I spend a lot of time complaining about all the things parenting has taken away from me. My energy, my free time, any instance of silence, the ability to open a bag of chips without a mop-headed midget running in and demanding all of them, without even knowing what they are.
But today I’m looking at the bright side.
Parenting doesn’t just take, it gives. And over the past five years, I’ve acquired some amazing talents that never would have manifested if I weren’t responsible for a child.
Because with great responsibility comes great power…
In a recent post for Lifetime Moms, I mentioned that the issue of my son having “bad influences” – i.e., influences that aren’t his parents – wasn’t one I was expecting to encounter for a while. I expected him to be primarily under the influence of me for the next few years.
And then he met Xander.
And Xander ruined my son’s childhood.
Has it really been six months since I last bestowed my parenting wisdom on you people? Shameful.
For some reason, you haven’t been asking me many questions. Maybe I’ve answered them all in my regular posts (possible). Maybe you’re all better parents than me (probable). Maybe you just know better than to turn to me for advice (I hope so). But I have the itch, and I did get a few queries in my latest call on Facebook (Follow me!), so I’m back with more advice!
Be afraid. Be very afraid.
A few years ago, I wrote a post in which I declared that my son would never play organized football due to the health risks. When it ran on The Huffington Post this past fall, I got some angry comments.
So I was a little surprised when the people at the Esquire Network (check your local listings!) reached out and asked if I’d be interested in writing about the second season of their TV show about youth football in Texas, “Friday Night Tykes.”
I agreed, and have since viewed the first two episodes of the season (the third airs tonight at 9PM EST on Esquire Network). Has my opinion changed?
The short answer? Not one bit.
If you follow my Facebook page, this might be a bit redundant for you. But after two weeks of drinking and eating and drinking and drinking, I barely have the energy to keep my eyes open, let alone write a new post. So I’m milking this “year in review” thing one more time.
2014 was a good year for Dad and Buried. I moved back to Brooklyn after 18 lackluster months below the Mason-Dixon line (they do things differently down there), got a few sponsorship opportunities with which I annoyed half my readers, and increased my exposure by infuriating people who read the Huffington Post.
So to ease myself back into the swing of things, I’m kicking off 2014 with a list of my ten most popular blog posts of 2014.
I love coffee.
I don’t know how you can be a parent and not love coffee. The smell alone is Pavlovian, and a few cups a day are just plain necessary for survival! I also love both the taste and the smell of coconut. Like, a lot. No joke: I have seriously considered drinking Mom and Buried’s coconut-scented conditioner. But I didn’t want to die.
So here’s the problem with frank body’s otherwise highly effective frank coconut coffee scrub: I WANT TO EAT IT.
I used to live in Boston. I went to school there and loved it, so I stuck around for another 10 years or so. When I eventually left, I lost access to the city’s vibrant sports scene, and my ability to brainwash Detective Munch into rooting for some of my favorite teams.
Except not really, because this is 2014. It hasn’t exactly been hard to follow the Red Sox this century, no matter where you live, and it’s easy enough to find a way to watch your favorite NFL team, even if they play their games halfway across the country. But when your favorite college team isn’t exactly a national powerhouse, things can get a little dicey.
Luckily, we have the internet.
I am in the middle of yet another trying fantasy football season. Two of them, actually, since I am participating in two leagues, like some kind of masochist. It’s been 12 weeks of misery, punctuated by occasional spurts of short-lived happiness.
Just like raising kids!
Seriously, parenting and fantasy football aren’t all that different (here’s what a fantasy parenting draft might look like!) There’s a lot of work, you have to pay a lot of attention, and nobody wants to hear about any of it.
I know, you think I’m an idiot. So I made a list!
My son was born in the middle of September, so when his first Halloween came around, he was barely even a thing yet, let alone someone who might one day want to dress up as Thing. But that didn’t stop Mom and Buried from putting him in a little lion outfit and parading him around the neighborhood, to the delight of everyone because that shit is cute.
When his second Halloween came around, he went as a monkey. We initially tried a skeleton outfit but that did not go over well. To be honest, neither did the monkey, most of the time. But crying and screaming was kind of his thing back then. (Not that that’s changed much.) Last year was his third Halloween, and he was totally on board, chomping at the bit to be Jake the Neverland Pirate.
Finally, it was up to him to choose his costume. And it should always be from now on.
Parenting is the worst thing in the world and the worst part about it is how fast it goes by.
Such is the paradox every mom and dad must come to terms with as soon as their first child is born. The bad parts are plentiful, the good parts are transcendent, and everything is over before you know it. I bitch a lot about pretty much all of it, but that doesn’t mean I don’t also love it. Personally, if I can’t bitch about something, it might as well not even exist. Which makes every rant against the hassle of child-rearing just further evidence of how important it all is to me.
Which means this list of things I hate about parenting is actually kind of a love letter, if that helps you feel better.