Dinovember: Stop the Madness

First came the overachieving mommies and their Elves on Shelves. They hung them from ceiling fans and made them "eat" copious amounts of sugar. Then they got a little naughty. They made flour angels and teepee'd Christmas trees.

Well, move over Elf, there's a new little (even more) destructive bastard on the block: Dinovember.

Have you heard about Dinovember yet? A mom and dad started this new trend a couple of years ago, but it caught on like wild fire this year. Every night in November while their daughters sleep, the parents stage elaborate scenes with the kids' dinosaurs.

They then, of course, photograph their magic and upload it for friends and family to see. Sure, the kids love it and appreciate it and think it's amazing, but you've got to share it with your social media. Why go to all that work if no one is going to give you a virtual atta boy?



The world is enthralled with Dinovember, so of course, I had to see what the ruckus was about. I looked through the Dinovember pictures. Sure, they were cute and fun and beautifully photographed with just the right amount of filter so as to look perfect on Instagram, but something about them bugged me.

I looked at the complex tableaux that the parents created. The dinosaurs were caught eating and smashing fresh fruit all over the counter tops or tearing into a box of non-GMO verified cereal. They spent a night cutting a record with a vintage set up and a ukulele. Of course, there was a fricking ukulele. It was the ukulele that tipped me off.

I realized what was bugging me, Dinovember reminded me of the overachieving Elf on the Shelf mommies. It dawned on me. We've got a new breed of overachievers on our hands: the HIPSTER Overachiever.


Look, I can take the suburban mom overachiever any day of the week with her 100 dollar yoga pants and her ah-dor-able Elf guzzling maple syrup and leaving creepy notes like "I'm Watching You" spelled out in M&Ms before I can take the hipster overachiever and his damn dinos taking pictures on the beach with a camera from a bygone era (probably the damn 80s) or cracking brown free range eggs all over the kitchen floor or climbing on stacks of intelligent books like Don Quixote and the Complete Works of Leonardo DaVinci. (No, Fifty Shades of Gray in that pile - but I think I spotted a lot of old Reader's Digest Condensed books. Did these guys photograph their dinosaurs in my mom's house?) Everything about hipsters just screams, "Look at me!" I don't know what demands more attention: their fuzzy beards, their decorating style (I mean really, who puts books in a defunct fireplace??), or their need to dress a like a cross between fundamentalist Mormon runaways and Amish farmers with iPads.

These two Dinovember inventors are clearly trying to horn in on the Elf's success and they think that just because they put a moody filter on their photos that makes what they're doing cool. I hate to break the news to these non-conformists, but Dinovember is the Overachieving Hipster Elf on the Shelf. These are the "we're far too hip and trendy to pose a stupid little doll" parents. I can just hear them lamenting, "After all, we stack old suitcases in our fireplace and decorate with antlers. For goodness sake, our lamps are works of art. The Elf on the Shelf is a commercialized piece of junk that isn't made ethically and is sold in big box stores, which we never shop at - we only support local businesses. No Elf for us, we'd rather play with dinosaurs." I hope those dinosaurs are free range, at least.

Also, these dinosaurs make the Elf look like a dream in comparison. These parents spray painted their living room wall! SPRAY PAINTED. Besides spray paint, they colored on the walls with crayons, and they broke a vase. I don't care if they were planning to repaint those walls the next day and thought the vase was ugly as hell. There is no way I am teaching my kids that it is in any way OK for their toys to "come alive" at night and deface my house. Who thinks that's a good idea? A little bit of lipstick on my mirror from the Elf isn't looking so bad now compared to these dinosaurs.

The dad behind Dinovember said he does this, 
"Because in the age of iPads and Netflix, we don't want our kids to lose their sense of wonder and imagination. In a time when the answers to all the world's questions are a web-search away, we want our kids to experience a little mystery. All it takes is some time and energy, creativity, and a few plastic dinosaurs. 
Childhood is fleeting, so let's make sure it's fun while it lasts."
No, no, no, no, no! You can still keep children's sense of wonder and imagination alive without trashing your house.

Don't you parents understand the drill? When the kids go to bed that's the time to fold laundry, pay bills, watch TV, read a book, or even get a little action if you're not too exhausted. It is not the time to get out the dinosaurs and spray paint and create a "masterpiece" on your living room wall. 

Ugh. Whatever. Honestly. I am so done with parents playing with their kids toys after lights out.

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53 comments:

MamaRabia said...

Seriously? I have enough messes in my house. Why would I make more on purpose!! And why would I teach my kids that trashing things is cute, or okay or funny?

Chris Shue said...

Lighten up, Frances. :)

Sarah said...

That tumbler link is awesome. AlsoCan I admit, that people have been posting the dinovember thing on my Facebook and I haven't bothered to look. The reason is that the tagline reads: Every November we dedicated out time to making our children believe their toy dinosaurs come to life at night, and I just assumed it was a parody peice mocking elaborate Santa/Elf on the shelf fantasies that some parents perpetrate in December.

