For the third week this month, Mom and Buried is traveling and I’m on my own with my kid.
DON’T PANIC. We’re okay.
Sure, maybe the first time my wife went away I was all: what am I gonna do? But several weeks in and now I’m all: ain’t no thing but a chicken wing on a string. I’m a real-life dad, not a Seth Macfarlane character; I can handle it. Newsflash: it’s parenting, not the Thunderdome, and dads can do it just as well as moms.
I’d even venture to say we do it better.
It’s not just for “deviants” anymore.
Thanks to Hollywood and liberals and HBO (probably), the behavior has gone mainstream. We’re all associated with it. We all have that relative or coworker or classmate. A favorite actor or musician. Even a favorite athlete! Hell, I bet some of you even experimented with it in college. (I was too scared of catching something.)
It’s amazing to think that, as recently as a decade ago, people into this kind of thing were still being shamed, stigmatized and stereotyped by the behavior. They were once even discriminated against – though my hesitation at using the word “once” belies the fact that, in 2014, they somehow still are discriminated against, in both closed-minded inner circles and wide-open public forums, but their presence and their prominence and their confidence! have never been stronger.
A reader recently asked me whether such people are suited to be parents, and I chuckled. It’s absurd that it’s even a question, in this day and age. Aren’t we past this shallow, judgmental bullshit yet?
Sorry, bigots, but having a tattoo (or two) just isn’t a big deal.
Newsflash: Kids are stressful. They disrupt your life, and the lives of the people around them, even when they’re on their absolute best behavior.
That’s why we parents often prefer to hang out with other parents. Not only so we can bitch about the stress to someone who has had similar experiences, but because when there are other kids around, your kid has something to do rather than keep pulling your arm and causing you to spill your drink.
Also because your own kid’s bad behavior is less noticeable when he’s part of a team. There’s strength in numbers. For parents, numbers provide solidarity.
For our children, they provide camouflage. Especially at parties.
Parents are some of the most creative people in the world. And also the most insane. Don’t take my word for it, just take a look at the popular new baby names. Or check out Huffington Post’s list of 2014′s hottest new parenting trends.
I get it. Once you become a parent you enter a whole new subculture, with new friends, a new lifestyle, and brand-spanking new priorities. It’s overwhelming and exciting and boring and inspiring! And what better target for a parent’s creativity than their own children?
The Huffington Post may have a line on this year’s latest fads, but I’m doing them one better. I’m predicting 2015‘s new trends! Why? Because I’m a goddamn lunatic! And so are you if you don’t hop on this bandwagon asap.
I’ve written about my son’s whining before.
Of course I’ve written about it before. It’s such a large part of my day-to-day existence, the presence of the whine, the powerlessness to do anything about the whine, the desire to drink lots of wine because of the whine, that how could I not have written about it before?
But that was foolish. Because in the time since I wrote that post, things have taken a turn. And I’ve learned that whatever whining that I was, ahem, whining about back then was hardly whining at all.
So you’re a stay-at-home dad? Or a single dad? Or a dad out with his kids with no mom in sight? If so, I bet someone has called you Mr. Mom, or a babysitter, or given you awkward, unnecessary kudos for doing nothing besides being a half-decent parent, or something like that.
As a one-time/sometime Stay-at-home dad myself, I’ve never had a problem with any of that stuff, not even being called “Mr. Mom”, despite the clear double-standard (no one ever calls women “Mrs. Dad”), but I know plenty of attentive fathers who do.
Some dads take to their blogs to voice their frustration, some dads boycott offending brands and advertisers, some dads use their influence to try to change things. I’m none of those dads. But I understand the struggle.
And I say: if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!
This Sunday is Mother’s Day. As if you didn’t already know.
Last Mother’s Day, with my son in the midst of his terrible twos, I wrote a letter to my son in which I begged him to not be an asshole for a few hours. Little did I know that his terrible twos were nothing compared to his threenage wasteland. And a year later we are smack in the middle of those.
Which means, unfortunately, that the sentiments expressed in last year’s letter are as true as ever. So I’ve resurrected last year’s Mother’s Day letter, as a reminder.
We’re going to brunch and we’re gonna have a good time, and you’re going to lay off the screaming and the tantrums and the defiance and everything else for the day. You know damn well we’re gonna let you watch “Super Why” at the table so there is simply no reason to act out. This is always true, but it’s especially so on Mother’s Day.
My son still can’t read, but I will read it to him. The dude needs to relax and chill and be like Fonzie. What’s Fonzie like? Come on, Yolanda, what’s Fonzie like? That’s right. My son needs to BE COOL. If not for me, then for Mommy.
Original Post: A Letter to My Son Regarding Mother’s Day
Happy Mother’s Day!
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.