I love coffee.
I don’t know how you can be a parent and not love coffee. The smell alone is Pavlovian, and a few cups a day are just plain necessary for survival! I also love both the taste and the smell of coconut. Like, a lot. No joke: I have seriously considered drinking Mom and Buried’s coconut-scented conditioner. But I didn’t want to die.
So here’s the problem with frank body’s otherwise highly effective frank coconut coffee scrub: I WANT TO EAT IT.
Before I became a parent, I didn’t know if I could handle it.
I had never even held a child, let alone changed a diaper, and I honestly wasn’t sure if I had what it takes. Was there a switch that would flip when I saw his face for the first time? Was the ability to care for a child something hard-coded in my biology that would suddenly materialize in me when my son was born?
Yes and no. I was lucky to love Detective Munch right from the start (though I can totally understand the adjustment period some new parents weather; there’s not much there there at the beginning!), but Morpheus wasn’t around to instantly upload the Parenting program into my skull. I just took it one day at a time – I still do – and slowly but surely adapted to my new role, and my new reality.
There are still plenty of aspects of parenting that I’m insecure about, plenty of situations I have yet to experience, and I have no real idea how I’ll react when confronted with them.
Do you like being scared? It’s October, so there’s no better time, right?
Well, forget vampires and mummies and werewolves and celebrities without makeup, I have a foolproof way to give yourself the willies:
Look, I don’t know if vaccines cause autism. Or Guillian-Barre Syndrome. Or seizures. I don’t think they do, but I could be wrong.
Believe me, I like a good conspiracy as much as the next person, and I hate Big Pharma as much as the next person, and I am probably more cynical than most people. And I believe there are plenty of smart, well-educated, equally cynical, equally sane people who have good reason to think vaccinations have harmed their children in a variety of ways. I don’t know if they’re right. I’m not a scientist, I haven’t done the experiments. Maybe they have (they haven’t).
But for me, right and wrong isn’t the point. For me, it comes down to risk.
I am probably* late to the party but get off me! I was only challenged yesterday!
The party I’m referring to is the Ice Bucket Challenge that’s been consuming social media lately, in which someone pours a bucket of ice on their head in an effort to bring awareness to the ALS association. The idea is that the videos raise awareness, and also that the people who refuse to risk pneumonia have to donate $100 to the cause. Of course, those things aren’t mutually exclusive, and you can do both if you want to.
Even if only a fraction of the people taking part in the trend end up actually donating, the publicity has to be a positive, right?
So today, after a friend passed the challenge on to me, I hopped on the bandwagon too. And let me tell you, on a rainy night in Brooklyn, it was COLD.
If you are one of the nearly 7000 people (dupes!) who follow my Facebook page, you probably got annoyed last week when I asked you for topic suggestions. Sue me; I had some writer’s block.
And I have bigger things to worry about than your happiness. As one of my readers reminded me with her suggested topic: Mums suffer from constant ridiculous anxieties re our kids. Like is he eating enough, has dad put his woolly hat on properly, will he get to college if he doesn’t get into the right nursery… and is he eating enough? How about you share your worst and most ludicrous dad anxieties?
Let me start by saying that a propensity for parenting anxiety can’t be so neatly divided by gender. I am often more paranoid and unnecessarily protective of my son than Mom and Buried is, and I think that just comes down to personality. But you’re right, Anonymous Reader: WOMEN BE CRAZY.
One of the lessons I am trying to impart to my young son is that it’s okay to ask for help.
It might seem obvious, but there’s a long-standing perception within some corners of male culture that asking for help betrays weakness. Why do you think we never ask for directions?
I’ve personally never been one for being macho. The concept is outdated, and even the word is silly. I’m teaching my son that there’s no shame in knowing your limitations and asking for help. Especially when you really need it.
Someone who really needs it right now is the founder of the Dad Bloggers group I’m a part of on Facebook, Oren Miller. If you haven’t heard his heartbreaking story, get your tissues ready. And then open your wallets. Because his family is in for a tough road, and is friends and fellow Dad Bloggers – a great, diverse, generous group I’m proud to be a part of – are not going to bother waiting for them to ask for help.
We’re going ahead and doing it anyway. I hope you will too.
If you’ve read my blog before, you might not expect me to write a post about my favorite moments as a father. (Even though I already have.)
After all, most of my posts are about the stuff that sucks about being a dad. But that’s all strategy. Like the Cassius Clay of the dad bloggersphere, I lull readers to sleep with angry complaints about my son and parenting and toddlers, only to suddenly sting like a sentimental bee!
Admit it: the optimistic, sappy stuff carries a lot more weight when it comes from a pessimistic, cynical jerk like me. So I parcel it out at key moments, to ambush you and your tear ducts. Usually I reserve the sap for my son’s birthday, like this embarrassment from a few years back. But as Father’s Day approaches, my friends at Oral-B and Life of Dad asked me to write something about the #PowerofDad, so I thought I’d grit my teeth (get it? Teeth? ORAL-B!) and get ‘er done.
So here comes a bunch of crap I like about being a dad. None of which includes brushing my son’s teeth because holy Jesus that’s a nightmare.
Look. It’s not that I don’t want to give you people advice, it’s that you won’t allow me to. Even after my previous EIGHT installments of my parental advisories, in which I’ve dominated the field and proven my bona fides as someone who can write middling jokes while being kind of insulting and mostly side-stepping your very real domestic problems. I own the space!
You want in on this expertise? Then you’d better get to asking more questions!
Until then, I’ll service the meager few who’ve got the balls to admit – and/or are so drunk they actually think – that I’m a better parent than they are.
Like these brave souls below.