They say that it takes a village to raise a child, and I’m inclined to agree. Mostly because it’s impossible to prevent other people from having a hand in the education and development of your children.
Unless you home school and keep your kids sequestered in the bedroom and forbid all access to the news and pop culture and the internet and don’t let them have any friends and so forth – in short, unless the village you live in is M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village – there’s no way your kids won’t be influenced by the outside world.
Most of us leave our kids in the hand of other people on a regular basis. whether it’s extended family or a nanny or a babysitter or the teachers at daycare and preschool and elementary school or even a neighbor for a few hours, there are countless other people involved in not only keeping our kids safe, but in their education, incidentally or not.
It definitely takes a village. But can you trust your village?
It’s Halloween! Which seems like an appropriate time for a Zombie Post.
In browsing my blog archives, I realized I have countless posts about how terrifying it is to be a parent and how scary the job of raising a human being is. The post I’m resurrecting today is about how frightening kids themselves can be (I’ve also written more than one of those).
This one compares my increasingly independent toddler (two and a half, at the time I wrote it) with a poltergeist. Things get a lot more complicated once your kid can walk and talk and behave somewhat independently, especially when he suddenly starts moving things around the house, when until recently he couldn’t even move himself!
I wrote this post a mere eight months ago. Since then, my son has passed the Bar exam and filmed his own sex tape. Talk about SCARY!
Original Post: The Amityville Toddler
Email is a funny thing.
As a world-famous blogger who hates his kid and once mentioned Bronies, I get A LOT of weird spam. Most of it regarding my penis.
But sometimes I get asked advice and sometimes I get yelled at. Sometimes I get praise and sometimes an old teacher from high school reaches out to say hi. (Most of the time I get yelled at.)
Yesterday, I got an email that I initially thought was spam. I’m still not positive it’s not. But I’m responding anyway.
Full disclosure: I’ve done it myself.
Years ago, in my cynical pre-fatherhood stage, I compared babies to pets. Unfavorably, because at least pets have, as I wrote at the time, “furry upside.”
I stand by that, as I enjoy my still cynical mid-fatherhood stage. In many ways, pets are more rewarding than babies. Obviously, babies evolve, and eventually having a child has advantages over owning a dog or a cat (don’t even talk to me about birds and fish and gerbils and hamsters). Eventually.
Right now, I have a toddler. And sometimes I might rather have a puppy.
By pure coincidence, I’ve already written two posts this week that have “six” in the title, both uncharacteristically nice (here’s the first one and here’s the second one. I figured I’d make it an even three, and get back to my old self, by potentially summoning the beast with the third “six” in the trilogy.
It makes sense, since this post is really just me playing devil’s advocate. Although I’m a firm believer that having kids doesn’t have to change your life entirely, it definitely does change it. Just not that much. My blog is living (not literally) proof that you can keep your shitty personality and hateful sense of humor when you become a parent; you just have to want to.
I didn’t stop being a sarcastic jerk when my son was born, even though I quite sincerely love him with all my blackened heart. And I didn’t stop drinking, or going out to eat with my wife, or watching the TV shows I like or the sports I love. In many ways – but for the purposes of forming a hilarious Satanic trilogy of my last three posts, in six ways – being a dad is a lot like not being one.
I recently came across a blog post in which a mother of four (three boys, one girl) addresses The Teenage Girl and begs them to stop being skanks.
That’s not quite how she says it, but that’s clearly what she means. Actually, what she means is something more like, “Boys can’t control themselves, so you have to stop tempting them.” Which sounds like something a Republican congressman would say.
Apparently, this point of view is reasonable to many people, judging by all the “likes” and “shares” and positive comments her post is getting. People agree with her loving message to today’s young females.
I wish I agreed, since it’s a convenient way to get out of some difficult parenting.
Last year, there was a popular story about a couple who, before boarding a flight with their infant twins, created and distributed goodie bags to the other passengers.
Knowing the odds were high that their babies would make a ruckus, these parents got proactive and put together bags full of candy, ear-plugs and even a little note, in which they apologized for their kids’ potentially-forthcoming commotion. It was a clever strategy, and it inspired copycats, like a blogger friend of mine whose courteous, empathetic wife recently employed a similar gambit.
It just so happens that my wife and I are hopping on a plane later today, along with our excitable toddler. Inspired by the ingenuity and foresight of the people mentioned above, I’ve created a goodie bag of my own for our cabin-mates.
Let me know what you think!
As a parent, your schedule is often dictated by the needs of your child, especially when that child is young.
The necessity of getting a toddler home for a nap – as well as the need to get them to bed for the night before the sun has even gone down – can cripple your day. Being sequestered in your home for a few hours is usually better than dealing with a public meltdown from an overtired toddler, so sometimes the trade-off is worth it. Still, raising a toddler can be rather suffocating.
In fact, it’s uncanny how many aspects of the parenting experience are reminiscent of prison. Complete with a sadistic little warden who harbors a Napoleon complex.
I wasn’t one of those people who used the phrase “we’re pregnant.” For one thing, that phrase diminishes the role the mother plays in childbirth, and considering that the mother’s role encompasses pretty much the whole enchilada, saying “we’re” seemed disingenuous and potentially insulting.
For another, saying it makes me feel like a douchebag.
Aside from including myself as a member of the Miami Dolphins (the 12th man!) or the Boston Red Sox (but I’ve never liked the “Red Sox Nation” thing), I’m not one to use “we” for much of anything. I’m a loner, Dottie. A rebel. But I do find myself invoking some mysterious, all-encompassing “We” when explaining something to my son.
I don’t know where “we” came from. And we don’t like it.
My son is developing at an incredible rate.
He’s getting taller, his hair is getting longer, his vocabulary is increasing. But even more impressively, he’s already picking up skills most of us use later in life, to beat the system.
At the young age of not-even-three, my innocent child is becoming a slick little dealmaker. It’s almost enough to make me