who gives a F*** about strollers?

by Janelle Hanchett

Okay fine, I admit it. I “liked” Babble.com’s Facebook page to increase my access to material for “Idiot Surfing” posts.

That’s not because I’m a bad person. Well maybe it is a little. But mostly it’s because I’m efficient: any time you ask thousands of people for their opinions on, well, anything, you’re going to get at least a few hundred batshit crazy responses.  All kinds of idiots, all in one place, all talking about parenting. Yay!

But I’m about to unfriend them. Or unlike them. Or both, if that’s possible.

Because beyond breaking every known rule of Facebook decorum (oh yeah, it exists) by posting something every single hour, the questions they pose for their readers are HANDS DOWN the stupidest questions ON THE PLANET. I don’t understand how people even click on the comments section let alone read them let alone respond to them.

Here’s a little gathering of the nonsense for ya:

“How old is too old for a stroller?” (Um, I don’t know? When they don’t FIT?)

“Ever wonder if those tantrums could mean something else?” (Right. Thank you. Because I need one more thing increasing my suspicions that my child suffers from some previously unknown deeply rooted disciplinary dysfunction due to (of course) poor parenting.)

“Do you ever feel overwhelmed as a parent?” (No, not at all. I totally got this. Are there people overwhelmed with the prospect of building somebody’s foundation for life? WEIRD.)

“Mohawks on toddlers? Are they appropriate?” (Who cares if they’re appropriate, they’re CUTE.)

“How much sleep does your kid get a night (better yet — how much sleep do YOU get)?!” (Do we REALLY have to bring up the sleep thing AGAIN? Can’t we all just agree that kids don’t fucking sleep and therefore neither do you and it fucking sucks. The end.)

“Do you think prettier moms get more playdates? (Find out why this mom says yes.)” (I don’t care why this mom ‘says yes,’ because it’s a stupid question in the first place.)

Can’t people just lighten up a TAD? Why does everything have to be this big QUESTION we put on Babble and write about and get all judgmental and opinionated and pissed off about? Allegedly these people have kids. How do they have time to debate hair-coloring during pregnancy? Most of the time when I [attempt to] read mainstream parenting books and magazines, I find myself asking one question. Just one. And that is, oh yeah, you guessed it: WHO THE FUCK CARES?

Appropriate stroller age? Seriously?

Prettier moms? Yes, since I’m in junior high that question interests me greatly.

And the thing that really blows the mind is the responses people give. “I think it’s bad parenting to let your kid sit in a stroller beyond 3 years old.” “Every kid I know with a Mohawk is mean and badly behaved. Coincidence?” (I’m not exaggerating the Mohawk one, and yes, it’s going on my next Idiot Surfing post.)

Maybe I’m just so lazy I’m apathetic. But I don’t think so. That stuff really is boring, right? And ultimately irrelevant? I mean after awhile don’t all those “parenting questions” just blur into one giant sense of unknowing?

Am I the only one who ceased looking for answers a long time ago and just surrendered to my ignorance? Resigned. To doing my best with what I’ve got, even when it seems tiny and pale in the face of parenthood?

You know, like when your 9-year-old daughter comes home and excitedly announces she got invited to her first slumber party and you want to be excited but realize you don’t know the parents. And immediately all kinds of images flash like swords into your heart and you want to scream there’s no way in hell you’re going kid, ever – but her face. It’s joyful. New school. New friends. All the girls are going.

You think about meeting the parents first. Obviously. But you can’t tell freak in 30 minutes.

You tell yourself “it’s okay.” She’ll be fine.

But what if she isn’t.

You stand still. In unknowing.

These are the questions I need answered.

Who gives a fuck about strollers.

  • kim

    Ooooo….the slumber party thing is HUGE. I would want to say no, too. Are ALL the other girls REALLY going? If so, do you know any of those parents who can vouch for the hosts? Can you stalk them on Facebook? Does she “like” Babble’s page, too? Definitely need to get to the bottom of that before 30 minutes pre-party. {Not the Babble part. Well, maybe.}

  • Stephanie

    Ha! I noticed this a few days ago myself. Keeps you engaged, though, right??

