Whatever it looks like for your kids this year, going back to school is anything but ordinary. Balancing everything your child needs to keep track of during virtual learning or trying to remember all of the new rules for in-person classes – it’s a lot. For Marcus Stricklin, a stay-at-home dad from Glendale, Arizona, trying to coordinate his four virtual learners and a 3-year-old is basically the dad Olympics. To say there’s a lot going on in this lively household would be an understatement, and it’s Marcus’s job to keep everyone on task. This busy dad helps the e-learners focus on their schoolwork, entertains a 3-year old, and keeps them all from interfering with his wife’s at-home workday.
At the end of a long day last Friday, Marcus’s daughters were being rowdy while his oldest son and wife were still busy with work. “Instead of telling them to quiet down, I reminded them that there are others in the house that need to work and we owe it to them to be respectful,” Marcus told The Dad.
As many dads have realized, reminders like this are often quickly forgotten. But in a stroke of parenting genius, Marcus decided to make a TikTok with his daughters – not only did this keep them entertained for a while so the rest of his household could continue working, but it reinforced the message he was trying to teach. How? By recreating a scene from the popular movie Despicable Me, in which our favorite supervillain Gru sets some ground rules for his newly-adopted daughters.
Marcus absolutely nails his tentatively confident Gru impression, while his three girls, Sophie, Addison, and Nora, flawlessly play the parts of Gru’s daughters. Throwing his scarf over his shoulder and getting down to business, Marcus begins to lip sync, “Ok – Clearly, we need to set some rules,” which is likely a sentence he has uttered more than a few times (I mean, five kids. FIVE).
The three girls stand at the ready, eagerly awaiting Gr- I mean, Marcus’s instructions. Things go immediately awry with rule number one, “you will not touch anything.” As kids and lawyers are primed to do, one of the girls pipes up with a loophole. “What about the floor?” she responds with a hefty dose of sass reserved only for parents and younger siblings. The video continues with more rules and more adorable objections, a slightly dramatized rendition of real-life versions of similar conversations.
@marcusthecreatorDaily house rules. ##fyp ##despicableme ##fypシ ##parentsoftiktok #♬ original sound – beauthentic8
Marcus’s video has accumulated thousands of views in less than a week, perhaps because of the bizarre circumstances of “school in COVID times”, where everyone is scrambling to figure out the do’s and don’ts of a brand new situation. Of the incredibly positive response the video has received, Marcus told The Dad, “It’s been amazing and surprising to be honest!” He continued, “I was just being goofy and trying to do something fun with the kids, since we’ve been trapped in Quarantine for months.”
To see more of Marcus’s videos (in which his hilarious kids often make appearances), check out his TikTok page.