Instead it's a 'we're to cool to do regular stuff, so we do dinosaurs,and in November, so it's in no way a rip-off of cliched December childhood wonderment, we're specialer than that"

When my babe is born, I'm going to have to get more creative: Spocktober anyone?

Unknown said...

Because parenthood is all just a competition anymore...who can be THE COOLEST-MOST-AWESOME-DO-ANYTHING-ANYTIME-FOR-YOUR-KIDS-INCLUDING-TRASH-YOUR-HOUSE-TO-MAKE-EVERYDAY-FULL-OF-UNICORNS-AND-RAINBOWS-BECAUSE-WHEN-THEY-GROW-UP-LIFE-WILL-REALLY-BE-LIKE-THAT-AND-THEY-WILL-NEVER-HAVE-TO-LEARN-TO-FACE-DISAPPOINTMENT-OR-LETDOWN-PARENT?????

MamaDrama said...

I'm afraid to even click the Dinovember link, but think you hit it spot on again. Your Elf post makes me laugh harder every time I read it!
This little lovely was going around in a FB moms group--now people can't even come up with their own elf ideas without someone else to calendar it for them! And check out the Saturday night activities--so much for having a life or sleeping!
http://alittlemoore.wordpress.com/2013/11/13/elf-on-the-shelf-2013-calendar/

Mamarox said...

Right!?!?! Amen!

World of Olive said...

Awesome, again. I told my son we have hobgoblins living under the house that take his toys away... like the annoying ones that sing and pound. Sense of wonder+Gets rid of annoying toys? Great idea. However, now when he draws on the walls or spills things, he says it was the hobgoblins. GRRRR. Backfired on me.

Mamarox said...

Damn it! I clicked on the link!! 😣 I really don't think these overachievers' Housekeeper would appreciate the added mess! I mean really...i have enough to do cleaning up after 4 kids in the bathroom, plunging the toilet 3x a day....if a damn TOY did it for kicks n' giggles, you'd need to check yourself before you wreck yourself (or your sure to be overachieving kids!) or you're house will sure to be burned down by Thanksgiving with this trend! And on THAT note...does this tie in to Thanksgiving as this IS the twisted point of the Elf....yeas??? *sigh.....i guess I will have to just be the lame Mom who struggles to stay awake long enough to (sometimes) be the Tooth Fairy..........

PNG said...

Thankfully, my seven year old isn't interested in dinosaurs. He has, however, seen that damned elf somewhere on the internet and now wants one to visit him. Not. A. Chance!

Jasmine said...

I'm totally in for Spocktober!!

Crystal M said...

And NO ONE in the comments says anything but how awesome it is. I will NEVER teach my kids it's okay for them (or their toys) to trash the house. It's been hard enough to keep the crayons off the wall!!

Unknown said...

You know, I could just throw some dinos in my sink with all the dirty dishes, or maybe on the pile of dirty clothes and take a pic. I can hardly remember to move the damn elf on the shelf around every day in Dec. The amount of energy it takes to be the cool overachiever Hipster parent must be exhausting.

MyLeftBreast said...

Where in the world do these people find the time to do these ridiculous dioramas? Hell, if I had a few extra hours on my hand, I'd be catching up on previous Sons of Anarchy seasons on netflix. Funny post!

Unknown said...

Much like the elf, I have no problem with parents who actually enjoy playing with the toys. I do, however, have a problem with parents who feel compelled to participate in something they don't value because other people do. A friend sent me an elf last fall and it's still in the Amazon box. Guess I'm not a joiner!

KCJen said...

My kid would never sleep again if he thought his toys came alive at night and tore up the house! And then he would spend the next day convincing me that he didn't do it, and asking 14,000 questions. No thanks.

RachRiot said...

I want to track these people down, sneak into their house and take a crap on their reclaimed teakwood farm table and blame it on Hipster Baby NewYear.

QueenSuchandSuch said...

I get it. I do. Mom of 4 here and I resent the hell our of the Elf on the Shelf because of the bullshit in-your-face merchandising and media crap. But the dinos don't. And it was a family thing. Clearly the parents had too much wine one night and missed getting to play without kids dictating which voice and line you have to use. Until I see this at Target or it gets its own tv special, I think its fine.

Carrie - ASassyRedhead.com said...

I have no time to shave my legs more than once a week much less jack with this stuff.

The only thing I want to know is where do people find the time or the "want to" when it comes to this after a full day at the office, then sitting in traffic only to get home to do dinner and everyone turn their nose up at it?

I must suck more than I thought.

Erin McDermid said...

I saw the dinos this weekend, and all I could think of was "why are we teaching our kids to destroy our homes? spray paint?? I agree with all you said.... there are better ways to have fun outside the internet with out making more mess!!

