Here’s your first truth: no one has any idea how to parent and I’m no exception. Let’s be honest, I’m totally winging this shit. You know what I am? I am that used car salesman that is trying to convince you that this 1974 El Camino is the wave of the future and that having four wheels is SO 1973. Sure, you listen to me because I look good in a bow tie and talk a good game. But the truth is I have no more idea how to do this than I do on how to build a nuclear reactor from left over tinfoil, a pair of ladies undergarments and internet blue prints. Why the undergarments? I say why not.
But I can tell a good story and that’s the hook, isn’t it? I look like I got my shit together and I sound like I got my shit together so obviously I must have what it takes to be the super parent that I appear to be. I make ordinary things into epic like poems and because I do that we all tend to forget that my daughter has actually been going to sleep on the stairs for a good 5 months and I’m no closer to figuring out how to stop it than I was a little while ago.
You see me out and about and you say to yourself, that guy looks like a good dad because his kids aren’t ripping each other’s hair out. In fact, he’s a handsome bastard and I would probably sleep with if he wasn’t married. Even though you’re a guy, you would totally be all over this. What you don’t see though is what happens at home. I’m as frustrated as the next guy. I can laugh about it and that makes it easier to deal with but that doesn’t mean that I’m dealing with it well. 3 years of fatherhood and I still feel like a rookie and I’m still making the rookie mistakes.
You know what my big parent accomplishment is so far? That thus far my children have not robbed a bank and gone on the lamb. That’s it, that’s what I’m proud of. Don’t get me wrong, if they did rob a bank I’m sure that they would be very accomplished at it. Always use positive reinforcement, right? I would say things like “that was a nice job honey of slapping that teller around, that’ll make them listen” and “good job Bubba Hoss on knee capping that guy, now he’ll think twice!”
Here’s what actually happens though:
Little Hoss was playing at the playground with her friends a little while ago. She was having a great time. Such a great time that she decided than rather on taking a potty break she would instead pee in her pants. I didn’t find out for a good 20 minutes later which begs the question of where the hell was I that I didn’t notice that my daughter peed her pants. I was at the picnic tables ignoring the children, thank you very much.
I went to get her a change of clothes from the diaper bag and found out that I had neglected to pack a change of clothes. At least I think I didn’t pack them because I had actually forgotten the diaper bag itself. We were forced to borrow Papa Scrum’s kids spare set. And what did I do with the underwear and shorts she was wearing?
I hung them in a tree, about 6 feet up. In my mind I figured that the wind would dry them. It did by the way. You see, I have no idea what I am doing. Put me in a trailer park and I’m sure I would fit right in once I got used to the Mumu.
Wait, it gets better.
Wow Wow Wuzby is currently Little Hoss and Bubba Hoss’ favorite show and I don’t actually mind this. But what I like better than this is that I can turn it on in the morning and go play a video game for half and hour while they zone out. That’s right, I’m using TV to babysit the kids. I’m in the next room and they usually just hang back and enjoy their morning cartoons. Notice that I said “usually” there.
Because once you are confident that something works is when that shit breaks down on you and exposes you for the crap parent that you apparently are.
While I was busy dispensing internet justice to tweens (take that you hairless cockroach!) my kids decided that they were hungry.
As they are very industrious when they want something, they constructed some sort of ladder device to get to the top of the pantry. They used a stool and stacked it on the chair, opened the pantry and dug their little hands in. Honestly, I’m quite impressed, it was pretty awesome.
On the top shelf they found what they were looking for, peanut butter. Because if peanut butter is good on a sandwich then it must just be fucking awesome straight from the can eaten in huge handfuls.
30 minutes later I stroll in to get ready for the day. What I see made the soul shiver. Peanut butter up to the elbows. They really tore into it. It was smeared on their face, in their hair, on the carpet and even on the couch. There is only one person to get made at when something like this happens.
Wow Wow Wuzby, you douchebag.
How dare you run a crap show that my children tire of easily. I should sue you for the cleaning bill. And by cleaning bill I mean what my dogs charge to lick the sofa for an hour trying to get all the peanut butter out.
They were so psyched to be eating peanut butter in globs that they were actually laughing when I busted them on it. It’s like they figured screw it, it’s worth it to get into trouble just for this experience. And it’s hard for me to fault them for this. Maybe they did inherit my sense of humor. Maybe life isn’t so hard if you have a laugh or to when things get tough or insane.
Sure, we all screw the pooch but did you have a smile on your face when you were doing it? Surely that must count for something and maybe that’s what makes me a decent parent. That I can look at my own shortcomings and have a giggle knowing that I learned from my mistakes. In this case, I now know to bring the diaper bag and that I need to get a tamper proof safe to hide the peanut butter in.
Now give me those blueprints and foil, let’s give a shot at that nuclear reactor.