Over the weekend, I read a couple of parenting articles in The New York Times.
It was some intense reading full of hardcore facts and figures and suggestions and techniques, and I came away from it thinking that I have no idea what I’m doing as a parent. Which is totally cool, because I already knew that. It helped to discover that, judging by the articles, no one else knows what they’re doing either.
But thank God I don’t believe in parenting experts because even if I did, I have no idea how I’d be expected to even remember all the so-called “best” techniques, let alone have the wherewithal and discipline to implement them.
Years ago, before I had a blog, I wrote for an online magazine called Intrepid Media. It had a small but dedicated following, and my style was much the same as it is now: bitter, sarcastic, something of a put-on, just less-developed and almost completely non-child related. I didn’t have a kid yet, so the topics were more varied, if you think writing about being irrationally angry about many different things qualifies as variety.
I thought I’d occasionally re-post an article from the now defunct magazine. Why? I’m not sure. They are old – I wrote a column a month for about 10 years, before stopping in early 2011 (give-or-take one or two more) – and dated and re-reading them makes me cringe, but whatever, sometimes you need to re-post old stuff just fill out a week.
This one seems appropriate for several reasons, which may or may not become apparent when you finish reading it. Enjoy! Or don’t enjoy, because either way, without Intrepid Media and the posts that will be featured in this new “series,” I would never have met Mom and Buried. And Detective Munch would not exist. The writing is just gravy.
And so, the first Pre-Natal post.
It’s terrible when your kid gets sick. Especially when he barely knows it.
My son is three and a half, and this winter he’s had a few tough colds. The coughing, the sore throat, the eternally running nose (although he’s had one of those since he was born, so that’s more of a curse than a health issue), all have reared their heads at one time or another, much to our dismay. Of course, being a resilient, happy-go-lucky kind of guy, Detective Munch barely seems to notice his own symptoms.
Unfortunately, his preschool does notice them. His teachers are like dogs; they can smell sickness. So he’s forced to stay home. And that is a huge hassle.
To tell you the truth, I don’t remember a lot about it.
I remember the panic. I remember the dark smudges on my son’s face. I remember sitting in the emergency room watching “30 Rock” on mute, desperately hoping we’d be able to go home soon.
I had accidentally spilled some prescription pills on the floor while my son played nearby. After cleaning them up and being unable to verify how many were in the bottle beforehand, we were terrified that he might have ingested one. It was just an accident. The bottle fell. It wasn’t sitting there open, it wasn’t within my son’s reach. It simply fell. But accident or not, it was still my fault.
Yeah, I definitely remember the panic.
In the comments of a recent post, a dad blogger friend (Neal Call, at the awesome Raised By My Daughter. There’s cartoons!) wrote the following, “Such an irritating truth: that I desperately await those unlikely moment of quiet in the day, and then once they arrive, all I can think about is small dead things. ”
…all I can think about is small dead things. Morbid much?
And yet I know exactly what he means. Since I’ve become a dad, all day I dream about death.
It’s Super Bowl Sunday and I’m about to start
cooking drinking. Is tomorrow a holiday yet because let’s be serious!
For today’s Zombie post, I was planning to resurrect an old one about why, even though I love watching it, I probably won’t let my kid play organized football. And then I realized that would be was something of a buzzkill on a day like today. So I thought I’d temper that a bit by also bringing back a few other posts I’ve written about the sport. I’m leaving out fantasy football, even though this early one I wrote about skipping my son’s birth to attend my draft is pretty funny.
You can revisit these five undead posts while you’re watching your 17th straight hour of pre-game coverage:
Original Post: Five Ways My Son is Like Ray Lewis
Original Post: Toddlers and Bullies Have a Lot in Common
Original Post: Fanning the Flames
Original Post: Stick to Fantasy, Kid
Original Post: Fantasy Parenting Draft (I lied about the “no fantasy” posts)
Have a great time watching the game! I’m expecting Seattle to win this one, and that’s not just because I considered them my second-favorite team in the 80s, when they had Steve Largent and were still in the AFC.
Let me know your pick in the comments!
The beginning of parenthood is boring. Not uneventful – lots of shit happens (literally) – but repetitive and monotonous.
It’s hard too, but mostly because it’s new, not because it’s particularly challenging. (Unless your baby has colic, in which case just drop him into a volcano and start over.) You’re tired all the time, you’re stressed all the time, you’re concerned about things you’d never thought about before, etc., but that stuffs mostly just inconvenient (and being an adult). Of course, when you’re a new parent, you don’t always realize that merely being inconvenienced by your kids is about the best you can hope for.
So your ignorant ass starts anticipating the more interesting stages of parenthood, when things will be fun! You stupid asshole.
My son has had a bit of a stomach bug this past week, which led to his first experience with vomit. He took it well. More surprisingly, I took it well.
I hate vomiting more than I hate anything. Even the Jets. It literally makes me sick. Which is a problem, since that starts a vomit spiral from which there is no escape. But when my son threw up the other day, right in front of me, my first instinct wasn’t to throw up myself, or even to recoil. It was to help the little guy. I didn’t help him, my wife did, but that’s not the point. She just happened to be right next to him, so she took him to the bathroom to get cleaned up. Get off me.
I’ve done my fair share of coddling him and cleaning him up as he’s made his way through the week, which has been mouth-vomit free but butt-vomit filled. (I apologize for that sentence.) It’s also been a bit of a vacation for the kid. His special treatment – more TV than usual, the best food for his upset stomach, etc. – reminded me of the post I wrote last flu season, when I was the one who was sick and he didn’t lift a finger to help.
Sure, he was only two at the time, but still! Nothing makes being sick worse than being around – and having to take care of! – a kid who couldn’t care less. So I’ve resurrected my original rant.
Original Post: Sick and Wired
On Sunday I caused a little controversy on my Facebook page (give it a like!).
I posted a joke – FYI, that’s pretty much all I do on Facebook, it’s definitely all I do on Twitter, and it’s mostly on here… and in real life – about the way Mom and Buried dotes on our son when he’s feeling a little bit under the weather, and I mentioned how it’s the opposite when I get sick. Instead of going maternal, she goes Medea (not the Tyler Perry character). The claws come out and all I hear is how I’m needy and whiny and need to ‘man up’ and etc.
Some of the women who read that post got a little huffy about it, but I stand by my original point.
Women love taking care of their sick sons but hate taking care of their sick husbands. And they don’t realize they’re the problem.
When you’re a kid, you just don’t understand.
You’re just doing your thing, trying something new, exploring something new, eyes on the prize, when all of a sudden Daddy appears out of nowhere, grabs you, and starts yelling in your face.
You’re scared. But what your puny, inexperienced brain doesn’t realize is, that despite all appearances, Daddy is even more scared than you.