As you’ve probably figured out by now, I primarily use this blog to vent, to crack jokes, to scratch my creativity itch, and as an outlet for sarcasm. But when all is said and done, these posts will ultimately add up to one long journal. It will serve as a collection of memories from my son’s early life and a scrapbook of moments from my life as a parent, many of which might otherwise be forgotten in my son’s sprint through childhood.
I swear, he outgrows something new every day, and sometimes I just want him to slow down. He’s not going to, of course, which reminds me: Detective Munch turns four today!
This is probably the last blog you expect to get sappy – at least I hope it is. But if you’ve been paying attention, you might know that my son’s birthday is just about the only time a year I allow myself to go a little soft.
Starting today, I’m going to give you an opportunity to go soft with me. Wow, that sounds really gross.
Tomorrow is my birthday. (No gifts please, just Facebook likes. Trying to hit 10k!)
I don’t really worry much about my birthdays. Despite my steadily increasing amount of grey hairs and my steadily decreasing amount of all hairs (REVERSE JINX!), I’m not one to panic about my age. At least not yet. (Ask me again in two years, when I’m hitting 40.)
Of course, having a kid forces one to reevaluate the passage of time, and having a kid whose birthday is a mere six days after mine isn’t helping.
It’s almost like he’s chasing me.
Look, I don’t know if vaccines cause autism. Or Guillian-Barre Syndrome. Or seizures. I don’t think they do, but I could be wrong.
Believe me, I like a good conspiracy as much as the next person, and I hate Big Pharma as much as the next person, and I am probably more cynical than most people. And I believe there are plenty of smart, well-educated, equally cynical, equally sane people who have good reason to think vaccinations have harmed their children in a variety of ways. I don’t know if they’re right. I’m not a scientist, I haven’t done the experiments. Maybe they have (they haven’t).
But for me, right and wrong isn’t the point. For me, it comes down to risk.
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.