Recently I passed a minivan with one of those bumper stickers announcing that the mom driving said minivan had an amazing kid who had made the honor roll. I really detest these stickers. Not because I don’t think it’s great to have a kid who makes the honor roll, but rather I question that the family vehicle is the best place to advertise that he did. So where do you draw the line in praising children’s accomplishments? It’s as if people believe they are not good parents unless they’re using every square inch of their bumpers to tell us about their kids. (LITTLE WHITE LIE Alert!)
Years ago and shortly after my oldest daughter learned how to read, we passed a car with an honor roll shout out (I like to call these moving billboards, “honor rides” or “stationbraggins” depending on the model). My daughter innocently asked a very good question: “will you still be proud of me if I don’t make the honor roll?” The answer to that is a resounding hell YES. But her question is related to why I don’t like these damn stickers. We all have something to be proud of, and who’s to say that your kid making the honor roll is a bigger deal than my painfully shy child making a new friend at school? Both are full of win. My kid’s triumph won’t be on a bumper sticker, yet I am just as pride filled about her success as you are of your little smarty pants.
This has zero to do with me not believing in healthy competition. I’ve always preferred that my kids work for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place ribbons at their school’s Field Day, rather than receiving the expected “participation ribbons” just for not playing hooky that day. So I totally get and appreciate the excitement when your kid gets good grades – even if mine doesn’t. But I also think there are other moments deserving of kudos. Like the time my youngest pulled out a booger and asked me if I thought it looked like Jesus. I realize her doing something like this won’t help get her into college, but with a killer sense of humor, she might be better able to survive the ups and downs that life hands her. (and for the record, I think somehow documenting her discovery on a bumper sticker would be EPIC)
As for the original “honor ride” that prompted this post? The minivan was an older model and the sticker was worn and peeling. That former honor student may now be a high school dropout or the latest unwilling victim of a Maury Povich paternity test.. anything is possible! And it totally cracked me up to think about it. Why? My kid found Booger Jesus. Your move, Einstein.
This whole thing inspired the following status on my Facebook page: “I’m so sick and tired of these bragging bumper stickers about kids being on the honor roll or kicking Chuck Norris’ ass, etc. I’d like to see more realistic statements like, Everyone in this minivan is wearing pants.. we rule!” I asked for more sticker sayings and received suggestions from drivers who were equally annoyed with other people’s “perfect lives” being put in their faces. The best 20 are listed below. Today we salute REALITY! (with a big shot of snark)
The Top 20 “Reality Bites” Bumper Stickers
My kid may not be on the honor roll, but he can hold my beer without spilling it while I drive
My kid can’t read your stupid bumper sticker
Six kids on board and giving them all guilt trips. Catholic parents ROCK.
My daughter is in high school and I’m not a grandparent.. yet
My dog can lick your dog’s balls
Coffee + Activia = I have the right of way
My degenerate beat up your honor student
Grades are overrated when my kid can burp the alphabet
My kid may have been held back in Kindergarten, but she’s now big enough to beat up everyone in Math club
I can drive, text, and beat the shit out of my kids at the same time
My kid flunked Science but was smart enough to help me set up a meth lab in the basement
Caution: one hand on cell phone and the other around my kid’s neck
My kid just outscored me on our 5th grade Science quiz!
Points if you’re behind me and you hit the kid I throw out the window
Gas, cash, or groupons…no one rides the minivan for free
Low IQ isn’t just a number. It’s a way of life.
My underachiever got your honor roll student pregnant
Life’s a beach! (and then you have to clean sand out of your ass crack)
My kid broke into a tampon dispenser to pay for the parking meter
My other kid is Lindsay Lohan
(many thanks to our Twitter friends, @StumpWoodley and @darinlovesbacon for their contributions, as well as @WhatRedSaid for finding Jesus in her nose–Karen Hockins)
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