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Representative photo by Gustavo Fring/Pexels

What do you do when your kindy-age neighbor challenges you to a bake-off?

It's been six years since "Bluey" debuted in Australia, and since then, the show has grown into a global phenomenon. Though it's aimed at kids, the series has created a passionate following among people of all ages who adore the heart and humor the Blue Heeler dogs from down under have to offer.

And it's been just over seven years since an adorably cheeky little girl, Harper, made her way into the world, and she has also grown into a viral Aussie phenomenon.

Harper lives next door to Brandon and Jordan Nolan, the twin music duo Take Two, in Sydney. Her interactions with their family seem like they come straight out of an episode of "Bluey," right down to the uncanny similarity between Harper's voice and the young "Bluey" cast members (whose identities remain anonymous).


Many of the interactions take place through the fence between their yards and Harper is never shown fully (a wise choice). The neighbors will share things over or under the fence, with Harper pranking the guys more than once with something that looks like food but contains dirt.

In a particularly hilarious video, Harper shares the "legit" cheesecake and ice cream she made as part of their bake-off competition. Seriously, 5-year-old Harper sounds just like Bluey's little sister, Bingo, with the quick wit to match.

Watch:

@alwaystaketwo

Replying to @Zoe_heem My 5yr old neighbour challenged us to a bake off.. here is her cake!! Is it safe to eat but?? 🤷🏼‍♀️🍰 (Part 3) 👩‍🍳♥️ #foryou #fyp

Harper also met Brandon's baby boy, Grayson, when she was 5, and that video is also an instant classic.

@alwaystaketwo

Replying to @46username Part 2 of my 5yr old neighbour meeting my son for the first time 😆♥️👶🏻 she loves him but still hates us.. 🤷🏼‍♀️ #foryou #fyp

When she was 6, Brandon went for a walk with her and talked to her about him moving 10 minutes away. Her reaction is perfect.

@alwaystaketwo

Today I had to tell my 6yr old neighbour I’m no longer going go be her neighbour anymore.. *NOT CLICK BAIT* 😭💔🏠 ##foryou##fyp(Like for Part 2)

Now that she's 7, her voice sounds a bit more like Bluey than Bingo, and still just as surreal to hear in real life asking questions like, "Have you been achieving much in life?"

@alwaystaketwo

My 7yr old neighbour’s dad is a doctor👨‍⚕️😡👊🏻 and he couldn’t fix my shoulder after I paid him.. here’s my argument with her #foryou #fyp

It's hard not to hear the resemblance to the "Bluey" characters, as evidenced by the comments.

"Is that bluey and bingo on the other side of the fence!? 😅"

"Literally thought 'how could bluey and bingo are their neighbors?'"

"There needs to be an episode of Bluey where they get new neighbors and the girls befriend them like this."

"Bluey and Bingo living next door is wild."

"Please tell me that we all think the same thing because we are parents? It took me one second to say Bluey!"

"Omg I’m not the only one that thought omg BINGO!!!"

You can follow @alwaystaketwo on TikTok for more fun with Harper and her neighbors.

Kids watching their parents dance to Taylor Swift is sheer delight.

We all know parenting can be tough, but if there's one thing that makes the roller coaster of emotions totally worth it, it's seeing our children's faces light up with joy.

Children's smiles are infectious, and not in the scary pandemic kind of a way. There's simply nothing better in this world than the face of a bright-eyed little human beaming with happiness, which is why a recent TikTok trend has people grinning from ear to ear themselves.

The premise is simple: The parent asks the kid to record them dancing to Taylor Swift's "Love Story" with the screen facing away from them (under the guise that the parent dancing needs to see themselves). So instead of recording the parent dancing, it's actually recording the kid's face watching them.

And oh, the love and joy on these kids' faces is so, so sweet to witness. Watch:

@thechavezfamilyy

The end 😭😭 why am I bawling at this trend?! He’s SO CUTE #momsoftiktok #momtok #toddlersoftiktok

That face. OMG.

And check out the encouragement from this little fella:

@themarshhfamily

The end did it for me 🥹😭I birthed such a sweet, loving and encouraging little boy!! #momtok #toddlersoftiktok #taylorswiftchallenge #lovestorychallenge #boymom #toddlermom

Seriously, seeing close-ups of kids' joy should be a daily thing.

@makingthemoffitts

#nationaladoptionmonth #adoptionawareness #thisisadoption #thisisfostercare #adoption #fostercare #makingthemoffitts #lovestorychallenge #taylorswift

Some dads have gotten in on the trend as well. Look at the way this little girl beams at her daddy.

