Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I Wonder When The Kids Will Figure Out I’m A Fraud?

Seriously, it can only be a matter of time before my children are old enough to figure out that as a parent I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing, and that most of the time I’m just shooting off the hip.

Should you eat that? Hmmm, the floor does look pretty clean here so sure why not?

Is it okay to steal? No, of course it’s not okay to steal but this isn’t stealing. Hotels expect you to take the towels when you check out.

Is it bed time yet? Well, it is pretty early but I’m also super tired of answering your never ending supply of mundane questions so yes go to bed.

Were Mommy and Daddy wrestling when you just walked into our bedroom without knocking first? Yes – let’s go with wrestling.

Are you the smartest kid in your class? Of course – I don’t care what that Asian girl or that Indian boy says – you’re definitely the smartest kid in your class, champ (wink).

Your teacher says that alcohol is a drug and that all drugs are bad for you? Candy’s bad for you too – would you like to give up candy? That’s what I thought.

Sometimes after I do or say something, in mind I’m thinking “what the f*ck, that was some pretty bad parenting, oh well I’m sure they’ll turn out just fine (wink).” Or will they? In the nature versus nurture debate how much weight is put on nature and how much is put on nurture? In other words if I do all the wrong things as a parent is it really going to affect whether my offspring turn out to be doctors or dead beats, socialites or sociopaths? And if I am doing all the wrong things how am I supposed know before it’s too late? Unlike operating heavy machinery or putting together a new bike, parenting doesn’t come with a manual so it’s impossible to ever know if you’re doing it right or wrong. Yeah, I know a bunch of smart people have written books on the subject but George W. Bush and Sarah Palin have written books too (best sellers no less) so it really makes you question the credentials of all non-fiction authors. Besides every kid is different so the “one size fits all” parenting advice you find in those books is pretty much a bunch of bullshit anyway. I suppose I could look back on how my folks raised me for a blueprint on parenting. After all I turned out okay (for the most part) so they must have done a decent job raising me, right? The problem there is that whenever I find myself telling my kids the stuff my parents told me when I was growing up (“don’t make me get to three”, “now go up to your room and think about what you’ve done”, “you crashed the car again?”, etc.) it just makes me feel old and that’s depressing. So what’s a guy to do? Nature versus nurture, no owner’s manual, history repeating itself – it all creates a lot of uncertainty and makes you question the things you can and can’t control. What is the magic formula for being a good parent then?

It’s simple – marry a person who’s your complete superior in every way imaginable and let her do all the heavy lifting. It’s the greatest gift you can give your kids.

Sometimes I think my wife married a high functioning retard. God bless her.

1 comment:

Patrick said...

Great post, John -- your kids are in excellent hands.