) or this one (does Walmart sell Bieber?).
  4. I exaggerate. I’m overly dramatic, emotional and intense. This is a personal blog about mothering. I get to be overly dramatic, emotional and intense.
  5. I don’t give advice on parenting. I don’t give tips. I don’t have handy bits of parenting information. In fact I hate handy bits of parenting information. I shoot it down in mid-air just on principle. If I see distributors of unsolicited parenting advice, I run away. Super fast.
  6. This blog is not intended to show anyone how to be a better parent. If I knew how to be a better parent I’d be off doing that rather than whining about my deficiencies online.
  7. My tongue is almost always planted firmly in my cheek. It’s actually a little exhausting, having it stuck there all the time. (Oh wait. You might not get that. So I’ll translate: I’m sarcastic. Just a little.) Good God I can’t stop! It’s a disease!
  8. I’m a smart-ass with loose verbal ethics and a pretty bad attitude. I play with language. I love language. I love messing with it. I do little mini acrobatics with my words, because I like to. (I also end sentences in prepositions, but that’s because I’m a REBEL). These little word games sometimes result in stretches of the truth, but, as Ms. Dickinson suggests “tell the truth, but tell it slant.”
  9. I like one-liners. The whole toothbrush thing was a one-liner. And it was funny.
  10. Speaking of funny one-liners, I use them for the sake of using them, because they’re funny, even if they are untrue, exaggerating, offensive, rude, politically incorrect, morally corrupt, shocking, ridiculous and/or make me look like a parent unconcerned with my kid’s rotting teeth.
  11. When in doubt, assume I’m joking.
  12. If offended, or if you feel compelled to call Child Protective Services, assume I’m joking and Google “scrap booking mama blog.” Then follow the first link you find. You’ll be happier there.

But if you already know these things, and you’re sticking around any way, welcome, friend. It’s damn good to have you.

And that was not sarcastic.

yay for sarcasm!

  • Franki

    And as your grandmother Bonny used to say, “It’s my damn newspaper and I’ll say whatever I wish. Let them buy their own newspaper”
    Nowadays, she’d probably say, “let them write their own damn blog.” (insert smiley face here)…Keep writing!

    • renegademama

      You’re right, mom. That’s exactly what she would have said. I miss her so much.

  • Kimberly

    And it’s DAMN good to be here. I love this.

    I posted a little diddy on FB today about sarcasm, likening those who don’t get it as missing out on life’s big inside joke. Such a shame.

    • renegademama

      I wanted to link to your blog when I mentioned that “well-seasoned” blogger (since I’m referring to you), but I didn’t want to take any liberties in case you wanted that comment to stay private – obviously I should have known better, since you are a bad ass, clearly. Thanks again for everything. You’re my blogging guru.

      • Kimberly

        Me? Private? HA. Link away, my friend… 😉

        Another thing to remember about this whole thing? Your little “controversy” brought people to your blog. Once in awhile, it’s good to mix things up in BlogLand…

        And, I’ll continue to have your back. One of my friends reposted your list on FB, stating how funny she found it, and one of her friends made a comment about the damn tooth-brushing thing. So I threatened to cut her. Not really. But I’m sure you realize that I’m being sarcastic. No, I restated that OBVIOUSLY this was tongue-in-cheek, and that NO mother in her right mind would seriously (and publicly) suggest such a thing. I still haven’t seen a response…

  • Christina

    Ok so the funny thing is that I wanted to write things like ‘Your Baby Can Read’, shoes, pretty much anything but diapers or some type of devise to strap the babies down for a few minutes. But I was sure some mom would read what I wrote and be offended so I reserved all of those useless baby items from comment. Now I see I should have just partied on with you.

    Well I am stickin around and do solemnly swear that i will not hold back on you any more my friend.

    Cheers to sarcasm.

    • renegademama

      Oh SHIT I didn’t even think about the “baby can read” books – freaking RAD. And SO right on. And I agree…what do babies really need? Boob (or bottles), clothing (when it’s cold), shelter, love. Beyond that all the crap is pretty much superfluous. I wouldn’t admit this in the post because so many people use them, but between you and I, I think those things that go in shopping carts to protect the kids are LAME. Just another damn thing to carry. While I see the point, and I cringe a little every time my baby sits in one of those carts, I get over it quickly and figure “ah, fuck it. what’s a few more billion germs?”

      Don’t hold out on me, baby. I need you.

      That came out creepier than I intended.

      • Christina

        Ok so my daughter has been sick 5 times in the last 2 months. Like 104 fever and pink eye, good stuff. I am seriously considering a bubble let alone the damn cart cover thing and she is 4. Can you imagine me in the store with a cart cover and a bubble around my 4 year old using antibacterial wipes on everything. No joke sick of being sick, it is very much a consideration.

        No holdin out.

        Not creepy, just kind HOT!! =}

        • renegademama

          Oh HELL YEAH. We’re even allowed to make sexually alluding inappropriate comments to each other? I didn’t think our cyber relationship could get any better, and then you hand me this nugget of loveliness. I love you. I do. You are my best friend soul mate who I haven’t met yet. And yeah. Use the cart cover thing. You can totally pull it off. I know it.

  • Jess

    I know. Man, so I know. I’ve had a few moments in my years of blogging where someone.didn’t.get my sarcasm. like breathing for me. People who don’t get it? Well. They need help for real.

