Archive for the ‘child rearing’ Category

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Baby books

August 24, 2009
Look familiar...?

Look familiar...?

My wife and I went to Barnes and Noble this weekend to look (just look!) at baby books.  We started wandering through the store looking for the section on parenting but had a hard time finding the section.  Bargain books (no), computers (no), relationships (getting closer!), cooking (narrowing in!), science fiction (uh oh, getting colder), religious fiction (redundant, but getting warmer again)…where the hell are the baby books?!  In the end, we had to ask someone to help us find the section, which was innocuously tucked between the kid section (makes sense) and the higher mathematics section (don’t get that one). 

The moment I laid eyes on the section I knew I was screwed.  First off, almost all of them had pictures of pregnant women on them.  Not good.  I understand what is involved with the whole pregnancy thing, but don’t show me a picture of some pregnant chick looking as happy as can be, even though she’s not going to be getting any sex for the next six weeks (according to the books at least).  Whenever I look at the covers of baby books with smiling pregnant women on them I imagine that future generations will laugh at those covers in the same way that our generation laughs at 1950’s homemaker pictures (you know, the ones where the woman is wearing high heels and a dress while scrubbing the bathtub.)  So I was already off to a rough start. 

I started to peruse the titles, looking for one that addressed my primary question of, ‘should you have a a baby?’  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find a book that addressed this question.  Instead, all the books seemed to be based on the assumption that, ‘of course you want a baby,’ and, ‘there’s something wrong with you if you don’t want to procreate.’  I’m not saying I don’t want a baby, I’m just saying I’m curious as to the reasons and arguments out there for why I should have a child.  I understand that the primary reason for having a child is to 1) fulfill a biological drive to procreate the species, and 2) ensure that I have someone to take care of me as I get older.  However, if one discards those two reasons on the grounds that 1) the human race is doing just fine (over 6 billion at last count and unless my child turns out to be Emperor of Earth or a Superbowl MVP,  odds are my species won’t pay much attention to one more person) and 2) if I don’t have a child I’ll be able to save up plenty of money to ensure I have an army of waiting nurses to wipe my ass when I’m old, then what’s the point of having a child?  The answer appears to be a belief that ones life will be infinitely enriched by the presence of a child, far more so than any material possession, but what happens if the baby is born and you don’t immediately feel that instant connection to your kid?  This is my primary concern, as it seems to me that the only thing that allows parents to put up with all the crap (literal and figurative) of having a child is the love they feel towards their offspring.  So, what happens if that love doesn’t develop?  I’ve been told that a father doesn’t become a father until the child is born (OK, I wasn’t told that, it was a line from ‘Knocked Up’) but isn’t that an awfully big leap of faith to take?  What if the baby is born and I’m not struck with a sudden and unbelievably powerful desire to destroy everything in my kid’s path?  Does that mean I’ll fail as a father since there will be nothing to make up for the hardships of parenting?  This is where the baby books are supposed to come in, but unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find one that directly addressed my concerns, but I was able to find sections that touched on the issue.  The best snippet I found was a line claiming that 25 – 40% of new fathers and mothers don’t immediately feel a strong connection to their child.  Whether this is due to sheer exhaustion, the nature of the parents, or any other combination of factors, the book assured me that I shouldn’t worry and that a bond would develop in due time, which was a major relief since that was my primary concern.

My initial child rearing fears subdued, my wife and I headed to run some more errands (Bed, Bath and Beyond, oh boy!) but on the way out I stopped by a display of X-Men comic books.  My wife, who had been walking ahead of me, stopped, turned around and started to give me that look, to which I replied, “Bed time stories.”

and then Jean Grey said to Cyclops...

and then Jean Grey said to Cyclops...

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Why I’m glad kids today are pussies

May 7, 2009

Everywhere you look you see the results of overzealous, don’t-contribute-anything-to-society soccer moms:  Playgrounds made out of plastic that are so safe as to take all the fun out of recess; day care centers where there are more disinefecant wipes than crayons; kids attached to their parents via A LEASH.  All of these things lead to one inescapable conclusion – kids today are pussies.   I’m not saying it’s their fault, it’s not, it’s the fault of their parents, but that still doesn’t negate the fact that in the end, these kids are giant pussies.  I cringe at the thought of what America will be like in 30 years when these pussies take over and are responsible for shit.  It ain’t gonna be pretty.  But here’s the good news:  Compared to the rest of generation P, my kids are going to look like supermen!  My plan is to get a house with a big enough back yard that I can go and buy / build all the old playground equipment that I loved to play on when I was growing up – no fancy colors, nothing plastic, just good old fashion steel bars welded together into some sort of monkey cage that stood 15 feet off the ground.  I loved that thing. 

7 feet and that's considered the jumbo one!  Double that shit and then we'll talk!

7 feet and that's considered the jumbo one! Double that shit and then we'll talk!

We used to play bar tag on that sucker, and the only rule was that you couldn’t touch the ground.  Sure, a lot of kids cried and I probably did long-term damage to my knees from constantly jumping off the top of that thing, but you know what – it taught you how to sack up and be a man.  I’m sick of kids today being rewarded for every stupid thing they do – we don’t need the religious right to oppose Darwin’s theory of evolution, the ultra liberals are doing just fine on their own!  By making it seem like everyone is equal, we are robbing our kids of the opportunity to learn that everyone is NOT equal.  I know, I know, it’s shocking to hear, but it’s the truth.  And what better place for your kids to learn that some people are better at some things than others than on the playground?  So, when my future kids start to develop their motor skills I’m going to make sure they have access to the most death-defying playground equipment available – the spinner that taught you about centrifugal force (and vomit), the monkey bars that taught you about gravity, the metal slides that taught you about thermodynamics, and the giant wooden structures that taught you about splinters – and if I can’t find any, I’ll go to Home Depot, buy some iron beams, weld that shit together, and build it myself.  Kids need to hurt themselves if they ever want to learn – what’s the best way to learn not to put your hands in the fire – it’s by putting your hands in the fire!  That kid will learn pretty damn quick that putting ones hand in the fire is not a good idea!  So here’s what I say to all those yuppies out there who spray everything down with disinfectant (and then wonder why their kids are allergic to everything), won’t let their kids play on playground equipment that isn’t covered in foam padding, and think that you deserve a star just for showing up to class – keep it up!  Because when those kids are all grown up, they’ll still be giant pussies, and my kids will kick their ass.