Before Jonathan Jui's son was born, the 33-year-old who resides in London says he was writing letters to his baby boy. But when his son, who he refers to by the nickname Baobao (which means "little treasure" in Chinese), was born, he had already gotten into a routine of drawing relatable cartoons about his experiences as a father. He started sharing them online, on his blog, Baba's Fieldnotes, Facebook, and Instagram, and a little more than two years later, Jui now has an impressive audience of nearly 29K followers on Instagram.
"My very first cartoon was actually the moment I learned my wife was pregnant," Jui tells Parents.com. "I remember coming home from work and then my wife yelled for me to come upstairs. I thought she wanted to have sex, so I bounded up the steps, but what she really wanted was to show me that she had bought a pregnancy test... Needless to say, it was both the most exciting moment and biggest let-down at the same time."
Since then, he's drawn so many relatable, heartwarming, and humorous cartoons.
Jui says his favorite might be a toss-up between one about taking Mickey Mouse to work ("my heart melted when it happened and it still melts when I look at the cartoon," he says) and a video he made introducing his family to his followers ("one of the few times I captured the entirety of my life in terms of family and moment").
Here are just a few more examples of his charming, funny, on-point work.
It's that signature sense of humor that permeates Jui's work and has endeared him to many. "I feel amazed about the feedback I've gotten from other parents so far; I've shared a lot of laughs, sympathies, and empathies with them," he notes. "The best thing I've seen was when a woman tagged her partner and yelled at him for the same thing my wife yelled at me for in the cartoon. Sometimes I don't feel like I'm doing dads/husbands any favors here, but misery loves company!"
That said, Jui says his own wife, Tina, "gets a great kick out of all of it. I've started not telling her what I'm drawing or posting, so she sees it when everyone else does. She enjoys seeing what moment from that day really stuck with me."
He's thrilled others have found his work so relatable and has enjoyed sharing his stories and moments on social media. He also has aspirations of publishing a book about his parenting journey, though he admits he has hesitations around "oversharenting, particularly because [Baobao] is not old enough to understand and accept this digital footprint I'm creating on his behalf."
In the end, Baba's Fieldnotes is very much a personal effort for Jui. "My son is a large motivating factor, as I want to be able to give him these memories and stories of our relationship when he's older," he shares. "The cartoons also serve as a visual journal for myself and something to laugh over together with my wife. I ultimately want to put together a book of these memories for myself and my son."
Can't think of a sweeter, more humorous way for the Juis to look back on their hectic, loving family life.