Unknown said...

Ha! I clicked on the Dinovember link last week, and immediately thought of you. I've been waiting to see this post in my inbox. :D I was just annoyed with it, until I scrolled down to see the picture of the the "dinosaurs" coloring on the wall. ON THE WALL! I'm sorry, but I don't need to go that far to prove I'm a cool parent (because you're so right about the virtual 'atta boy thing). All a parent needs to REALLY be cool is a stack of books, and some time. Buh bye, dinos!

Rachel V said...

What I want to know is, which one of the parents chewed up the crayon and spit it out for the dinosaurs?

Meg said...

I just checked this out and SERIOUSLY they had the dinos color on the walls with crayons!!! OMG!!! Don't we tell our kids NOT to do that? WTF!

Anonymous said...

Ha!! I was totally thinking the same thing about my son. Living toys = terror with questions on top.

Anonymous said...

Well, I think it's pretty funny. Some of those scenario's were awesome. Now, that being said, I'm not taking the time or energy to create something that involves ruining shit or creating a mess around my house. But I'll go back and look at everything they came up with. It's not like they are packing it up and selling it so that your aunt jo can give it to your kids and then you are like obligated to do that crap like that silly Elf (Thaaannnks aunt B!). No one sees the humor? No one? And aren't they kind of saying the dinosaurs are BAD or doing that stuff to the house? Maybe they should put them all in the blender or the microwave after one of their midnight vandelizing jaunts and tell the kids that's how come they became extinct- didn't follow the rules.

Nat said...

Best. Comment. Ever.

Hey Mon! said...

This!

Hey Mon! said...

Hipster Overachiever. Word! Google the Dinovember dude's name and check out images to reveal the various forms of his hipster-ism, from mustache to gross hipster beard. Hilarious! He also wants to make sure you know he loves New Yorker magazine, which all hipsters do. (Note, you don't have to be a hipster to enjoy New Yorker, but hipsters love to proclaim how much they love it!)

the_happy_hausfrau said...

I pretty much hate everyone now. Effing hipsters. I'm in Minneapolis, where it's HIPSTERTOPIA. The ones I want to kill with a garotte are the craft beer assholes, the midlife hipsters with the long straggly graying beards and the mother effing KNIT CAPS and they use the word "organic" to describe EVERYTHING not just their food. "Her artwork comes from a really organic place" "I wanted to capture the organic essence of being pregnant so I did an Instagram montage of my belly featuring photos taken while I gaze at it and think of names for my unborn child like Kerouac or Grizzly."

I'm so sorry. This post awakened some deep-seated loathing, I guess.

TWM said...

What about the raft of marriage proposals wafting all over the internet. I saw one yesterday that was 26 minutes and a good 20 was the guy doing music videos that he had pre-recorded. Something creepy about that much dramatic effort going into a proposal.

LA Botchar said...

The first thing that came to mind when I clicked on that link (shame on me, I'll never learn) is "the trouble with trouble is it starts out as fun."
why why why is destructive tendencies being packaged up as fun....educational even. pretty sure if I broke my mom's vase or smashed eggs on the floor after lights out, I will NOT be imaging how sore my ass is. Although, I will have lots of time to explore that imagination thing since I would have been grounded for a month.
I applaud their devotion and the imagination behind it all, but I seriously questions why all the scenes involve some kind of mess or trouble. Hey - why not have the dinosaurs package up a shoebox to send to needy kids. Or actually prepare a healthy snack instead of fruit smashing. Just. Odd.
I expect there will be a price to pay one day for all this "fun."

spymay said...

I second that. That should totally make Comment of the Week.My sides hurt from laughing so hard.

Unknown said...

Look I have no problem with a couple of adults sitting around, drinking a little, and saying hey lets go grab the kid's toys and play like it's 1985 again. I may have dipped into the playdough a night or two or played an adult game of strip UNO with the husband after lights out. What annoys me is when they have to package it as a "we did it for he kids" or "with iPads and the Internet destroying them we needed to fight back". It's self righteous garbage. Man up and admit you are coloring on the wall because you couldn't as a kid and goddammit now that you own that wall you want to have some fun.

Unknown said...

Here's what all of the naysayer's don't get at all. You all prioritize your time differently than other people do. Someone wants more tv time. Good for you. I'm not about wasting food to do this type of thing because I wouldn't teach my kids to be wasteful. But jump down their throats because they came up with an idea that makes you look like a lazy, creatively impaired parent? I think you all should get over yourselves. Spend less time on the internet and maybe you can bring a bit of magic into your kids lives, or watch more tv.

Emelie said...

"the hipster overachiever and his damn dinos taking pictures on the beach with a camera from a bygone era (probably the damn 80s)" <--That got me so good. Thank you.

KMKMom said...

