This entire blog is dedicated to my attempt at staving off the inevitability of becoming something I hate:
One of those people who is known as a parent first and a person second. One of those people who can’t seem to talk about anything except kids and kid-related stuff. One of those people who goes to bed at 8pm because parenting is so tiring, who stops having fun (read: drinking) because parenting is so all-consuming. One of those people who only listens to kids music, who only watches children’s programming, or who only hangs out with other parents.
Or one of those people who relays his child’s age in months. Today, I failed.
Earlier today, a friend asked me how old the little man is and I responded, “Thirteen months.” My friend was appalled and immediately scolded me for it. “Just say one year, man.”
He’s right. I should have just said “one year.” Especially to someone who has no kids of his own. Obviously, to a parent of a baby, every month – hell, every week! – marks new developments, new milestones, new shades of poop. But to a non-parent? Month-by-month specification doesn’t mean a thing. Not only did my co-worker not actually care how many months my son has been alive, he doesn’t care how many years old the kid is, or, frankly, that I even have a son. He was just making small talk.
It’s not easy, once you become a parent, to hang onto a lot of your old, pre-child life, or even to retain many of the aspects of your non-parent personality. But it is possible, even if it only means making sure to toss around a few swears once in a while, or shotgun a few beers. About the least you can do is not act like your kid is God’s gift to humanity, and not go around spouting month-by-month age information.
Today’s incident gave me pause, and it made me realize how insidious the whole parenting business is. I mean, I haven’t even thrown down a swear in this post yet. Fuck! But still, I’ll give myself a bit of a pass. After all, my son is only thirteen months old. He can’t quite walk or talk yet. Those feel like the real milestones; a lot more so than hitting that first birthday does.
I mean, the other day I heard a woman refer to her child as being forty-two months old. Really? 42 months? I’m no mathematician, but isn’t that just abut drinking age?
Give it up, lady, you’re scaring me. Because I’m clearly not far from becoming just like you.