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How To Protest With Your Kids In These Here End-Times

The days of being able to just enjoy a weekend or your actual life without feeling like you’re living in a scorched-earth hellscape have been over for a while now. So if it’s a Saturday or a Sunday or some other day of special significance, or if it’s just the now-normal-every-day occasion of our country seceding from a league of nations to form a singular island of professionally amoral and spineless trash monsters, that can only mean one thing — TIME TO PROTEST.

With just a little preparation and an epic amount of time spent with your Headspace app, you can show your kids what life is really all about — straight shouting into an F5 hurricane.

Tap Into Kids' Innate Gift For Sick Burns

We all know kids have a natural ability to zero right in on flaws and then broadcast them out to a receptive and hungry public. Why not harness that dark power for maximum effect? Let them know that, sure, in this house we do kindness but we also do real. And nothing is more real than politicians who are on par with a cat’s talking butthole. Tell them to let ‘er rip with the naughtiest insults their little demented minds can whip up. And then put it on this posterboard right here. And then hold that sign. And then pose for 89 photos. OK just one more. OK twenty more. Yes, this is how protesting is done. No it hasn’t started yet. Yes we’re still just in the parking lot. It’s fine.

Some questions you may want to prepare responses to: 'What is that lady wearing?' 'Why is she wearing a vagina?' 'Why does it have teeth does my vagina have teeth mommy does your vagina have teeth???'

You're A Mom, Bring Snacks

If you’re not always rolling deep with every major snack category imaginable — Salty! Sweet! Token fruit! — what sort of American mom even are you? Because your kids will inevitably hate whatever you bring and would rather die of dehydration than drink the “warm barf water” you’ve been hauling around like a pack mule until the very last sliver of ice melted, you’d be wise to do the following: 1) bring a bag that you’ve saved from the corner store, 2) put your current snacks in the bag, 3) LOOK EVERYBODY NEW SNACKS FROM THE STORE.

Be Prepared For Lots Of Questions

Protests are live theater for the pissed and, as such, are catnip to kids. Remember: You’re intentionally bringing them to an event that’ll feature just about every word they’ve been told never to say, even if their fingers get accidentally shut in the untensil drawer like that one time. Now these words will be spelled out in 12-inch-high glittery letters with helpful illustrations!

Some questions you may want to prepare responses to:

• What is that lady wearing?

• Why is she wearing a vagina?

• Are vaginas that big? Like a whole person big?!

• Why does it have teeth does my vagina have teeth mommy does your vagina have teeth???

• Will there be penis costumes?

Decide whether or not to respond, “Honey, our president is a penis costume.”

Bring A Flimsy Folding Potty Guaranteed To Give Your Precious Offspring That Feeling That They're Just One Slight Muscle Twitch Away From Going For A Dip In The Portalet

Because symbolism.

Embrace Teachable Moments

Protests are chockfull of opportunities to get real. From local to global, there’s no shortage of issues to discuss with your kids. And don’t be afraid to get personal! Every kid loves to hear about the decisions and regrets their own parents have, it’s all a part of growing up. For example, how you regret that there isn’t a way to board a rocketship to Mars and start over with an entirely unknown yet guaranteed-to-be-better class of organisms.

Dig Into The Discussion Around Privilege And Racism

Let’s face it, if you’re able to have a day free to protest without fear of losing your job, load up with what are essentially disposable snacks, and buy a bunch of neon poster board without blinking, then it’s a good idea to talk to your kids about privilege.

Here is a starter list of questions you can use wherever you’re protesting or even just living your life!

“Do you see that mother breastfeeding her child over there?”

“What color is she?”

“Has anyone asked her immigration status?”

“Has anyone come over and ripped that baby out of her arms?”

“Do you think all mothers get treated that way?”

“Do you think all kids should stay with their parents because that’s what makes the most duh duh derp derp duuuuuuuh sense in the world?”

“Are you wondering why I’m crying right now?”

And, finally, tell your kids to never stop wondering. Or asking. Or protesting. Or talking about vagina costumes. Ever.

Kimberly Harrington is the author of Amateur Hour: Motherhood In Essays And Swear Words (Harper Perennial, 2018).