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Hi and Lois, 2/6/24

God, this one is super bleak. Lois has convinced herself that, sure, things are tight and they can’t afford to order pizza very often even though the kids are always whining for it, but what if she just learned how to make it herself? And what if the kids learned to love that even more than the crap from Dominio’s? “Mom’s homemade pizza,” they’d call it, and it would be a fond childhood memory they’d carry with them the rest of their lives, something they looked forward to, not a marker of her and Hi’s failure to provide them with what they really wanted. This fantasy lasts mere seconds into the children’s’ actual encounter with her malformed, fucked-up pizza, and look at her face — she is devastated.

Family Circus, 2/6/24

Jeffy, meanwhile, has been abandoned by his parents and is being forced to clean the house himself even though he’s a toddler, and he’s doing fine. “Noooo, Jeffy, you’re screwing this up, do you even know what cleaning is” Dolly whines in the background, but Jeffy doesn’t care. Look at that face. Cool competence and determination. He’s thriving for the first time in his short, dumb life.

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 2/6/24

I often think that contemporary middle- and upper-class Americans create a culture of child safety that’s unprecedented in history, with children monitored at all times well into their teenage years and not given space to explore or gain useful life skills in ways that will be really damaging down the road. But then I see strips like this and think maybe there’s something to it.