My parenting formula is as follows:
- 100% Good Intentions.
- 50% Blind Luck.
- 50% “Go Ask Your Mom!”
Hey, if Lou Ferrigno can give 150%, I can give 200%! Besides, my good intentions don’t actually count…
But getting back to me, I’m the first to admit that I would not only be lost without my wife’s influence, I most likely would too busy attending parent/teacher conferences to blog at all. I do my best, but my daughter is a wonderful, healthy and joyful human being largely due to the influence – and medical attention – of my wife.
Here then, are a few of my parenting milestones, beginning with sentences that should have died in my throat.
“GO TO YOUR ROOM!”
What was I thinking? The kid has the following items in her dwelling:
- One 32-inch, flat-screen television with one hundred channels.
- Two million DVDs. My math may be slightly exaggerated; that figure is based on the number of times I’ve had to open my wallet in the electronics department of Walmart…
- One DVD player. Lucky for her, right? Otherwise those movies and boxed sets of Supernatural would be tainting her daily.
- One CD player and five thousand CDs.
- Sixty-five Monster High dolls and dozens of Funkos. If you’re unfamiliar with the Monster High franchise, look it up. I did so when I realized the funds normally devoted to my weekly comic book run were being diverted to pay for a doll named Draculaura, which I still maintain sounds like a Gothic stripper.
- One iPad.
- One laptop.
- One netbook.
- An incalculable number of miscellaneous items.
I’d love to be sent to her room. Especially since I paid for everything in it.
“GO ASK YOUR MOTHER!”
Once again, I really should know better. The scenario plays out the same every single time.
- She poses a question designed to mess with my head, like “What’s dry-humping?”.
- I send her off to my long-suffering wife.
- My wife counters with “What did he say? BOY!!” Yes, she calls me “Boy”. Don’t ask.
- Our daughter returns and I make my wife regret her course of action by breaking the cardinal rule of parenting” I tell my daughter the truth.
- My daughter returns to my wife and the roof lifts from the house as my wife pulls me aside and scrispers to me – a “scrisper” is the tone that lies between a whisper and a scream – “Really? You can write a book and blogs but you can’t come up with a lie good enough to fool a kid?”
- I slink away, my head hung in shame.
- I get over it pretty quick.
“WHY, WHEN I WAS YOUR AGE…”
I always swore those words would never pass my lips in a parenting context, but so much for vows. I think the desire to drag our offspring down Memory Lane is encoded into our DNA. Unfortunately, in the storied history of parenting this tactic has never succeeded. Except for eliciting eye rolls, it’s great for that.
The truth is, our kids don’t care about what we went through. You know how I know that? Because we didn’t care what our parents went through. The circle remains unbroken.
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” doesn’t quite apply; its more like “It’s broke… but maybe it’s better this way.”
“DON’T TELL MOM!”
This one never works.
Case in point: I took my daughter to see Iron Man 3 years ago and the instructions from my wife were quite clear: “Share a popcorn between you and that’s it! We have to watch our spending!”
Of course you know what happened.
Two slices of pizza happened. A ginormous popcorn with butter happened. And a bladder-buster size pop happened.
She enjoyed herself, but eventually, my daughter cracked and sang like a jailhouse informant. I faced my judge, jury and executioner with my head held… mighty low.. (At least she’s damn hot!)
So be it. It certainly won’t be the last time…
In closing, I’ll tell you what I always tell my wife when called upon to answer for my parenting misfires:
“In my defense… I mean well. And I love you”
Hey, I’ve never claimed to be Perry Mason.
See you in the lobby, kids…