Before I became a parent, I didn’t know if I could handle it.
I had never even held a child, let alone changed a diaper, and I honestly wasn’t sure if I had what it takes. Was there a switch that would flip when I saw his face for the first time? Was the ability to care for a child something hard-coded in my biology that would suddenly materialize in me when my son was born?
Yes and no. I was lucky to love Detective Munch right from the start (though I can totally understand the adjustment period some new parents weather; there’s not much there there at the beginning!), but Morpheus wasn’t around to instantly upload the Parenting program into my skull. I just took it one day at a time – I still do – and slowly but surely adapted to my new role, and my new reality.
There are still plenty of aspects of parenting that I’m insecure about, plenty of situations I have yet to experience, and I have no real idea how I’ll react when confronted with them.
Controversy recently ignited when a popular Northern California restaurant posted a sign aggressively banning unruly children and babies from their establishment.
Yesterday, on the heels of this, I shared an old post I wrote about the divide between parents and non-parents, which, if the collection of comments and emails and death threats I receive whenever I post something on The Huffington Post is any indication, seems pretty wide these days.
Whether you’ve read that old post of mine or not, you probably assume I’m outraged at the restaurant for its “no loud kids” policy, like a lot of my fellow parents. But I actually don’t have a problem with it.
Funny thing about parents: we hate kids.
When I was a kid, The Karate Kid was one of my favorite movies. If I’m totally honest, it still is. I see it listed in the channel guide and there’s no way I’m not watching the tournament.
Growing up, I was so enamored with the uplifting tale of Daniel LaRusso’s war against the neo-Nazi community of Southern California that my parents thought I might want to take karate classes. And I would have, if I hadn’t been so terrified of landing in a Cobra Kai-type school with a Vietnam-traumatized sensei who would force me to be racist and do push-ups on my knuckles.
Come on, I was like eight years old. Which I thought was a little young for martial arts. Except almost 30 years later, my son is taking them, and he’s three.
As I suggested last week, every parent has secrets. Unfortunately, not every parent has a blog via which they can express their innermost feelings under sarcastic cover (I swear!) and therefore escape the wrath of their spouse and children and the authorities.
Understanding this, I have created a “Buried Secrets” forum, this well of souls, where any parent who feels the need to can get something off their chest without fear of judgment (you know how we feel about that) or embarrassment or the NSA.
Just kidding, I can’t hide from them! Thankfully they already know all of our secrets anyway.
I’m not really the thankful type.
That’s not to say I’m not thankful for things, I’m just not the kind of guy that runs around telling people what I’m thankful for and how blessed I am. The good thing about Thanksgiving is that it reins those people in by giving them an entire holiday during which they can babble about their happy lives all day long. Of course, in the online world (i.e., Facebook), it has become the 30 Days of Thankfulness, because why be annoying for one day when you can do it for a whole month?
But if you can’t beat ‘em – like, literally BEAT THEM TO DEATH – join ‘em. So rather than get arrested this November, I’m giving some thanks. Deal with it.
Two years ago, I took a video of my son pretending to talk on a cell phone. I posted the video on YouTube and it went viral. Not “Charlie Bit My Finger” viral, but it got almost a million views in the first week and was even aired on “The Today Show”.
It was the early days of my blog, and it was the first big burst of attention I received. It was very exciting, and a little weird. Mom and Buried was worried about exploiting Detective Munch and I was worried we weren’t exploiting him enough.
Turns out I was right, as the furor quickly died down and Dad and Buried faded back into obscurity along with the video…
My son loves riding the merry-go-round at our local park.
He used to prefer the stationary animals, or even one of the stupid sled things, but as he’s become more enamored with the carousel he’s graduated to the real shit: the animals that slide up and down. I’m glad; there’s little point in even going on the thing if you’re not on one of those.
On our latest trip, I saw that my wife was letting our son ride some overgrown cat thing all by himself. And she chose the animal next to him, rather than stand at his side to make sure he didn’t fall off! I sat on the sidelines (I chose the bench outside because going in circles makes my tummy hurt), panicking as my moron of a son repeatedly took one hand off the pole to wave at me as he went by. Meanwhile, Mom and Buried wasn’t even breaking a sweat.
My wife has bigger balls than me.
You may remember I wrote a similar letter on Mother’s Day, in which I begged you to behave so that your mom could relax and enjoy her special Sunday.
This letter is a little different. For one thing, this letter is about me, rather than about Mommy, so I can speak a bit more freely. For another, until football starts, Sundays are pretty much meaningless to me. Even this coming one.
A few weeks back, after abandoning potty training due to the onset of trauma, Mom and Buried and I took a quick run to Target.
While there, we decided to buy some off-brand diapers to get us through the next few weeks, enough time for Detective Munch to emerge from his PTSD (Potty Traumatic Stress Disorder) and get back on the potty train.
The cheapo diapers turned out to not be the best idea, as they were cheapo for a reason: they leaked worse than Julian Assange.
Which got me thinking. Maybe I shouldn’t shortchange my son.