Last night, I watched a movie about parenting. And it was the most terrifying movie I’ve seen in years.
The Babadook is phenomenal. It’s about more than just parenting – grief, depression, guilt, children’s books, insomnia, cockroaches, monsters – but at its core it’s about a single mom trying to raise a difficult child on her own in the aftermath of a tragedy, and the toll it takes on her, her son, and their relationship. Also it’s about a terrifying monster from inside a terrifying children’s book.
It’s probably the best horror movie I’ve seen in years, not least because most of the scares don’t come (solely) from the supernatural but also the psychological (like other favorite Rosemary’s Baby, or maybe Don’t Look Now). I highly recommend it; just try to choose a day when your kids aren’t pissing you off!
You wouldn’t know that The Babadook is about parenting by the title. But what would a movie about parenting be called?
I am not setting out to become the pro-vax parenting blogger. For one thing, I try to keep things light around here, for another, there are plenty of bloggers out there doing a better job than me.
Besides, I’ve only written one post about it!
But with the recent Onion article that caused an uproar on my Facebook page, and the measles outbreak at Disney World all over the news, it’s hard not to have an opinion.
So now I’ve made an image too.
A few years ago, I wrote a post in which I declared that my son would never play organized football due to the health risks. When it ran on The Huffington Post this past fall, I got some angry comments.
So I was a little surprised when the people at the Esquire Network (check your local listings!) reached out and asked if I’d be interested in writing about the second season of their TV show about youth football in Texas, “Friday Night Tykes.”
I agreed, and have since viewed the first two episodes of the season (the third airs tonight at 9PM EST on Esquire Network). Has my opinion changed?
The short answer? Not one bit.
Last weekend, we skipped an appointment that we’d made for Detective Munch. And we won’t be rescheduling it any time soon.
Don’t worry. He’s all caught up on his vaccinations. He was supposed to take a test that would determine whether he’s “gifted and talented”. We opted out, for a variety of reasons.
For example, right now he’s sucking on a comb.
When I look at my readership demographics, both for my blog and my Facebook page, the numbers are dominated by women. Seriously, it’s something like 90%/10%. This is obviously due in large part to my stunning good looks, but it’s also because of the subject matter.
Men don’t read parenting blogs. Or parenting anything. I mean, some men do; I am part of a Facebook community of nearly 1000 dad bloggers who definitely read parenting content (if only to steal ideas). But I dare say most men don’t. At the very least, most men don’t read much. And they certainly don’t read as much as moms. But why?
I don’t have a real answer for why dads don’t read about parenting, but I do have some sexist ones!
I’m not a gamer. I never have gamed. And neither has my son.
There’s no Playstation in my house, no Xbox, no Wii. My son’s exposure to video games has been limited to the handful of times we’ve stumbled across an old arcade machine and I’ve tried to teach him how to play Pac-Man. He hasn’t been all that into it. (Probably because he’s TERRIBLE. You have to AVOID the ghosts, genius!)
But if his interest in the gaming devices his cousins were playing over the holidays was any indication, that’s about to change. Which means I’m going to have to shell out for a system.
Or am I? I recently got a new piece of hardware that is saving my ass. And my wallet. For now.
I spend a lot of time making HILARIOUS lists comparing things.
Comparing the ways parenting is similar to different, HILARIOUSLY unexpected things, like being in jail, or like being bullied, or like writing lists about how parenting is similar to different, HILARIOUSLY unexpected things.
I even write HILARIOUS lists comparing the ways kids are similar to different, HILARIOUSLY unexpected things, like supervillains, and politicians.
But the pure, unadulterated, non-HILARIOUS truth is that parenting is a unique endeavor, and that kids are actually quite different from most things, not similar to them. Because they are singular, alien beings that don’t behave the same way as we do.
The perfect example of this? Bedtime.
I wasn’t the world’s biggest fan of being a stay-at-home dad and I’m not afraid to say it.
It just wasn’t for me. For one thing, when I had the gig I lived in a smaller, sleepier town. For another, my son was only two, and his personality was still just emerging; he wasn’t yet the super-whiny but also super-fun four-year-old that he is now (and that I hope he won’t be soon because I’m TIRED OF IT).
Most importantly? I like having a job. And I like working in an office. I enjoy interacting with other adults, and I need that time away from the house. Being a stay-at-home dad was BORING. By the time I got back to work, it was a relief.
But lately I’m feeling a little regret.
Politicians are universally reviled. Especially American politicians. Especially American politicians in the 21st century. Not only can’t they do anything right, they can’t do anything at all! It would almost be cute if it didn’t have such impact on our lives.
Which is kind of the deal with kids too.
They may not be universally reviled (emphasis on may not be), it’s a lot easier to laugh at their antics when they’re not yours. And the similarities don’t stop there.