I am in the middle of yet another trying fantasy football season. Two of them, actually, since I am participating in two leagues, like some kind of masochist. It’s been 12 weeks of misery, punctuated by occasional spurts of short-lived happiness.
Just like raising kids!
Seriously, parenting and fantasy football aren’t all that different (here’s what a fantasy parenting draft might look like!) There’s a lot of work, you have to pay a lot of attention, and nobody wants to hear about any of it.
I know, you think I’m an idiot. So I made a list!
Later today, I’ll be attending my first parent-teacher conference.
As a kid, parent-teacher conference day was nerve-wracking. (“Oh shit! What is the teacher going to say about me? Am I going to get in trouble?”) Now that I’m the parent, it will be interesting to experience it from the other side. Or it will be when it matters. Right now, I don’t think it does.
Detective Munch is four. He’s in preschool. Unless he’s biting other children or spending all class in the corner doing science experiments, I don’t think there will be any major developments.
But there is one thing I’m dying to learn.
I hate judgment, especially when it comes to parenting.
It’s presumptuous and self-righteous and, worst of all, it only serves to obscure – if not outright obliterate – the empathy that should be both the prevalent emotion and the primary response to seeing another parent struggling. We all live in the same huge glass house, surrounded by miniature walking wrecking balls, and we’re all barefoot and bloodied, like John McClane.
Being given a hard time when your kid isn’t behaving is the last thing a parent needs.
It’s hard enough being responsible for the safety and development of a brand new, slowly-developing, borderline-feral human being without someone explaining to you everything you’re doing wrong.
It’s never right to judge. So why do I want you to judge me?
Mom and Buried sent me a link to a parenting article, as moms do. After promising her I’d read it and then lying that I’d read it! (as dads do!), I quickly went back and actually read it. It was kind of difficult to focus, though, what with all the eye-rolling.
Parenting articles can be frustrating to read, despite the fact that they often contain some truly useful suggestions. All parenting advice is great in theory and in a vacuum; that’s why non-parents love dishing it out.
Of course, in real-life situations, with real-life sociopathic children and real-life at-the-end-of-their-rope parents, it’s not long before your best laid plans explode in your face.
Which is exactly what makes this kind of parenting advice so easy to mock.
This morning I went to the DMV.
I don’t even have to say anything else; you already know how my morning went. Add subway troubles and tax issues to that and you’ll have a decent idea of why my Friday is starting to feel like a Monday.
The good news is that when I get home there’s a decent chance my son will tell me he doesn’t want to be my friend anymore before spending a large chunk of the three hours before he goes to bed screaming and whining and being put in time-out.
Suddenly the DMV doesn’t seem so bad.
I guess it’s up to me.
As a prominent voice on the internet and a role model children everywhere, I feel it’s my duty to correct some of the gross generalizations and harmful misconceptions that linger in the world, poisoning impressionable young minds and warping the next generation’s view of the world.
And so I present to you, the first edition of Dad and Buried’s Mythbusters!
My son hasn’t seen Star Wars yet!
But thanks to its pop culture ubiquity, he definitely knows about it. Whether or not the kids themselves have seen the movies, my son’s preschool classmates wear shirts emblazoned with the different characters, Detective Munch himself has a toy light-saber, and he’s already announced that he wants to be Darth Vader for next Halloween. (He’s also announced that he wants to be Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, Batman, and the Joker, so let’s give it some time before we buy the next costume.) Sight unseen!
Recently he even asked me if he could watch it “someday,” a question I could barely even answer due to my enormous grin.
Like every dad whose childhood was shaped by the original trilogy, I am dying to show it to my son. But I’m exercising restraint. Because Mom and Buried.
Halloween doesn’t mean the same thing when you’re ten as it does when you’re twenty. Or when you have kids of your own. Priorities change…
Check out this handy chart detailing all the different stages of the spookiest night of the year!