I guess I’m not the same as most dads. Or most dad-bloggers.
I’m a member of the Facebook Dadbloggers community (come and join us!), and through it I’ve met a lot of great dads, some with blogs big, some with blogs small, some with no blogs at all! (Seriously. There’s a guy.) I get along with all of them, give or take, but I’m not the most vocal member of the group.
I think that’s because my sensibility is a little bit different. For example, I enjoyed the following video.
I’m not really the thankful type.
That’s not to say I’m not thankful for things, I’m just not the kind of guy that runs around telling people what I’m thankful for and how blessed I am. The good thing about Thanksgiving is that it reins those people in by giving them an entire holiday during which they can babble about their happy lives all day long. Of course, in the online world (i.e., Facebook), it has become the 30 Days of Thankfulness, because why be annoying for one day when you can do it for a whole month?
But if you can’t beat ‘em – like, literally BEAT THEM TO DEATH – join ‘em. So rather than get arrested this November, I’m giving some thanks. Deal with it.
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?
I’ve been writing a lot of lists lately.
As a result, my friend at AskYourDadBlog – a far nicer, far more successful, far more irritating outfit – thought he’d be clever and insult my recent rash of list-making by suggesting a new one, called “10 Ways Having Kids is Like Writing a List About Things That Are Like Having Kids.”
Joke’s on him though, because I DID it. And it’s glorious. And it fills me with (more) self-loathing.
This morning I helped my son get dressed for school.
It involved choosing superhero underwear (Green Lantern), choosing a superhero shirt (Batman), putting on superhero socks (Spider-man) and tying on a superhero cape (an inexplicably sparkly and inexplicably yellow Batman cape, which he was unhappily forced to take off before leaving the house).
It won’t be long before Detective Munch doesn’t need my help getting dressed or tying his cape on, which would be a little sad, if helping him put his clothes on didn’t usually devolve into a wrestling match at the end of which I need help tying something on (i.e., 500 beers). But that day hasn’t come yet.
Thankfully, there are a few steps before we get there.
They say that it takes a village to raise a child, and I’m inclined to agree. Mostly because it’s impossible to prevent other people from having a hand in the education and development of your children.
Unless you home school and keep your kids sequestered in the bedroom and forbid all access to the news and pop culture and the internet and don’t let them have any friends and so forth – in short, unless the village you live in is M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village – there’s no way your kids won’t be influenced by the outside world.
Most of us leave our kids in the hand of other people on a regular basis. whether it’s extended family or a nanny or a babysitter or the teachers at daycare and preschool and elementary school or even a neighbor for a few hours, there are countless other people involved in not only keeping our kids safe, but in their education, incidentally or not.
It definitely takes a village. But can you trust your village?
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.