  • Jennifer

    The older my kids get the more I roll my eyes at anything baby/toddler/parenting related. Because at one point that WAS me and I hate myself for it. I acted like I invented parenthood.

  • Brandon

    What’s a Babble?

    Which got me thinking of Ralph Wiggum asking Superintendent Chalmers (or Super Nintendo Chalmers as Ralph calls him): What’s a battle?

    Which made me chuckle and forget what I was going to comment on in the first place.

    That’s my parenting style. It’s all about referring everything back to The Simpsons. I’m sure there’s a Babble question about what age it’s appropriate to let your kids start watching that show. And that should be case in point to how ridiculous and useless these “probing” questions really are.

  • Kateri Von Steal

    I second that: What’s a BABBLE?

    Listen as for “knowing” the parents… and the slumber party…
    That’s hard.

    But, I’d give your daughter the age old convo about these types of situations.
    I’d also let her have a cellphone on her in CASE of EMERGENCY ONLY.
    Which means keep the phone locked, and this way she’ll only be able to use the ICE contacts (In case of emergency)… which be you.
    Then, once this is over… you can take the time to learn about these parents…. if you establish they aren’t up to snuff, then she doesn’t go to another one.


    I like your parenting style.
    Seems normal to me!

  • eringirl

    I, for one, wish people had spent more time talking about strollers BEFORE I bought one, back BEFORE I had kids. Because I hate the one I have. I need smaller, lighter and more practical. Oh wait, that was not the point of this post…

    Mohawks are adorable. Ana sports a natural mohawk and I love it. My mom actually got mad when I combed it down one day and she went and got her hair wet so that it would stand up again.

    I don’t really think I am helping here. This is hilarious. I agree.

  • Sara

    I totally remember my parents meeting everyone of my friends’ parents and if they hadn’t met them, whatever was planned was a no go. We don’t have kids yet but my Maternal Unit keeps telling me, you just gotta use your brain. Your sleep deprived, caffeine addled brain.

  • not blessed mama

    Babble’s getting a reputation for being a bunch of asshats (BECAUSE THEY ARE).

  • Stephanie Vought

    Agreed. Especially about mohawks on toddlers 😉 Adorable!

  • Angie

    Holy sh*t. I thought I was the only one. When my kids were little my friends kept rambling on about parenting crap I couldn’t have cared less about. It seemed like they were always looking to magazines or other parents for approval on how they raised their own children. What works for you… works for you. Are your kids healthy? Doing okay in school? Not horrible creatures sprung from the loins of Satan himself? Alright then… get down with your bad self! You win!

  • Misadventures in Motherhood

    HaHAAA!!!! This post was freaking AWESOME. And I don’t even know what the heck Babble is, aside from what my nearly-two-year-old daughter does at me all day long. But yes, I agree that stalking crazy people is definitely a unique form of entertainment. You’d better believe that if I see a comment on a site that reads, “God is a lighting bug and I’ve got him in a jar in my son’s room,” I will be clicking on that person’s profile to see what other crazy stuff he’s writing!

    But seriously… “Do pretty moms get more playdates?” Who the heck thinks up this crap? And more importantly… who cares?! I’m gonna have to check out Babble now…

    Anyway, I found your blog through another blog, and I had to pop over. You’ve made me a follower! I’m off to Stumble this post too… this is a laugh riot!

    Have a great day, and don’t sweat the small stuff!

    Smiles, Jenn @Misadventures in Motherhood

  • Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama

    Loved this! Babble pisses me off and there is always great material there for me to rant about. Those moms have no life. And yes, who gives a flying fuck about strollers and how old the kid in them is. Bet the’d love to see me, a grown ass woman, sitting in my kid’s stroller, on the side of the road, breastfeeding…a 2 1/2 year old no less! Take that babble!