Christmas Shift

Christmas Shift

Is there anything more annoying than asking your parents what they want for Christmas and hearing them say, “For you and your brothers to get along”?

Yes, there is. Asking them what they want for Christmas and hearing them say, “Nothing.”

Even more annoying? Asking your kid what he wants for Christmas and not being to hear anything over the ensuing filibuster. Seriously, I just walked out of the room and I can still hear my three-year-old rattling off items from his list.

Kids want everything, adults want nothing. Thankfully, when you have children of your own, it kind of balances out.

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Learning is Detrimental

Learning is Detrimental

Do your kids ever surprise you by knowing something you haven’t taught them? Something you wish they didn’t know?

The other day, while we were driving home from somewhere, my son started pointing at signs for various buildings and asking about them. “Is that where we get coffee?” “Is that where we get fries?” “Is that Target?” And he was right every time. It was simultaneously impressive and unsettling.

It’s amazing to watch my son’s mind expand, but it’s disconcerting when the logos of fast food restaurants and department stores are what’s filling it.

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Toy Story

Toy Story

There are a lot of children’s stories about toys that yearn to become real. There’s the classic Disney flick Pinocchio, the melancholy children’s book “The Velveteen Rabbit” and the heartwarming and erotic Mannequin, starring silver-screen legend Andrew McCarthy.

These stories are all aimed at children, though some seem more appropriate for really, really dumb children (Mannequin). And there are plenty more in this vein. Oddly, there aren’t many toy-based stories for adults (unless you count porn).

But the lack of such stories for grown-ups makes sense. As a parent, it’s not often that I wish one of my son’s toys would become real, though it would be fun to pummel the life out of a flesh-and-blood Elmo.

On the other hand, I do occasionally wish my son would become a toy. At least there’d be less shit to clean up.

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Spoiler Alert

Spoiler Alert

Sometimes I worry that I love my son too much.

I was thinking about that this Christmas, when I saw the haul of toys he received from his parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles, and watched as he was indoctrinated into the Culture of More. It definitely made for a fun holiday – the joy of little kids can be contagious – but it also made me nervous.

There’s a reason we call it “spoiling.” Overindulgence breeds assholes.

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How To Control Your Children

How To Control Your Children

Earlier this week I wrote about the ways my son is my puppet master. He often literally controls my body, forcing me to watch what he wants to watch, go where he wants to go, dance when he wants to dance, etc. It can be frustrating.

But I’m an adult and he’s a toddler. So while he gets a fair amount of leeway, since he’s both the cutest child of all time and the likely future of humanity (or its ruin, as indicated by the shadow he’s casting in this photo), he is really only able to control me when I let him control me.

Otherwise, I control him.

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