I think the part that bothers so many of us "naysayers" is not the idea of Dinovember, it's the fact that so many of these parents feel the need to share it on social media in order to get their virtual "atta boys" from all of their "friends" and the need to one up everyone else. If someone wants to create their own mess to clean up strictly for the fun and enjoyment of their own kids, that's fine. It's that it seems to be one great big show for parental self gratification is what is annoying about it.

Anonymous said...

Exactly!

Anonymous said...

I really love this.
I thought it funny when I believed it was one family and a one-time-thingy. But if I ever did that, my nephew's (for lack of own children)toys would be found in his school books. Or maybe in another good book. Or playing with Lego. And maybe a mess once, but with an apology letter next to it, if it was a T-Rex one could make a joke out of it, "I really wanted to clean that up, but my arms are to short for the broom! I apologize!"

I seriously should stop my mind.

Catherine said...

When I saw this last night on FB, all I was thinking was these parents are probably "anti-Santa" and refuse to tell the Santa story to their kids. And then had to go and compensate and create this whole Dino thing instead of just doing the Elf on a Shelf. Doesn't really bother me all that much, but when my brain when where yours went (those non-comformist, righteous, hipsters) I became annoyed and just had a giant eye roll.

Catherine said...

PS Are those artisan handcrafted dinos?

Red said...

....and I just cracked the eff up. And seriously? When it's 97 degrees in the shade, please tell me why you need a KNIT CAP on?

Anna San said...

Thirdsies on best comment ever.

Periwinkle Paisley said...

Okay, here's the thing. While I agree that spraypainting your walls and smushing fruit and eggs all over the kitchen is going overboard, I really liked Dinovember. Some of those scenarios were quite chuckle-worthy. It's possible that they were going to repaint that room anyway. What I really think is that the parents are looking to publish an I SPY style book and if they aren't they should.

Periwinkle Paisley said...

Spocktober! Yes!

Periwinkle Paisley said...

After some thinking I wanted to add that I think Deann Salazar is right on. The whole We're preserving the wonder of childhood in the age of creativity sucking black holes like iPods and TV is BS. They did it for the sake of their art, and for the sake of giving themselves permission to do naughty stuff they couldn't do as kids. If they'd just own that would be a lot more respectable. We had this crazy concept and we just had to do it is way more believable. Ask any artist (you can ask me if you like!) and the thing we want more than anything is to be told how clever and creative and special we are. Some artists though feel like they can't admit that like praise somehow makes your work less legit. Well, I admit it! So feel free to tell me how great I am ;)

J. Brendan O'Shaughnessy said...

HAHAHA = all I have to say to everything on this page.

Phanie said...

Oh and staging a torture scene is to fight the fleetiness of childhood? That is just wrong. When I saw the Ninja turtle it just scream torture/hostage scene and not fun prank.

Unknown said...

Thank you for this! I hate those Dinovember parents SO MUCH!!

Anonymous said...

Have to disagree with you. We're talking about dinosaurs... DINOSAURS! I like dinosaurs.

Unknown said...

can't believe how many people are getting negatively worked up over some parents encouraging a sense of wonder and playfulness in their kid's lives. Many of the commenters in here must not have children or feel insecure as a parent if you " hate" another parent simply for posting pictures of something fun they did for their kids. lighten up people.

Celia said...

I do not understand how they think this is "creating a sense of wonder and playfullness". You know how you do that? YOU LET THEM PLAY. Then you collapse on the couch after they are in bed like a damn adult. Those people are idiots and deserve to walk into a kitchen full of "wonder and playfulness" in mid-July.

Celia said...

You are crazy. They came up with a totally stupid idea. Only someone with no clue about how to let children be children would play "for" them.

jessica said...

Wow, you guys are a bunch of dead-inside assholes.

Unknown said...

Aww. Did mommy take away your toys? I for one am permenently 12 when it comes to dinos. As,by the way, are most paleontologists.I still do the dishes, pay bills, and fold laundry like any "responsible" adult. I have however still retained my senses of fun and wonder about the things this world contains. By the way, it is a hobby people. Something their inner children cooked up on its own to delight their own children. It has nothing to do with that damn Elf. If this is all you trolls do. Shut down your stupid blogs for a day and go take a walk, visit a museum, or get out some coloring books and crayons (not the zen ones either). These people are happier with their lives. How about starting a family tradition yourselves instead of sitting in front of a computer all day griping about people that remember how to have fun. You're all just secretly jealous. Heaven forbid a family finds a way to become closer and more loving. There are too many broken families. Abuse, neglect, addictions. Be happy some families have found a way to avoid these traps and teach their children lessons on how to be better adults when they grow up. You don't like it don't do it. Just go on with your sad, angry little lives and leave the rest of us to do the things that make our lives a little more bearable. This isn't done to garner your approval. So crawl back under your rocks and shut up.

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