It’s a real concern, isn’t it? Having a kid that you can’t stand?
A few disclaimers: I’m not talking about hating having a kid; there is a lot that comes with parenting that is just not fun, but that doesn’t mean you hate the kid because of it. Until the kid gets a personality, he’s not really hate-able as a person. He’s hate-able as an entity – nobody likes a crying, fussy, messy baby – but that’s not what I’m talking about.
It’s another thing if your kid doesn’t share your interests; that’s normal, especially once he becomes a teenager. But that’s not what I’m talking about either.
Find out what I mean, after the jump.
Finally, I’m also not talking about the ignorant hatred of the bigot who can’t abide a son that’s gay or the equivalent. It’s not the kid’s fault for being different, it’s the parent’s fault for being an asshole.
I’m talking about personality. I’m talking about hating my son in the way I hate the annoying kid at work. I’m talking about what the hell I’m gonna do if my son turns out like this kid:
It’s a valid concern, isn’t it? I mean, nobody’s kids turn out exactly as they envision; some turn out better, some turn out worse. But if I have a kid like that, I don’t know how I’d stand being in the same room with the little loser. It’s a safe bet that that ginger with the movie reviews has no friends, at least not outside his grandmother’s mahjong buddies, and that means he’d be hanging around me even more than normal. It’s the kind of thing that drives a man to drink (more) (at bars).
As I said above, I don’t need someone who likes the same movies or music or sports teams as me – just so long as he’s not a Jets fan. I don’t care that Howdy Doody up there didn’t like Inception, I care that he’s an obnoxious, pseudo-intellectual douchebag begging for a beating. But you can’t beat someone’s personality out of them. You can maybe reprogram them, but even that’s questionable. And expensive!
There are things that can be done to make it more likely your kid will be a good guy – be a good parent, teach them proper values, lead by example, etc. I’d even suggest having more than one kid – the only child is often a spoiled, selfish, high-maintenance brat; introducing some competition into the mix is better for everyone. But not everything can be prevented, and it’s impossible to predict personality. Just ask Herman Blume (“Never in my wildest imagination did I ever dream I would have sons like these.”).
If my son turns out to be a raging a-hole, I’ll have little recourse. I can’t go back to the future to save him, I can’t just return him to the pound (though boarding school may eventually be a decent option), and despite how logical it seems, they don’t allow post-birth abortions:
And I’m sure I’ll love him unconditionally and be worried about him and wish the best for him and all that, no matter what. If Rosemary can do it, so can I!
I just hope that I end up with someone I can tolerate, or else the rest of my life will be pretty miserable.
And so will his. So help me God, SO WILL HIS.