He's posing while his kids draw him (but also napping).
As much as we would all love to be present for our children there's something we don't often admit aloud: Not only is playing with kids hard work, it can get boring. When we've been running around fulfilling all our grownup responsibilities, even a simple tea party or game of Candyland can feel so hard. One exhausted dad in Colorado recently came up with the perfect solution to this problem.
"I'll keep the kids so you can grocery shop in peace," Michael Weber, a father of four and OR nurse told his wife Monica, according to her viral Facebook post from November.
"I'm pretty sure he's the most brilliant man I've ever known," Monica, a doula in Fort Collins, wrote. "He has them doing 'realism art' while he 'poses' AKA naps. The winner gets a chocolate, but let's be honest, @michael.w.weberjr is the one winning lmao."
Indeed, the photo shows their four kids attentively drawing their dad, as he reclines, eyes closed, on the sofa.
Before you go thinking he devised this clever trick out of laziness or reluctance to play, Monica explained to Motherly that Michael had just finished an overnight shift at work. But since it was cold and snowy outside, and the kids were being rambunctious, he thought they'd be too much for his wife to handle at the grocery store.
"We recently moved from New Jersey, where all our friends and family were, so we have had to think of ingenious ways to balance it all," she told us. "When I arrived back and called my oldest to come help with groceries he informed me that I had to be really quiet because they were doing 'realism art' and if dad moved it would ruin their hard work."
The rules of the contest were that the most complete drawing would get the chocolate prize, thus keeping them glued to the spot for the 20 or so minutes of Monica's trip to the store. The four Weber kids were old enough to realize what their dad was doing (and old enough to rouse him from his light snooze if they needed to) but since they all enjoy art anyway, they played along.
"[Michael] spent the first eight years of our kiddos' lives in the military, and since he was always coming or going, I got stuck being the rule maker and him the fun one," Monica said. "He never really outgrew that role."
Michael's favorite parenting technique is to make contests of things, as he did this time.
"I wouldn't say we have any ingenious hacks, we're just regular parents with four fun and adventurous kids trying to do our best," Monica said when we asked if they had any other brilliant ideas to share. "There are plenty of days the house is a mess and everyone is out of sorts, which is why I thought it was important to celebrate these little parenting victories."
Monica's post has been shared 36,000 times and has 28,000 likes since she posted it a little over a month ago.
We wouldn't be surprised if a few more parents became live models for budding artists before winter break is over!