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.
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’ve been a parent for just about three years (though I haven’t felt like one for that long). I repeatedly admit my total lack of parenting know-how, partially because there is no one right way to parent, partially because I have no idea what I’m doing.
And yet people keep asking me what to do.
Not on my advice page, unfortunately, but in real life.
Children don’t understand decorum.
They don’t know that society has rules. That society demands you behave in a certain way in certain places. It’s called being civilized.
Children are not civilized. My two-year-old might as well be a rabid animal most of the time.
Getting him to behave the way one is supposed to behave is impossible.
Before he was even a twinkle in my eye, I had some ideas about what I wanted to teach my hypothetical son. Most of us do; without necessarily meaning to, we all take stock of what worked for us as kids, what we vow never to do as parents, what values we consider most important, etc. When you finally have children of your own, it’s a bit of a thrill to realize just how important you are to them, and how much influence you have over their development.
But my son is only two; it’s a bit early to tell him to always wear a rubber and when to double down. He needs to be able to swing off a tee before I can toss any real heat his way. But that doesn’t stop me from occasionally buzzing one by his ear.
A year ago at this time, my son was just starting to walk. So installing the typical holiday furnishings was an invitation for disaster.
He’s learned a lot in the last year of his life (for example, he’s graduated to running, nonstop), but he certainly hasn’t learned common sense. As such, having a large tree festooned with shiny things, fragile things, and strings of lights, remains a risk. A risk we’re willing to take to make sure he has a proper Christmas experience, especially now that he’s a lot more aware of what the season brings.
So I’ve resurrected last year’s post to remind myself that despite some growing pains, things have mostly changed for the better. He’s still a wrecking machine, but he can now sing “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” as he annihilates ornaments with Santa Claus’s face on them. He’s still excited about the brightly-colored boxes under the tree, but now he knows that there are actual things inside those gifts that are more fun to play with then wrapping paper and boxes. And he now knows not to tug on the tree.
Of course, that hasn’t stopped him from tugging on the tree, pulling ornaments off the tree and spiking them into the ground, and tugging on the tree.
ORIGINAL POST: Woe, Christmas Tree
They supposedly have all these rules and restrictions about who can and can’t vote. But this is America: We don’t make rules. We break them.
And so my son totally got his vote on this morning, and I have the picture to prove it.
On Tuesday I wrote about the possibility of hitting my son.
Mostly because, lately, he won’t seem to stop hitting me!
I am not against corporal punishment.
But if my kid swats at my face one more time, I am totally putting him in time out!
There’s been a lot of chatter lately about the texting habits of parents. The tenor of the conversations is mostly negative, and a lot of words have been spent excoriating parents for using their phones when they should be watching their kids.
I think we’re all guilty of it, to some extent. And sure, sometimes it’s dangerous and irresponsible, and sometimes it’s neglectful, and sometimes it’s rude.
But sometimes it’s also necessary. And it’s not always wrong.