A few months ago my best friend called me while she cleaned out her closets in preparation for her big move to Montana. She was going through her kid's clothes and was at the point where she wanted to trash it all, but then again, didn't want to trash it all. Before she lost her mind all together she called me to ask some very important questions. Like what I was doing? If she really needed to keep baby onesies sized three months? And the most important: Could her daughter wear her son's Where the Wild Things are t-shirt?
My answer was of course, because faded grey boy t-shirts make little cherubic blonde girls look like riot girls in training. Also why the hell not? But then I reminded her that my parenting role models swear by recycling their children's clothes no matter the gender. I told her that the Jolie-Pitts would definitely let Zahara wear Maddox's old Where the Wild Things Are shirt.
Because the Jolie-Pitts are the coolest parents on the planet.
Sure they are mega super stars, and most of what I see of their parenting is published in the pages of People Magazine or US Weekly. I'm sure that they are just living their lives, doing what they think is best for their kids. But in a world filled with Kardashians and Vanderpumps, I can't help but notice their quiet crusade to parent their own way. Obviously they are always under public scrutiny, and there are still people who hate Jolie because she did steal someone's husband, but I have to make a case for them being very modern and very awesome parenting role models.
A few years ago, I read an article about Ms. Jolie where they asked her about what it's like to be a Hollywood mom. They asked her all the usual questions about balance, about child care, about their educations, and then they asked about her favorite Sunday morning ritutals. Because Sunday mornings tend to carve a life of their own after you settle down and have kids. Jolie mentioned that her favorite thing about being home with her kids versus a movie set was waking up with them. Then she proceeded to tell the interviewer that she and Mr. Pitt had a custom bed built for their family. A bed that is seven feet by seven feet, because at the time the Jolie-Pitts were co-sleepers. This my friends changed my life. Here were two of Hollywood's biggest stars, with more money than the average person could imagine, with the means to hire the best Nanny/Sleep Trainer in the world, but they said nah. They said to hell with all that jazz, and just got a bigger bed, because why fight it? Also at the time they were outnumbered anyway. I decided right then and there, if co-sleeping was good enough for the Jolie-Pitts, well then it was just fine for me.
As their family grew, and the paparrazi made more money for photos of famous people, I got a better look at what their family looked like. I noticed that the kids wore clothes that were very basic. With the exception of a dress here and there for Zahara, I saw that they mostly wore things like jeans and cargo pants, t-shirts and hoodies. Then in a parenting magazine, they did an article on "Celebrity Kids" style and pointed out all the times that Zahara and Shilo had worn hand me downs from Maddox and Pax. I mean why should this family be any different from another? Oh, wait, because they were being photographed in the south of France with their mother looking flawless in a black maxi dress and flip flops. But there they were, walking the streets of France like they were just these jet setters eating Cheetos.
Yes. The twins were in their strollers eating Cheetos. I remember this because I was so surprised that they were able to get Cheetos in France, but since Cheetos are delicious, I guess they are universal. Again, here is a family that you would think would be eating things like baguettes and croisonts and macaroons, but instead Cheetos and Snickers. Ok, I haven't seen proof of the Snickers, but if they eat Cheetos, my money is on Snickers as well. I've also seen those Jolie-Pitt kids drinking soda, eating other varieties of chips, and any kind of junk they can get their hands on... Why? Because they have real parents. Which is easy to forget because they are famous and so incredibly good looking. But seriously, when I think about letting my kids eat Flaming Hot Cheetos in public, I think, What would the Jolie-Pitts do?
So what would the Jolie-Pitts do? They would let their kids have a hand in planning their wedding. They would let Pax bake their wedding cake. Angelina would have a dress designed featuring drawings by her children. The Jolie-Pitts have let their kids sleep in their huge bed with them until they decided they were ready to sleep in their own beds. They have let their kids eat Cheetos in the South of France. What would the Jolie-Pitts do? Whatever they want. Whatever is best for their kids. Whatever is best for their family. Which is not only inspirational, but also pretty effing cool.
My favorite thing the Jolie-Pitts have done as parents? Call their daughter Shilo, John. Now this is tabloid fodder, (and its been going around the internet for the last few months), but it has been said by both Pitt and Jolie that Shilo has said that she would like to be called John. She also likes to dress like her brothers, and act like her brothers. So what? Maybe she is a tomboy. Maybe she is identifying as male as the tabloids like to speculate. Whatever the reason, the Jolie-Pitts have decided to comply with her wishes. This is why I think that the Jolie-Pitts know a thing or two about parenting. They also know a thing or two about not caring what the rest of us think. Which after years of parenting, I feel is the most important lesson to learn.
So if you find yourself wondering if letting your kids Cheetos at Whole Foods is a good idea, or if letting your son wear his big sister's old (and pink) Dora the Explorer t-shirt, ask yourself:
What would the Jolie-Pitts do?