|Posted on December 13, 2011 at 2:25 PM|
If you're a parent then it's your job to ensure that your hell-spawn is fed and clothed and doesn't end up a serial killer after a childhood spent setting small animals on fire (if it's a boy) or working a pole for the lowest denomination of foldin' money (if it's a girl). Beyond those goals, there is actually quite a bit of wiggle room. A parent has to make some tough choices – how to punish, Xbox or PlayStation, when's it ok to date, which invisible friend are they going to pray to and is it alright to let boys play with dolls or will that turn them into sissies?
I don't have boys so that one doesn't bother me.
The signs of bad parenting
We've tried to instill in our two girls a sense of right and wrong, respect for other people, good manners, blah, blah, blah. I also consider it my solemn duty as a father to mess with their adorable little heads whenever the opportunity arises. For example, I've almost managed to convince my 11 year old that she was born with a tail. Not a cute prehensile monkey-tail either, it was a pink, hairless rat tail that we had removed before we would let the little freak in our home. I'm not 100% sure believes it, but her little sister does and she thinks it's AWESOME. This type of tall-tale tellin' is a tradition in my family, I still remember my Dad trying to convey the importance of getting up on time by telling me about his older brother Matthew who was murdered by my Grandpa to show the other kids just how much he hated making a second trip upstairs to wake them up for school. The story always ended with my Dad reminding me how lucky I was that he was such a softie.
Another favorite game of mine is to walk really fast through the grocery store so that they have to run to keep up. Then I turn around periodically and yell, "Why are you following me? Go find your parents!" Ahh, good times. Little games like this make being responsible for two other human beings a little more fun. Plus, they build character. I love my kids, in fact I have pet nicknames for each – I call the 6th grader "New Mustang" and the 6 year old "Fishing Boat," 'cause that's what I could have had. I think I'm entitled to a little fun at their expense considering the toll they've taken on me. The oldest one almost sliced her ring finger off after she caused a light fixture to come crashing down on her by throwing a teddy bear at it. There was glass and blood everywhere, not to mention the shattered remains of my calm upon seeing the effects of her attempt to bump off a stuffed woodland creature. Seeing the blood of your flesh-and-blood will ruin a Saturday morning.
Cutest. Kids. Ever.
My little one and I play a game, kind of extreme hide-and-seek, where the goal is to scare the sweet baby Jesus out of the other person by hiding, making scary noises and jumping out at them when they finally give up and beg for the game to be over because she can't find me and just wants to watch cartoons but she can't relax because of the imminent scaring that's about to go down. I always win. Except once. The game works best when the other person doesn't know you're playing and this tiny person of dubious sanity went against every fiber in her candy-addled being by lying perfectly still under a cushion for 45 minutes in the living room while I searched frantically for her. I called my ex wife at work and my parents to see if they had picked her up while I was in the shower. I went downstairs to see if she had fallen off the balcony and searched the nearby park in case she had gotten bored and wandered off. Just as I was about to commit harikari for my complete failure as a parent, she burst out of the couch laughing like the goddamn Joker. Rotten kid.
I don't know if kids and parents can really be "friends," I see myself as more of a good-natured warden. They're expensive, they're messy, they don't listen until you yell at them, at which point they immediately counter by inquiring as to why you're yelling and they need help with, like, everything, but they are pretty damn awesome too.
Categories: Children, Parenting and Family