I guess I’m not the same as most dads. Or most dad-bloggers.
I’m a member of the Facebook Dadbloggers community (come and join us!), and through it I’ve met a lot of great dads, some with blogs big, some with blogs small, some with no blogs at all! (Seriously. There’s a guy.) I get along with all of them, give or take, but I’m not the most vocal member of the group.
I think that’s because my sensibility is a little bit different. For example, I enjoyed the following video.
Mom and Buried and I only have one kid. Which makes us worse than all those parents who have more than one. Truly. We’re worse parents AND worse people.
At least we’re still better than all those people out there with NO kids! Am I right?
The fact is, having one kid is so easy it’s a joke. It’s pretty much exactly like having zero kids, except you actually have the one kid. Thankfully, one kid barely even registers in your life.
I’m a stay-at-home dad but since I only have one kid I’m really just a stay-at-home guy. I basically sit on my ass at home all day. Sometimes, I forget my son is even there! I honestly don’t know where he is right now, but I’m sure he’s fine. He’s just one person. He can handle himself.
I don’t know why only children even have parents.
Human beings suck. Especially parents. Having kids seems to bring out the worst in a lot of us. For example, when I had a kid I started making gross generalizations about huge swaths of people.
You know who doesn’t suck? Kids. I know, stop laughing; I hate them too. But hear me out.
Obviously, kids suck. They’re terrible. They’re loud and unruly and they don’t listen and they’re stupid and they’re exhausting and they smell. And that’s just MY kid. Don’t even get me started on other people’s.
But you know what else they are? Kind. Innocent. Without a judgmental bone in their bodies. And selfless.
Parents are the worst. Actually, politicians are probably the worst. And other people’s kids suck pretty bad too. And Nazis.
In fact, I changed my mind. I’m going to go out on a limb and say the Nazis are really the worst.
But parents still suck pretty bad. I knew it before I had a kid and it’s become even more apparent since I’ve joined their ranks.
Here are some of the reasons why.
Despite my incredible and potentially family-exploding advice, I am not a parenting expert.
But neither was Giorgio a musical prodigy when he discovered the sound of the future. Nor was penicillin discovered on purpose.
Sometimes you just get lucky.
Like I did when I discovered the key to successful parenting.
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.
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.
According to my son’s birth certificate, I became a father in 2010. But becoming an actual parent took longer. In fact, I think it took until last week.
When imagining what having kids will be like, we all have similar daydreams. Most of them focus on big moments: choosing a name, putting together a crib, going through labor, changing diapers, playing catch, taking off the training wheels, the first day of school, etc.
When I finally became a dad, many of those developmental milestones remained significant, but dozens – hundreds! – more piled up around small, everyday stuff. Every single first is a capital-F First: first burp, first smile, first poop, first solid poop, first roll-over, first sit-up, first crawl, first fall, first steps, first words…
After a while, and Facebook walls full of pictures, you realize that those aren’t your milestones. They’re your kid’s.
Despite the fact that I could quote Cape Fear ALL DAY LONG and just pretend I’m having a conversation with my toddler –
“I can out-learn you. I can out-read you. I can out-think you. I can out-philosophize you. And I’m gonna outlast you! ”
– that’s not what the title of this post refers to.
This post is about Other Parents and the way they use their experiences to scare you.
Having kids is not for everyone. After reading my blog, some people might even say it’s not for me. (Some people even have, god bless ‘em!)
There are moments when I wonder if it’s right for me, usually when my son is screaming about something and we’re out of beer. But those moments are fleeting.
I’ve always known I wanted to have kids, though I suppose it can be tough to know whether that was a true desire or the kind of checkpoint-based “maturity” and conformity Tyler Durden was so angry about (it’s just what you do). Fortunately, I knew I’d made the right choice when my son was born and I didn’t have even the slightest urge to split, and that choice is validated every day.
But it is a choice. And there’s nothing wrong with going the other way.