@durbanofamily

Had to jump on the trend! Love this beautiful girl!

Of course, part of the beauty of having kids is you simply never know what they're going to do. While some youngsters gaze lovingly at their parents while they dance, others have a … well … different reaction. Check out this girl's facial expressions:

@haleigh.booth

It’s the side eye at the end for me 😆😂😂😂😂

Hilarious. And because this is the internet, naturally someone had to do the TikTok trend with their dog. Gotta admit, Ellie's toothy grin is pretty darn cute as well.

@elliegoldenlife

This is why I don’t dance 😂

TikTok trends can sometimes be strange, annoying or problematic, but once in a while one comes along that brings people together in surprisingly delightful ways. Seeing people's kids' pure enjoyment watching their parents being silly is simply the best.


This article originally appeared on 11.15.22

Pennsylvania's State Route 100.

A quick-thinking 10-year-old boy escaped a woman trying to lure him by pretending that a local store clerk was his mother. ABC 6 reports that Sammy Green was walking home from school in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, on Friday, November 11, when a strange woman started following him.

The woman "started walking with him and asking him where his family was, asking where his dad was," Sam Green, the boy's father, told ABC6. The boy didn’t know the woman but she insisted that she knew his family.

She tried to lure him into going with her by promising she’d buy him “anything he wanted” at Wawa, a local convenience store that sells shakes, sandwiches and other treats.

"She was like, 'I'm going to Wawa, are you going there? What are you getting from Wawa? Where's your family at?'" Sammy told CBS.


"She said she probably knew me and was going to Wawa and that he was supposed to go with her and he could get anything he wanted," Sam Green said.

In an attempt to flee the suspicious woman, Sammy walked into Dani Bee Funky, an unconventional gift shop, where he went straight to 17-year-old Hannah who was working the register. "He was like, 'Pretend like you're my mom,'" Hannah told CBS, "and I was just like, 'all right go to the back.' He didn't want to leave my side."

Security footage shows that Hannah then calmly walked up to the store’s front door and locked it, preventing the woman from coming inside. After she was locked out, the woman walked away. "I was still shaking when I was in here," Sammy said.

The security camera footage is hard for Sammy's dad to watch. "When we were watching that video, I cried every time I saw it," said Green.

The shop’s owner has nothing but praise for Hannah’s calm way of handling the dangerous situation. "I am very proud of her. Hannah is a 17-year-old young lady. She did everything correctly," Small said.

This story is a great reminder for parents to talk to their kids about what to do if they are approached by a suspicious person. The first thing they should know is that it’s OK to say “No!” as loudly as possible to a suspicious person. They should then scream, “Help! This is not my mom or my dad!” to alert the adults around them and then run. If they are grabbed by the person they should bite, punch and kick as hard as they can until they can get free.

Sammy’s dad is proud that his son remembered what he told him to do when confronted by a suspicious stranger. "Think of every scenario and make sure that children know and also practice it," he reminded parents. "Practice your situations and scenarios just like fire drills."

For the time being, Sammy is going to have a family friend walk him to and from school. The Pottstown Police have spoken with the woman and she is now getting help for mental health issues.


This article originally appeared on 11.17.22

Family

How 5 diabolical parents called their kids' bluff in hilarious ways

The next generation is in great, if diabolical, hands.

Photo by Phuong Tran on Unsplash



Recently, blogger Jen Hatmaker had a funny conversation with a friend about parenting:

"My girlfriend told me the greatest story. Apparently her 11-year-old also wanted to be a grown up this week and, in fact, not only did he treat his siblings like despised underlings, but when asked what he wanted, he said: 'I want the authority to be in charge of them and tell them what to do, because they deserve it!'


Well. My girlfriend and her husband are NOT AT ALL MESSING AROUND with parenting. Calmly, evenly, they granted his request to be a grown-up for a week by pulling him out of camp (the underlings still got to go, because they are 'such children') and sending him to work ALL DAY EVERY DAY with his dad. He has to get up early and shower and make breakfast for everyone. He has to kiss the underlings before he goes to work and tell them to have a great day and that he loves them. He has to work on a typing project during his office hours. He only gets to eat what his dad eats, because eating like a grown-up is not nearly as fun as eating like a kid.


Want to be an adult? Fine."

Photo via iStock.

Hatmaker's post went viral, with thousands of parents chiming in with their own stories of tough love, both giving and receiving.

The responses were hilarious, poignant, and a sign that the next generation is being parented by extremely capable, if not a little bit diabolical, hands.

