On Twitter, it is possible to create lists into which you can group and categorize the people you follow. As I’ve grown my presence there, I’ve seen myself added to more and more lists (you get notified when it happens).
Yesterday, I was added to one that was simply called “parents.”
And it made me a little sad.
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.
A lot of things have changed since I became a father. I drink less, I curse less, I sleep less…
Of course, many of those things likely would have been changing anyway, by virtue of age and
maturity age. So my son doesn’t get all the blame, not in those instances.
He does, however, get all the blame for the alarming shift in my pop culture habits.
Altering the media you consume because you are a parent might seem like a minor thing to some people, especially pretentious snobs who don’t own computers and don’t watch TV, and obnoxious jerks who pretend they don’t own a computer or watch TV. But for me, it’s a big deal.
When I lived in Boston and NYC, this weekend’s St. Paddy’s celebration was a big deal. But now, I live in the south – I’m not sure they’ve even heard of the Irish – AND I have a two-year-old. Day-drinking my way through St. Patrick’s Day is a lot harder with a toddler.
Even one who has got some Irish in him. (And has been there!)
There’s something funny about “resurrecting” a post about raising my son to believe in God. Amirite?
But with all this ridiculous Pope stuff in the news, I thought it made sense to revisit this old post, written only a few months after my kid was born. It’s about the conflict between my own disdain for religion and the feeling that some belief in one might be good for my son. At least until he figures things out for himself.
Anyway, Detective Munch is now halfway through his third year of life and he still hasn’t been baptized – much to my parents’ chagrin – so maybe this old post about that possibility is moot. Then again, St. Augustine didn’t become Christian until he was 32, so my kid still has time, provided Jesus or Xenu or Jobe from The Lawnmower Man doesn’t come back and smite us all before then.
Read this post while you wait, maybe you disagree?
Original Post: I’m Not Religious But My Baby Son Is
My kid just got accepted to what I suppose could be considered a slightly exclusive preschool. I mean, they sent an acceptance letter.
Upon receiving said letter, I sent an all-caps, multi-exclamation mark text message to Mom and Buried, announcing that WE’D DONE IT!!!
She wrote back immediately to say she found my enthusiasm off-putting, and was relieved when I told her I was being sarcastic. To which she replied, “I love our parenting style!”
Which wasn’t sarcasm. Is that a problem?
Having a kid changes your life in many ways, and not always good ones.
One of the reasons I started this blog was to vent about the irritating ways my son’s existence has forced me to alter my own and to show the world that having kids doesn’t need to change everything. Yes, becoming a parent definitely changes capital-E Everything, but it doesn’t have to change little-e everything.
So far, Mom and Buried and I have done a pretty good job of maintaining some semblance of our old lives even as the constant, daily, inescapable presence of a (now) toddler has forced us to make certain adjustments. Certain inconvenient and annoying adjustments.
We’ve been doing okay. But we haven’t been able to avoid every headache.
Somehow it was easier with a baby.
Sure, we were guaranteed multiple trips into his bedroom every night, but when a baby wakes up crying you can cuddle it, feed it, rock it and lay with it until it falls back asleep. Of course that’s not exactly easy, a lot depends on the crankiness of the baby and/or any more serious issues (we escaped the dreaded colic, thank the gods), but it doesn’t require a ton of thought or effort. It’s instinct versus inconvenience.
Toddlers wake up less often but when they do, they’re able to start a conversation. Or worse: make demands.
Chud.com, an irreverent site that tackles all manner of movie and television news for genre fans, movie buffs, fan boys and the like, recently posted an editorial called “When Bad Parents Go to the Movies.”
The article is a tad inflammatory and harsh, making gross (literally) assumptions about parents who take their children to movies and thereby ruin the experience for others, but it’s also pretty dead-on. Taking your kids to movies that aren’t appropriate isn’t the best way to win Parent of the Year. But taking young kids to any movie is a dicey proposition.
When you become a parent, going to the movies stops being easy. But that’s the parents’ problem. Let’s not make it everyone else’s.
Kids are stress-inducing.
Unfortunately, they’re also time-consuming, which makes it difficult to alleviate your stress, and stay healthy, via the time-tested method of exercise. If you don’t have time, you probably aren’t going to bother shelling out for a gym membership you’ll rarely use. And good luck with trying to use that treadmill you bought during his nap; if there’s a louder piece of equipment this side of the drum-kit my in-laws bought my son, I haven’t come across it.
What’s a parent to do?!
Don’t fret; I have a solution! Like Rocky in Siberia (actually, it was filmed in Krasnogourbinsk, but come on), you have to work with what you’ve got. In this case, what you’ve got are kids.
Luckily, they’re even better than a Bowflex!