Kids are strange.
Even my own son, whom everyone thinks is my spitting image and who you’d assume shares some of my personality traits and interests, is alien to me in many ways.
Every day he does things that make no sense to me. Which should be good preparation for his teen years, when he’ll be into stuff I have no understanding of and he’ll hate stuff I love just because I love it. But his thought process is not yet that sophisticated and, therefore, might even be more honest.
Some of the stuff he hates he hates because he’s young and doesn’t know any better. Some of it is because he’s two and two-year-olds like to be jerks. And some of the stuff he likes he likes because he’s young and doesn’t know any better, some of it is because he has a little bit of Mom and Buried in him too, and some of it is because he’s as unique as a snowflake.
A snowflake I thought I knew.
Eat – getting this kid to eat is often like pulling teeth. But I can’t really blame him. I was such a picky eater as a kid that my parents still give me grief about it. My son will outgrow it, even if it takes him twenty years. Once he tries marijuana there will be no limit to the weird shit he’ll put in his mouth.
Sleep – another kid thing. I don’t know an adult who would turn down some extra shut-eye, and I’ve never met a kid who didnt put up a fight at bedtime. They always feel like they’re missing out, which would be true if they actually liked sitting around drinking wine and watching sophisticated basic cable programming. They don’t like doing that, but they’d rather do anything but sleep, which is absurd. If I could, I would go back in time I would spend most of my life asleep. My brother once told me he wished he were a bear so he could hibernate for half the year and it’s not a bad idea. I wish I were asleep right now.
Be Clean – He loves throwing sand and dirt around, and pressing his rubber stamps into his belly and arms and hands (he looks like Dennis Rodman) and rubbing food all over his face. And then he hates taking a bath. Almost as much as he hates going to sleep. It’s not that cleaning myself is a major hobby of mine, but it’s something I tend to do from time to time. Meanwhile, my kid gets high-fives from homeless people after a day at the playground. They think they know him. He’s not the neighborhood Pig Pen mostly because I wrestle him into the tub every once in a while, but if he doesn’t start cooperating – say by the time he hits puberty and the smell becomes an issue – he will know those homeless people. Because he’s gonna have to move out.
Things he does like to do that I don’t:
Dance – My son loves to dance. I do not. It’s totally unnatural to me and he clearly gets it from his mother’s genes. I console myself with the fact that he loves music, which is a plus, but the dancing can be tough to take. This morning when I got him out of bed, he forced me to put music on so he could dance. So we could dance. I hate dancing. I’m the Brandon Walsh of dancing. I’m the Michael Jordan of not-dancing. The only time I dance is when I’m drunk. Or my wife makes me. Or every single day because my son likes it. Ugh.
Scream – I’m hoping this is because he’s in his terrible twos, because if he grows into a Sam Kinison-type, or someone who’s into death metal, our relationship will be frayed. The only time I scream is when I’m drunk. Or my wife makes me.
Scream – He also really likes the Scream franchise even though Neve Campbell.
Run – I hate running. It’s his natural state. All he does is run. And scream. He runs while he screams and he screams while he runs and I’m constantly apologizing to the people he’s terrorizing as I chase after him. That’s the worst part. He loves to run so much and does it so often that I am forced to run just to stop him from running. I’ve never been in better shape or been more angry.
Scream – I’m not joking. If he screamed in space you’d actually be able to hear him. He’s the one guy.