I don’t think I became lazy until I was a teenager. My toddler, however, has mastered it at three.
Of course, it’s a very selective laziness. He’s off the wall with energy most of the time, i.e., when you’re trying to get through the security line at the airport and he decides he wants to pretend to be The Flash; but when it’s time for him to actually do something? He’s less active than most of the people who work security at the airport.
Of course, if I had someone willing to carry me around everywhere, I’m pretty sure I’d let my legs atrophy until they melted off, so who am I to talk?
Manners are important. Common courtesy is important. Especially to parents.
It’s gratifying when your kids display those traits, especially toddlers, since they are sociopaths. Nothing makes me more proud than when my son answers someone’s “Thank you,” with “You’re welcome,” or when he deploys an “excuse me” as he squeezes past someone on the stairs.
We stress that kind of simple politeness for a few reasons. For one thing, it’s a simple way to display our parenting skills. If your kid is polite, people automatically assume you’re doing something right. For another, we operate under the assumption that ingraining good manners into children at an early age will make it stick.
But does it?
Children are surprisingly intelligent and perceptive. Except when they’re not.
My son knows to lie to get what he wants, he knows how to push our buttons to piss us off, he knows how to work my iPhone and he knows I didn’t really steal his nose. I bet yours is the same way; kids are always smarter than you expect. And yet despite their mad skills, on an emotional level they are total morons.
Mine still can’t figure out when an emotional breakdown is warranted (never) and when one isn’t (when your banana breaks).
Advice isn’t hard. All you have to do is put yourself in someone else’s shoes and then pretend you are smarter than them.
Parents do it CONSTANTLY. It’s one of the reasons everyone hates us.
Which brings us to the latest installment of Dad and Buried’s Terrible Parenting Advice. So long as you follow it or do the EXACT OPPOSITE, things should work out just fine for you and your family.
But don’t quote me on that.
Trying times at the Buried household.
Even since the kid turned three, he’s been, to borrow a word usually reserved for younger ages, terrible. Mom and Buried is concerned that we’re doing something – or not doing something – to encourage – or not discourage – this behavior. I’m more apt to dismiss his latest paranormal activities as part and parcel with his development. Most kids are devil-spawn at this age.
So she frets and I rationalize:
“He’s a toddler!”
“He’s three years old!”
“It’s a phase!”
While I concede I’m not the perfect Dad (there’s only one perfect dad: Coach Taylor from “Friday Night Lights”) and that there are probably things we could be doing to curb his behavior, I think I’m right. He is a toddler. He is only three. It probably is a phase.
But what if it’s not?
Parents are the worst. Actually, politicians are probably the worst. And other people’s kids suck pretty bad too. And Nazis.
In fact, I changed my mind. I’m going to go out on a limb and say the Nazis are really the worst.
But parents still suck pretty bad. I knew it before I had a kid and it’s become even more apparent since I’ve joined their ranks.
Here are some of the reasons why.
Thank you all for coming. I’m sure my toddler will appreciate it years from now, when we show him pictures and explain everything, since he’s barely three and doesn’t understand what it’s all about and won’t remember a single moment.
It’s been a tough couple of days since Lovey left us, particularly for Detective Munch, who has lost his sidekick, his snot rag, his bunkmate, his whipping boy, his partner-in-crime, his napkin…
His best friend.
It’s a sad day, but we’re here to celebrate a life well-lived, not mourn an untimely – but inevitable – passing. Let’s face it, if Lovey hadn’t been lost, he probably would’ve disintegrated; dude was FILTHY. (By which I mean: well-loved.)
Full disclosure: I’ve done it myself.
Years ago, in my cynical pre-fatherhood stage, I compared babies to pets. Unfavorably, because at least pets have, as I wrote at the time, “furry upside.”
I stand by that, as I enjoy my still cynical mid-fatherhood stage. In many ways, pets are more rewarding than babies. Obviously, babies evolve, and eventually having a child has advantages over owning a dog or a cat (don’t even talk to me about birds and fish and gerbils and hamsters). Eventually.
Right now, I have a toddler. And sometimes I might rather have a puppy.