Lately I’ve been getting push-back on some of the content on my blog. Some people wish I would tone it down a bit.
Unfortunately for those people, I started this blog as an antidote to “toned-down”. I wanted it to be as honest as possible, and, failing that, to exaggerate in the opposite direction, away from “everything is amazing!” and towards “everything sucks!” I’d rather be prepared for the worst than disappointed when it happens, especially since the worst parts of parenthood don’t hold a candle to the best parts. So why sugarcoat stuff that doesn’t need sugar-coating?
But I get it. It makes you sad when I insult my son, even jokingly. You’re worried that this sweet little boy might stumble across my blog and “discover” that his father hates him. (As if*.)
I appreciate your concern, and I’ve decided to address it. I’m going to throw you a bone and write a sincere, heartfelt blog post – hyperbole-free! – to let you know the truth about what my parenting experience is really like.
DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES? I DO.
My son’s diaper was glorious today. I couldn’t be more impressed by how well-oiled his bowels are! And I never would have guessed feces could be so delightfully fragrant! OR LARGE! He’s screaming now; it seems he’s angry that I am wearing a blue t-shirt instead of a … no, I’m sorry, now it seems he LIKES the blue t-shirt, he just doesn’t like how my face looks. He is such an opinionated little guy! Today I shall research plastic surgeons who might alter my offensive visage to better please my three-year-old, for he is the apple of my eye and my life was worthless before he was born.
Look at him now! He’s running away from his mother because the milk she poured him isn’t warm enough. Such youthful exuberance! I hope the teachers at preschool appreciate just how rare it is to see a child with his zest for life. Don’t they know that when he bites another child he is merely branding them with his own greatness? They should be THRILLED! If children are god’s gift, my son may in fact be God himself, that’s how incredible he is. Listen to that voice! Even when he screams “No!” at me over and over, it’s music to my ears. How can our neighbors call that “shrill” and “disrespectful” when surely it’s the sound of an angel climaxing in sexual ecstasy?
Woe is me, that I must head off to work and leave my son’s presence for the day. Luckily, it’s bath night! So when I return, I’ll be baptized in the lukewarm filth-water he repeatedly tosses onto me as I attempt to cleanse his flawless body from the plebeian toxins that have soiled it over the course of his day. He hates his bath, but I suspect that’s only because – as advanced as he is – he prefers NOT to be clean in order to better experience life in all of its unfiltered glory. He truly inspires me to live in a more open-minded way. But I scrub the dirt off of him regardless, and do my best to dry and clothe him as he writhes in the agony-of-being-clothed only a truly free spirit knows.
Next, we watch TV while his doting mother prepares his dinner. I love to experience my son’s imagination via the programs he claims as his favorites. Nothing gives me more joy than watching him jump up and down as he mimics the insipid caterwauling of a cartoon parrot, except watching him do it again and again to the same exact episode every single time! So delightful, watching him absorb every intricate detail of the same terrible, terrible show, over and over again. But who am I to judge! It’s a blessing merely to observe him. And look! He is so enthralled in this make-believe world that he is now screaming and jumping up and down because I’ve turned it off. His passion is without equal! But dinner is served.
Dinnertime is a delightful performance piece worthy of Gallagher and his exploding watermelons. Mom and Buried and I laugh with glee as our son refuses to eat his food – a healthy smorgasbord expressly tailored to his sophisticated and highly refined palate: chicken nuggets and sweet potato fries. This evening, rather than eat, he’s chosen to exercise his dramatic muscles by enlisting his chicken nuggets in a captivating display of vandalism and modern art. No surface is left unsoiled as he mashes his food together, enjoying it and employing it in imaginative ways we adults have neglected for years. I thank God every day for my son’s ability to remind me of such simple pleasures like playing with food and mocking both stuffy grown-ups and the world’s neglected population of starving children by wasting perfectly good food for no reason other than a childish lark. Only an innocent toddler is capable of making us see what truly matters.
Finally – tragically! – it’s his bedtime. His mother and I fight over who gets to snuggle with our perfect, precious little boy as he falls gently off so sleep, a sleep well-earned by the last hour and a half he spent destroying his dinner, resisting his tooth-brushing and being repeatedly yanked out of our bed. You’ve never seen a more beautiful sight than my three-year-old in repose, except, perhaps, that of his face, inches from yours, first thing in the morning, when he demands your companionship in the other room so he can watch more TV. Why waste your life sleeping past 5am when you can be bonding with your child, who right at this very moment, is either eating his Play-Doh or throwing it out the window and then angrily swatting at you when you try to get him to stop?
How anyone could even joke about parenting being anything but a miracle is beyond me. I can’t wait to have five more children! I’M SO BLESSED!
*First of all, by the time my kid can read, he’ll understand my sense of humor better than any of you might. Better yet, he’ll know how I truly feel about him, and that not even the most vicious blog post could accurately convey my level of hatred. And finally, I hope he does read my blog, preferably when he’s around 16, and it makes him feel like shit, because if he’s anything like I was as a teenager, his punk ass will deserve to.