Sleep is now a luxury. Leisure time arrives slightly more often than Leap Year. Still, certain core elements of my personality didn’t change when fatherhood beckoned. In that vein, I vowed shortly after becoming a parent that I wouldn’t live out some awful parenting stereotypes.
So if anyone sees me trying any of the following feel free to take away my TV remotes.
- No Boastful Bumper Stickers: Yes, there’s a special place in purgatory for people with those “Co-exist” bumper stickers. That’s not up for debate. Coming in a close second? “I’m the proud parent of a fill-in-the-blank student.”
- Say “We’re Pregnant”: We have two kids … and we’re done. To the best of my knowledge I never said “we” were pregnant at any time during my wife’s child-carrying time.
- Live Vicariously Through My Sons’ Sports Team: This one’s been a snap so far. Eli is hardly Johnny Athlete, and Ben is such a raw force I couldn’t begin to think I’d ever match his horsepower.
- The “My Kid Is Flawless” Routine: I’m sure I miss some of my children’s flaws. Their sweet little faces can be distracting. Yet I’m also keenly aware of their imperfections. Every third Daddylibrium post this year has been about Ben’s behavior. So if my son’s teacher approaches me about a problem in the classroom, my first instinct won’t be to ball up my fists and stare him or her down.
- Check Out on Pop Culture: Years ago while covering a school board meeting I struck up a conversation with a local mom. For some reason the chat turned to music, and she admitted she hadn’t a clue about any modern groups. “All I listen to is The Wiggles these days,” she confessed. Not me. Never. Now, my day job is covering pop culture. I still won’t get lost in my sons’ pop culture interests while I ignore my own.
- Pull the Spit Polish Face Wash: Sorry, Mom, but I still remember you cleaning my face with a wee bit of saliva in front of my Little League buds. I’ve done this move a couple of times with my sons, but never in the presence of their friends.
- Force Inane Videos on Friends: “Oh, look, lil’ Benj is just adorable playing the violin (badly) at his first school recital … wait, why are your eyes glazing over? We only have 15 more minutes to watch before I refill your wine glass…”