There’s nothing parents enjoy more than judging other parents.
Don’t believe me? Go post a picture of your toddler in his car seat and see how long it takes for someone to question the way he’s strapped in.
Nobody knows better for your child than some other child’s mom or dad and nobody is quicker to let you know.
Especially when it comes to names.
For reasons that make little sense to my readers, my wife, or even myself, I often refer to my son as Detective Munch. But that’s almost exclusively online; I never call him that to his face.
No, to his face I call him all manner of things, some of which rhyme with his actual name (there aren’t a lot of options; his actual name is Pantry), some of which rhyme with grass-pole, and most of which are just nonsense words because I’m more of a child than he is.
Aside from causing some identity-confusion that could come back to haunt us both and the occasional scolding from Mom and Buried, the nonsense nicknames I give my son are harmless. They’re just a way for me to be affectionate with him when I can’t remember his real name and don’t want him to know I’ve forgotten.
But since I don’t use his real name online, I’m starting to run out of ways to refer to him, especially as he gets older.
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.
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.
If you’ve read my blog before, you might not expect me to write a post about my favorite moments as a father. (Even though I already have.)
After all, most of my posts are about the stuff that sucks about being a dad. But that’s all strategy. Like the Cassius Clay of the dad bloggersphere, I lull readers to sleep with angry complaints about my son and parenting and toddlers, only to suddenly sting like a sentimental bee!
Admit it: the optimistic, sappy stuff carries a lot more weight when it comes from a pessimistic, cynical jerk like me. So I parcel it out at key moments, to ambush you and your tear ducts. Usually I reserve the sap for my son’s birthday, like this embarrassment from a few years back. But as Father’s Day approaches, my friends at Oral-B and Life of Dad asked me to write something about the #PowerofDad, so I thought I’d grit my teeth (get it? Teeth? ORAL-B!) and get ‘er done.
So here comes a bunch of crap I like about being a dad. None of which includes brushing my son’s teeth because holy Jesus that’s a nightmare.