    I love your writing. The end.

    And the toothbrush people? I mean, really? Makes a person wonder.

    • renegademama

      Yes, thanks for “getting my back” on that other post. I was kind of sad, to tell you the truth…thought I blew it or something…but you and Kim saved my booty – put it into perspective for me. Thanks again for that.

  • Abby

    Oy. I’m going through the same thing right now. How do people not know sarcasm? I realize there is no specific font to point it out, but really?
    Rock on. I’m so glad I found this blog (no sarcasm or snark included in that comment, just to clarify.)

    P.S. Although the “not brushing teeth because they’re going to fall out” thing isn’t valid, the “not making the bed because it’s going to get messed up anyway” theory is.

    • renegademama

      totally enjoying your blog as well…welcome! good to have ya.

  • Jesika from @6degreeslove

    I love you.
    You have my humor to a T.
    Sarcasm is the root to all my posts.
    And my life.
    And, really, how could I make it through my life without it? It would be way to depressing and serious.

    • renegademama

      SO GLAD you posted this comment because I just checked out your blog and I will be a frequent visitor. Love it love it. Big wet mwah.

  • Rebekah C

    I absolutely LOVE saracasm. It’s truly one of the great arts in life. Keep it coming, Mama, your blog is refreshing!

    • renegademama

      Thanks so much. I agree that it’s an art. Of course there is mean sarcasm, meant to belittle people in an underhanded, passive aggressive way, but I don’t think I’m doing that…I belittle people quite openly. Hee hee.

  • Julie

    After reading this, I uttered my fifth “Hell yeah!” of the morning.

    Obviously, this is shaping up to be a banner day.

    Good post. Shame that it’s necessary.

    • renegademama

      Damn that is impressive. I want a multiple “hell yeah” day.

      It is a shame, isn’t it? Though I’m thinking of making it a page on the blog – a permanent fixture… just in case “those” people stop by…oh wait. that wasn’t very nice.

  • Princess

    lol. I think it’s hilarious someone actually took time out of their day to think you weren’t brushing your kid’s teeth. Sigh. I saw an enormous blow up on Facebook yesterday because someone did not get sarcasm. Oh well. You get it. I get it. That’s all that matters.

    • renegademama

      Word. Now I’m super curious about the blow-up..that has potential to be AWESOME.

  • Melissa (Confessions of a Dr.Mom)

    Haha! You are hilarious and I’m not being sarcastic. I wish I was better at sarcasm but since I’m not, I’ll just come here to read, get my fill, and learn a thing or two. Unfortunately, you probably stay as far away as you can from my site since I often do give parenting advice but I’m gentle and I do have a little background in that 😉

    • renegademama

      Thank you! Actually, I do really enjoy your blog. There’s a difference between spouting unsolicited, uninformed opinion and advice in a judgmental way and trying to be helpful and offer perspective. I’ve found that your blog does the latter and I appreciate it. I was really impressed with a recent post you wrote about endorphins and how they’re affected by epidurals. You managed to handle such a controversial topic so delicately that nobody seemed furious – impressive! I had a home birth and I felt secure in commenting, and so did other women, with other experiences. Well done. Wish there were more doctors like you.

  • Casey

    Dude, I love your blog, don’t worry about the folks with anal stick implants: people love to hate things because they can. Eff em 🙂

    • renegademama

      Thanks! “anal stick implants” – freaking rad. I love you already.

  • Yep the Blog's Husband

    Sooo, I don’t get it. You do brush their teeth or you’re just joking about brushing their teeth and the dentist does it? I’m confused. I apologize. I also have to apologize because I skipped the whole post and went right to number 4 and was instantly offended. I am concerned about the well being of “childrens’ little porcelains”. That’s what I call teeth because they are so delicate. (I’m married to the queen of sarcasm!)

    • renegademama

      Okay this actually made me laugh out loud for real. AND, you are the first dude to comment on my blog (I should get you a pin or sticker or something). AND you’re married to Kimberly, so you have excellent taste in women. And you are clearly an unashamed smart-ass.

      For all these reasons, you are totally welcome here and I hope you drop by frequently.

      By the way, do you know how to clean? Perhaps you could write a “how to clean” post, for the husbands. A sort of “shout out” to your kind.

      Ha. Laughed out loud again. At myself. That’s weird.

      • Yep the Blog's Husband

        Chuckle chuckle.It’s extremely difficult to differentiate between my clean and dirty clothes.They are in the same pile. I’m gonna have to pass on the cleaning book.

  • jillsmo

    Fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke

    • renegademama

      As my husband so eloquently says “get fucked and die.” (not you. the people who can’t take a joke…). 🙂

  • Dorothy

    I love sarcasm. I love your sarcasm. It’s a win-win situation for me. I’ve known people who don’t get sarcasm. It makes me sad for them. They are missing out laughing so hard tears come out of their eyes, like what often happens when I read your blog. 🙂 Keep doing what you do!

    • renegademama

      Awww. Thanks! I love it too – and I am so glad you’re enjoying “this place.” Good to have you… 🙂

  • Trackbacks

  • Trackback from On the Occasion of being Called Unoriginal - renegade mothering
    Wednesday, 7 December, 2011

    […] She was referring to the last post I wrote (about Ava getting flipped off). I could begin with a link to the post I wrote about sarcasm so perhaps this commenter could see that I was just ranting for the sake of ranting in a silly, […]

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