Here are five of my favorite stories from the comments about parenting-gone-absolutely-right:


1. Jill Duff's mom used an embarrassing outfit to teach her sister an important lesson:

"My sister was snotty to my Mom. She called her and pretty much demanded, 'Bring my band uniform to the high school!' She's the one who forgot her uniform in the first place. Then she told my Mom 'Do not come in the school, that would be so EMBARRASSING. Just wait for me by my car.'

So my Mom did just that. She stood by my sister's car, in the Texas heat, WEARING my sister's band uniform. All the kids walking out for the day saw it.

Parenting GOLD."

And Mom was like...

2. Jessica Klick got her sons new shoes ... but not the ones they wanted.

Image via iStock.

"Our 11 and 12 year olds at the time were complaining and whining and being ungrateful, saying how 'hard their life was.' For boys, the big thing is wearing those cool Steph Curry shoes and our boys LOVE their Currys!

So after hearing the last complaint my husband went to Walmart to buy white maypop leather shoes (the kind you see in geriatric centers) and high white socks. He brought those bad boys home, set them on the boys' dresser, and made them wear those things everywhere we went. Those devastated boys told us we were 'ruining their lives.'

I may or may not have laughed like a little girl when I dropped them off at school and watched them do the walk of shame."

3. Marisa Rodriguez Byers says she wished her mother was dead. And boy, did she regret it.

"I was a wretched, hormonal teenager. At the age of 13 I told my mom, 'I wish you were dead!' And at that moment, she 'died,' but to me only. (I had younger sisters).

She completely ignored me, didn't speak at me, didn't look at me, wouldn't cook for me, set my place at the table, wash my clothes, take me to school, NOTHING. After 8 days, I broke down in the middle of the night, went to her room, clutched her tightly while sobbing how sorry I was and how much I loved her and that I would NEVER say those words again. I'm 41 years old now, I have NEVER uttered those words or anything remotely like them after that incident."

After tough love, you gotta hug it out.

4. Jessica Hill gave her daughter a good scare — and, in turn, a new appreciation.

"I was grocery shopping with my three year old when she decided to start screaming for ice cream. There was no reasoning with her in this hulk-type rage. I swear she had super human strength as I struggled to get her out of the cart full of groceries.

I was completely unaware of the two police officers who were witnessing this wrestling match. She was still hitting, kicking, and screaming when I was stopped by the police officers in the parking lot. They thought I had abducted her. This happened long before we had smart phones full of our children's photos. They tried questioning her but she was still too busy throwing a fit, so I handed her over. I told them she could ride with them because I really needed a break and they could follow me home to see her birth certificate, baby book, etc. They started chuckling as one officer said, 'Spoken like a true mom!' I think they were more relieved than I was when she finally cried out, 'Mommy?'

The officer handed her back to me while the other went back inside the store to ensure there wasn't a distraught mother looking for her missing toddler. That evening my daughter told her dad she almost went to jail because she threw a fit, and I let her believe it. She didn't throw a fit in public again."

"Uhh, ma'am?"

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images.

"I didn't mean to scare her, so after this experience, I wanted to ensure my daughter had a healthy respect and appreciation for first responders. Today, I'm happy to say she is highly aware and appreciative of the police, firemen, paramedics, and military personnel who serve to protect her."

5. Erica Goodnight taught her son an incredible lesson that he carries to this day.

Photo by Mike Mozart/Flickr

"My kid was whining over not having anything to play with. So, without a word, I went to the garage and got a black 50 gallon trash bag and started putting in all the toys that he obviously didn't even realize were in our home to play with.

I loaded them AND him into the car and we drove to our local homeless shelter and gave every. single. toy. in the bag away. To a child who TRULY had nothing. And you know what? He didn't even cry. His eyes were opened to the ones who have nothing. He actually enlarged his heart that day. And, we still do it. We still take toys to kids with nothing at least once a year."

Parent win. Life lesson score.

There's a fine line between teaching your kids a tough lesson in a funny way and engaging in "humiliation parenting."

Making children wear a sign that says, "I sneak boys in at 3 a.m. and disrespect my parents and grandparents" or otherwise berating them publicly is a good way to erode trust between the two of you and seriously damage your relationship.

But calling their bluff on a ridiculous demand? Or having a little fun with how you choose to correct their bad attitude? That's just plain survival.

And that's what parenting is really all about.

You can read the whole hilarious exchange over on Facebook.

In the meantime, what's your favorite tough-love story?


This article originally appeared on 07.13.16