Why Does ‘Bluey’ Have to Make Parents Feel Like Crap?

Why Does 'Bluey' Have to Make Parents Feel Like Crap?
Written by Publishing Team

Like any confident mom, I like to think of myself as a confident and reliable caregiver. But if I have to be honest, I can admit that there are a few (read: several) aspects of my parenting that can send me into the depths of a spiral of self-induced shame.

Yes, sometimes I allow my kids to forgo brushing their teeth so they can go to bed and I can enjoy an evening of much-needed quiet respite. No, I don’t give them a bath every day – who in the name of all sane has that kind of time? ! And yes, only one episode of Bluey can make me feel like a walking meat sack of guilt and regret, better suited to leading a historic tour of Boston than carrying the title of “Mom.”

Nicknamed “Australia’s biggest television export since The Wiggles” through The New York Times and “the best kids show of our time” through New York magazine, the very popular show Bluey is not only a success – so much so that it is give american kids australian accents – it also hits the parents in the sensations.

The show, centering on the wholesome adventures of Bluey, a six-year-old blue-heeled puppy, and his four-year-old sister, Bingo, made its international debut on Disney Junior in 2019. It sure teaches kids some important lessons. , as it is OK to tell your dad he’s playing too hard or that you cannot lead your sibling. And yes, it often focuses on a dad, not a mom, entertaining her kids – new to both TV and movies, even in 2021.

But this pagan form of so-called “kids entertainment” also makes parents like me feel like sentient garbage. At Bluey, mom and dad do nothing but play elaborate pretend games with their children – a complete impossibility in the age of pandemic parenting, where we are more likely to stick a small screen in front of our children’s faces just so we can use the bathroom in peace than to spend our precious time and brain playing games”find fairies” Where “keepyuppyor any other imaginative play based on lessons this show continues to peddle.

And even when the dad asks Bingo to hold off for a second so he can talk to an actual adult on the phone, he immediately apologizes for not giving up all the adult responsibilities he has to appease his child’s whimsical whims. children.

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Luckily, I’m not the only mediocre parent to feel less proud of his parenthood when stacked against the care prowess of two cartoon Australian cattle dogs. Hannah Amber, 33, says her six-year-old daughter discovered Bluey weeks ago, and now watches it every night much to Amber’s dismay.

“A specific episode happened the other night and I was like, ‘How is this dad doing with this game for hours on end?'” Amber tells me. “I couldn’t understand it. And my daughter laughs, thinking that’s the funniest thing ever, and I’m like, ‘I know, I suck.’ »

Amber says she can handle a game of “Tea Party” for five minutes. She can even attend a session with Play-Doh. “But to go so far in imaginative play?” She adds. “There’s no way.”

And then it happened: the nightmare that keeps us up at night. The very situation that made Bluey a national terror. A parent’s sworn enemy. My personal pet peeve. Amber’s daughter asked her to play a “Bluey Game.”

“There’s an episode where Bluey goes to daycare and she sits on a log and pretends it’s a helicopter,” Amber explains. “She’s holding a stick, making helicopter noises and telling her friends to get in her ‘helicopter’ so they can pretend to fall or drop something. So the other day, she’s sitting on the couch playing “helicopter” and says, “Mom, get in my helicopter!” And all I can think is, ‘Oh my god, this is happening. Just play the stupid game because it will make her happy.

Amber lasted four minutes before telling her daughter she had to get up to check on dinner – three minutes longer than yours truly could have endured.

Bluey’s parents are just playing elaborate games with their children, a complete impossibility in the age of pandemic parenting.

Jessica Lazar Bates, 42, has noticed her 3-year-old son demands she play with him more often now that he insists on watching Bluey for several hours at a stretch over the weekend. In one episode, the dad play “raiders” with Bluey and Bingo – a The Raiders of the Lost Ark-type game in which children try to escape a ball that the father rolls down the hall. Now, says Lazar Bates, her son also wants to play “raiders” with her. Instead, she distracts him with a quick walk outside or some other game he can play solo — a tactic she knows is short-lived but, so far, is working.

“I figure I could play those games with him when he’s older, or when life gets back to ‘normal’ and the dynamics of post-pandemic life have changed,” adds Lazar Bates. “But I also think it’s impossible that I have enough energy to do this. Never.” While Lazar Bates knows that pretending is important for the continued development of a child, and pretend play with your child is a non-negotiable parental requirement, BlueyGames are far too tedious to become a lasting staple in her home. We can sympathize.

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And like the rest of us insufficient moms, she says she feels awful and lacking in parenting, and often indulges herself by pawning her son on her husband, forcing him to gamble. Bluey-inspired games with their child. Unfortunately, her husband developed an over-inflated sense of self as a result.

“He asked me if he was like Bluey’s dad,” she explains. “And I’m like, Oh, you must be kidding me. We should all be so lucky. His answer ? “Aren’t your friends super jealous?” I mean, we’re going to have to involve my therapist if we’re going to have this conversation, let’s be real.

Ultimately, none of us — not even Lazar Bates’ loving and devoted husband — can be like Bluey’s parents. For one thing, we’re not animated blue hookers. We are also overworked and undersupported parents trying to navigate an ever-changing world that is politically divided, financially unstable and or the oceans are literally on fire.

So to hell with trying to live up to the unrealistic example of Bluey’s mom and dad. Then again, there’s something to be said for leaving behind the realities of pandemic parenting and playing a quick game of “Open a Zoo.” Yes, even if it’s only for five minutes.

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