Last week, I posted something of a response to the hilarious “if you touch my daughter I’ll kill you!” stance that many fathers enjoy taking when their daughters start dating. I wrote the post to make light of the idea that it’s supercool for adults to threaten children with violence.
As I was writing, I found myself worrying about my credibility on the topic, because I don’t have a daughter who might one day be asked to prom by a leering, peach-fuzz-faced boy with only one thing on his mind and it’s not matchbox cars I’ll tell you that much!
I only have a son. And boys don’t need protection.
Parenting is a nonstop merry-go-round of comparison, guilt and judgment.
We feel guilty when we screw up. We judge other parents when they screw up. We endlessly compare ourselves to those same parents, unaware – or, more honestly, unwilling to accept – that they are experiencing exactly the same trials and tribulations, riding the same roller-coaster, as we are.
We pit ourselves against the world, against non-parents and other parents and even our spouses, eliminating the curve and grading everything on a scale of zero or 100, using extreme language in the service of unrealistic standards. In so doing, we isolate ourselves from each other.
It’s time we started using our broad assumptions and wild generalizations to be inclusive instead of exclusive. I’ll give it a try.
Is there anything your munchkin says that ISN’T on this list? Add it in the comments!
My son is only four, but with the speed at which children grow up these days, it won’t be long before he starts going on dates. So I thought I’d write a little something to anyone who is considering going to the drive-in and the ice cream stand – or maybe the roller rink and soda shop? I’m out of touch – with my son.
(If you have a daughter, try these or these, from much nicer people than me.)
He’s a friendly, good-looking kid, so I don’t blame you for being interested. Just be careful.
If you want to date my son, it’s your funeral.
Do you like being scared? It’s October, so there’s no better time, right?
Well, forget vampires and mummies and werewolves and celebrities without makeup, I have a foolproof way to give yourself the willies:
With apologies to Tom Petty, the waiting ain’t so bad. It’s the separating that’s the hardest part. Especially when it comes to dropping my kid off at school.
He’s only four years old, so I’m not talking about sending him off to college, or even to the military academy he’ll definitely be attending if he doesn’t shape up! I’m talking about sending him to pre-kindergaten. Where he eats paste for six hours.
If he can’t figure out how to handle that, I’m going to start eating paste. After my nervous breakdown.
People love them some LEGOs. I recognize this. I’m not here to bury them (those people or the LEGOs). But I’m not here to praise them either (those people or the LEGOs). I’m just ambivalent about the toy.
I didn’t really want to write about the colorful little blocks.
And then someone gave my son a bunch of them.
Moms are screwed. They have a thankless job, serving as the paradigm of parenting, assumed almost by default to know what they’re doing when it comes to raising kids, and having the contradictory burden of high expectations while simultaneously being taken for granted.
They are the standard bearers and when they fail, they are vilified. There’s nothing society hates more than a bad mom. Never mind that women, like men, contain multitudes, and just having the biology to grow a life doesn’t mean every single female is meant to be a mother or even wants to be one. God forbid women try to “have it all” and be something in addition to being a mother. Goddamn feminists!
Dads, meanwhile, have it made. Unless a rising band of crusaders – which includes both a Hogwarts graduate (did they actually graduate?) and some fellow dad bloggers – succeeds in ruining everything for us.