Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Why Trekkie Mothers Are Superior.

This parody was composed in response to a Wall Street Journal post called "Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior," by Amy Chua.

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A lot of people wonder how Trekkie mothers raise such stereotypically successful kids. They wonder how we produce kids who keep their basement bedrooms so tidy. What is it like, they wonder, to raise a child whose memory is so highly refined he can remember minute details of television shows produced 20, 30 or even 40 years ago? How can I ensure my child will live with me forever, even after achieving advanced degrees in computing science and molecular biology?

Well, I can tell them because I'm doing it.  Here are some things my sons are never allowed to do:
• attend playdates with villains, ie Romulans, Klingons, Andorians, or Brannon Braga and Rick Berman (aka the Franchise Killers)
• play computer games that don't relate to Star Trek or space exploration
• watch any television show that doesn't have "Produced By Gene Roddenberry" in the credits
• play a sport not referenced in Star Trek
• complain that Parrises Squares in not a real game
• achieve anything less than a perfect score in our weekly Star Trek trivia quiz
• dress as anything other than a Star Trek character for Halloween
• complain about dressing up as anything other than a Star Trek character for Halloween.

I'm using the term Trekkie mother loosely. I know some Star Wars moms, Doctor Who moms, Stargate moms, and Browncoat moms who qualify, too.

Oh sure, some other types of moms might think my parenting style is too extreme. But that's just because they are jealous of the awesome children produced by the Trekkie mom. The Trekkie mom knows that by making everything in the child's life revolve around Gene Roddenberry, the Trekkie mom looks good in front of her peers. That's what counts.

There are three big differences between the Trekkie mom and those other moms:

Firstly, other mothers let their kids choose their own clothing. Not for the children of the Trekkie mom. She knows that colour-coordinated jumpsuits are key to making her children look like they are members of a futuristic, progressive, space-faring society.

Secondly, Trekkie moms know that the sooner their child learns the maxim "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one" the sooner the kid will give up independent thought in favour of earning parental love.

Finally, non-Trekkie moms just don't see the value in memorizing and regurgitating trivial information and mastering worthless skills. But the Trekkie mom knows better.

All three of these in combination are guaranteed to make the lowly, non-Trekkie moms jealous.

Here's a story in favour of mothering the Trekkie way. When my youngest child was 5 he was working on memorizing the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition. We worked for a solid week. I made flip charts, flash cards, invented an interpretative dance routine, but STILL the child could not recite the rules.

"What's Rule #31?," I would ask.

"Nature decays, but latinum lasts forever."

"NO! That's Rule #102!"

"Employees are the rungs on the ladder of success. Don't hesitate to step on them!"

"NO! That's Rule #211! Rule #31 -- TELL ME NOW!"

 "I HATE THIS!" He yelled as we entered hour 13 on the tenth day of our study session. "I don't even like Star Trek. Why won't you let me watch Reality TV? Why can't I wear jeans or t-shirts? This year for Halloween I want to dress up as a Clone Trooper!"

He ran to his room. But I dragged him back to 10-Forward (that's a living room, to you other moms). I threatened to take away all his toys. I called him lazy. I told him he would never amount to anything better than a liquidator with the Ferengi Commerce Authority.

My husband took me aside. He told me to stop what I was doing.

"But he needs to learn this." I said.

"No. He doesn't. He's five. Let him play with his toys."

"If he doesn't learn these rules he is doomed. Sure, he'll live long, but will he prosper?" I asked.

"There's no talking to you when you are like this," he said and turned to go.

"We wouldn't have to talk at all,  if you would agree to mind melds!" I yelled.

Then I returned to 10-Forward, and was greeted by my 5 year old as he recited, "Rule #23: Nothing is more important than your health -- except for your money. Rule #203:  New customers are like razor-toothed gree-worms. They can be succulent, but sometimes they bite back!"

His face was the picture of utter joy as he announced, "Rule #31: Never make fun of a Ferengi's mother."

He got. He finally got it. It was as if faced with my own Battle of Wolf 359, I had emerged victorious. Those other mothers would not assimilate me into their mundane ways of "free choice" or "independent thought" or "nurturing."


  1. The title ALONE brought me GREAT JOY. Because the other article had me slamming dishes into the sink.

    This was AWESOME.

    "We wouldn't have to talk at all if you would agree to mind melds!" I yelled.

    My husband is going to curse you forever for giving my new favourite line.

  2. I have commented on a couple of your posts and when I go back, my comment isn't there. *sigh* I seem to have the hardest time remembering to hit "post" after I "preview" the comment.

    Oh well, the gist of the first comment was that I was glad I wasn't drinking something when I read this. Even w/o reading the other article--which I since have read--I would have been snorting liquid out my nose. This is wickedly funny.

  3. Okay, you know I don't watch Star Trek or really know anything about it, despite your efforts to educate. However, I was drinking coffee (see above, Mary LUE) and spat it out.
    "Yes, he'll live long, but will he prosper?"

  4. Ha! Thank you, this was very necessary.

    "Sure, he'll live long, but will he prosper?"
    Epic, my friend. EPIC.

  6. i need to find some way to get my partner to meld minds. if you could write your next post on Trekkie relationships, i'd be most grateful.

  7. Well, thank Rodenberry, he didn't want to be Daphne for Hallowe'en!

    You are clever. And funny.

  8. Tell me, is the Cardassian neck trick part of their physical education regime?

  9. So I read this. Then went to read the other article. What the? Then came back to reread. Very good my friend, well played.

  10. Really, wow. Never before have I seen such brilliant use of mockery. You, my dear Nan, are amazing.

    I hadn't read the other article, no matter how many times it was linked to me, because it made me feel good about myself.

    People already look at me like I'm insane since we homeschool. The article let me know that there are women out there that are much, much more hard core than I am. Wait, it wasn't a feel good piece?

    You are a brilliant cookie, my friend.