I am so stinking excited to introduce you to your next favorite obsession. You read that right. I can predict the future, and I predict you’ll fall in love with this new family comic.
Trust me: You’re going to want to follow the very funny Crystal Liechty of Please Don’t Call Child Services. Immediately. (Doesn’t that title already make you laugh?)
Crystal was my editor when I first stepped into the world of paid writing as a journalist. She’s so talented with words, and I actually looked forward to getting my edits back from her. Even when my articles were covered in red, I soaked up every change she made because I knew she was making me a better writer.
She’s also witty as can be, and her kids belong in a sitcom.
The Best Material
For the past few years, Crystal has been posting her kids’ funny comments on Facebook, and they make me literally LOL. In fact, when my husband and I are bored, I’ll sometimes pull up her profile and just start reading her status updates out loud.
“I started posting quotes from my kids a couple years ago because I couldn’t talk politics on Facebook,” she says. “It would ruin my day every time I got into a political discussion. But I wanted to be on Facebook, talking with friends. I realized nobody gets mad at you when you talk about your kids. So I decided to tell the world what my kids say. Plus, nobody would believe me, otherwise.”
Just dropped the kids off at their first day of Korean School (유타 한국 하교). Told Griff to say a quick prayer on the way over and this is him:
Griff: “Please help that we make friends and everyone likes us and they aren’t like, ‘who are these white kids and why are they here’?”
(Oh, she also has a slightly major obsession with South Korean culture.)
For years, people (myself included) have been begging her to do something with all this hilarious kid material, and FINALLY she has delivered! And boy, has she delivered.
She’s teamed up with Steve Heumann, host of ABC’s outdoor and travel destination show, At Your Leisure, to produce a hilarious comic based on the real-life things Crystal’s kids say.
As Steve does the art and Crystal provides the punchlines, they’ve become a dream team of sorts. As soon as she pitched her idea of a comic to him, she gathered 30 pages of material (Yes, 30! I told you — her kids are goldmines of humor.) In two months, they had enough comics for a launch (which happens this Thursday. More on that below.)
“Art form felt like the easiest way to convey the humor,” Crystal says on her decision to make a comic. “Especially for my personality, because I like short spurts. And Steve gets my sense of humor. He knows how to translate a vague description of why this is funny into art.”
Crystal and Steve will release a new comic every Tuesday and Thursday, which — honestly — I don’t think is enough. And you’ll soon agree with me.
Why “Please Don’t Call Child Services”?
“Please don’t call child services” is a very real plea Crystal puts out to the world.
“Hazel broke me,” she says of her youngest child who is now 4 years old. “Before her, I thought I was a good mom. Moms who had naughty children simply didn’t work hard enough.”
As all experienced parents know, this line of thinking would only lead to Crystal later being served a hefty helping of words — to eat. (You know, she would soon eat her words. Anywho…)
“Then Hazel was born, and in her first year of life, she would scream if I wasn’t holding her,” she explains. “She wouldn’t let up. She wouldn’t tucker herself out.”
One day, Crystal put her down so she could eat dinner with two — count that, TWO — hands for the first time in forever. And Hazel proceeded to scream (while holding on to Mommy’s leg — nice touch, right?) for the entire time it took Crystal to eat her dinner.
A neighbor walked by, heard the continuous screaming, and called the cops.
By this point in this new-Hazel motherhood, all bets were off. Nothing phased Crystal anymore.
“When the cops came, I told my husband, ‘Let them take her. Keep her for an hour or two and they’ll see.'”
A New (and Better) Perspective
But she’s grateful (now) for the new perspective Hazel gave her. “It was a good thing she broke me,” Crystal says. “Before, I was more judgmental of other moms. I was hard on myself. I thought you could actually be a perfect mom. I thought it was possible. Then I had Hazel, and I was like, ‘You know what? I don’t care if they’re wearing pants!’ I learned I don’t owe anybody anything. I just owe my kids life. If I hit that goal, everything else is extra.”
And I think that’s why her humor is so relatable in the Please Don’t Call Child Services comic.
