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.
About a year and a half ago, we moved to North Carolina. It was fun while it lasted but, as of tomorrow, we’ll be back in Brooklyn.
I guess, despite being a Red Sox fan, I’m a Yankee at my core. But, more importantly, Mom and Buried and I are city folk, and Raleigh just didn’t satisfy that part of us. So we’ve come to the end of the (tobacco) road.
It’s (not that) hard to say goodbye.
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.
So we have this baby gate. No, we’re not embroiled in some shocking political controversy involving a baby (Babygate, coming soon to theaters near you!), it’s an actual gate for babies.
Like all baby gates, it’s used to prevent babies (and toddlers) from getting places they shouldn’t, particularly staircases (and the Oval Office!). Having exclusively lived in urban apartments, we haven’t had that much need for it, because an apartment with stairs is not an apartment we can afford. However, for the past few months, Detective Munch has been in Grandma and Pop-pop’s house, and Grandma and Pop-pop’s house has stairs. So the baby gate was put back to work.
Except not really. Because I never close it. Because I’m a terrible father.
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.