Because most of us moms… well, we just get it.
“I’m a people pleaser in personality,” Crystal says. “As a mom, it was really hard for me because I loved these kids so fiercely, but I was so worried about what people were thinking of me. If they thought I was a good mom, then I thought I was a good mom. But after Hazel was born, there was no way I could impress anyone with my mothering anymore. I had to re-prioritize myself.”
Can’t we all relate?
How Are Her Kids So Freaking Funny?
Crystal believes everyone’s kids are funny. Turning them into a comic just takes a bit of observation.
“My friend said I can see the punchline,” she says. “I used to get really worried and embarrassed, but I decided to laugh instead. This is a healthier way to approach my failures as a mother. I have a natural ability of explaining what they said and why it was funny. I’m short and snappy.”
So, Let’s Meet the Kids
Personally, I agree with Crystal that all kids are funny, but I also think her kids have a little extra something. I don’t know what it is. But they’re hilarious.
Griffin (10) – “He’s very self-aware, honest, and forthright,” Crystal says. “He wants to be good and really wants to understand the rules of the world around him. This leads to great conversations that you wouldn’t normally have.” (And these conversations show up in the comic!)
AJ (7) – “She’s the funniest,” Crystal says. “She does impressions, but she doesn’t really say quotable things. I haven’t figured out how to do the impressions in the comics yet, so she shows up less often — for now.”
Hazel (4) – “The thing that makes the comics funny is I’m willing to humiliate myself,” Crystal says. “And Hazel humiliates me the most. She has perfect timing.” (Plus, she swears.)
And what about Crystal and her husband?
Scott – “He’s an introvert,” Crystal says of her husband. “He’ll come along and mutter something that’s hilarious — some sarcastic observation of something. He has the best punchlines. He’s not in the comics yet, but he will be.”
Crystal – “I’m the ringleader of the circus.”
Follow Please Don’t Call Child Services on Facebook to get instant access to the short, snappy, hilarious, LOL comics. And check out her blog, The Unexceptional Mom, for the behind-the-scenes stories of each comic.
Online Launch Party — Don’t Miss It!
You don’t want to miss her online launch party on Facebook this Thursday, June 22 from 1 PM to 4 PM MDT. There will be guest authors with book giveaways, Amazon gift card giveaways, and (of course), new releases of the very funny comic.
The Lineup of Guest Authors:
Jaime Theler: Author of two non-fiction books, Enjoying the Journey: Steps to Finding Joy Now and co-author of Parenting the Ephraim’s Child: Characteristics, Capabilities, and Challenges of Children Who Are Intensely MORE.
Julie Wright: Crystal’s”momspiration” — a woman she looks up to for the amazing way she moms. Julie will be giving away a signed copy of her novel, Death Thieves.
Shelly Brown: Her upcoming book, Mustaches for Maddie, is an absolute favorite in Crystal’s house. And she’s giving away a signed copy on Thursday. You can’t even buy it yet!
Frank Cole: Another favorite author in Crystal’s house. He’ll stop by to answer some questions and give away TWO signed copies of The Afterlife Academy!
Don’t miss the event. And don’t miss out on Crystal. Deciding not to take herself too seriously has made it so we can all enjoy laughing along. And her parenting philosophy?
“I feel like I’m a good mother for myself. I do it like a day-to-day thing. By that, I judge:
- Did we have fun together?
- Do I feel like my kids are happy and healthy?
- Are they telling me they love me at the end of the day?”
Now THAT’S a good philosophy. And THAT’s a mom we all should know. Follow Please Don’t Call Child Services for a laugh — and to feel like you aren’t alone.
Crystal Liechty is the mastermind behind the Please Don’t Call Child Services webtoon, which details the always funny and often inappropriate hijinx involved in homeschooling three mischievous children. If you’ve been to college lately, you might have seen one of her essays in the Elements of Arguments textbook (Macmillan Press). When not homeschooling or torturing college students with argumentative essays, Crystal can be found watching Korean dramas, teaching herself Kpop dances or in general working as an unofficial ambassador for South Korean culture.