There might have been a moment where my then 7-year-old son misunderstood my explanation about how babies come into the world.
And that moment might have led to him announcing to his grandparents and everyone else at Chilis that I had peed on mom twice.
That moment followed times when he was about three where he told two different cashiers at the grocery store that his dad has a big penis.
One of them laughed and asked if he told the truth and I said size is relative and sort of shrugged my shoulders.
The other looked at me as if I had dropped my pants and urinated all over her register.
Sometimes I miss the good old days when blog fodder like this flowed fast and furious because the kids did all sorts of fun, memorable stuff.
I couldn’t even keep up with all that I had to write about, it just shot out of me like lava.
Hell, if I wanted to I could go back and share ten thousand stories that never made it here because I was too tired or too busy to put it in.
I could weave those posts in between the cool stuff like love stories that sound antiquated because writing about Instant Messenger no longer sounds like advanced technology.
Now it is just dated, like talking about how excited we got when we moved from modems that were 14.4 to 56k.
Or we could refer to our feature photo and talk yet again about walking through Jerusalem and the choices I made that kept me in the states or moving between LA and Texas.
But then again, it might be useful to remind some of you new parents that you are obnoxious.
Yeah, let me write that two or three times because you are so damn tired you’ll pretend you didn’t catch it.
“New” Parents Are Obnoxious
I wasn’t going to waste words and breath on some of you because I’d rather focus on posts like How A Writer Writes or put together something about how we are killing Twitter.
Hell, I almost wrote something tongue-in-cheek about how I am going to single-handedly kill dad blogging by writing a post saying it is dead but a couple of incidents pushed me the other way.
I don’t know, maybe it is more accurate to say there were a collection of moments that included some posts I read.
Self-congratulatory pieces that went off on how much better parents are today because they are better informed, better educated and more progressive than older parents.
Did I mention that one of them said that anyone that has kids that are older than 12 comes from a generation that is unlikely to get it.
I don’t know if getting it means a double dose of stupidity and a shot of ignorance but I don’t want or need it.
And dear neighbor, I am sorry you thought my stereo was preventing your baby from taking a nap but you are an idiot.
Not because I wasn’t the one who was blasting the music but because if you don’t teach your child how to sleep with some noise you are creating a horrible situation for yourself.
Kids and adults can learn how to sleep with some noise around but if you teach them they can only sleep when in a tomb-like environment you’ll hamstring them and you.
I am not just the dad with the whose kid told a checker he has a big penis. I am a father that is teaching his children how to go along and get along in the world.
That includes standing up for what is right and protecting our principles but also recognizing that sometimes the smart response to being offended is to change the channel or shop elsewhere.
We don’t have to be tolerant or everything but we don’t have to be so intolerant we demand anything that bothers us be fixed.
There is nuance and sophistication that comes with those discussions and they have been some of the best I have ever had with my kids.
Little Kids, Little Problems– Big Kids, Big Problems
I used to hate when older parents would tell me that little kids had little problems and big kids had big problems because it sounded so damn condescending.
And then my kids moved into middle and high school.
That doesn’t count some of the crap that happened in between like the second great Depression (how I refer to 2008) and the shit that went down when I lost my job and couldn’t get hired.
Doesn’t count having to tell the kids that we were going to sell the house because dad couldn’t find a way to provide for his family, yeah, it still irks me a little bit.
I was a high flyer for a long while, was the sole provider for 8 years but that is a whole different post.
The real focus is that when you get to middle and high school and your kids really start to spend chunks of time in the real world without you things get interesting.
Flotsam and Jetsam
My oldest was in middle school when the Newtown shooting occurred. He and the other kids found out about it pretty quickly thanks to the Internet.
Steiner the minor told me not to worry about him because he sat near the door and if someone came in with a gun he could run away pretty quickly.
That is the kind of thing that warms the cockles of your heart.
And then there was the kid who tried to bully him and caused issues. We found out that his father was beating him up and had yet another interesting conversation with the kids about child abuse and bullying.
These days things have progressed further because old Steiner the minor is in high school and will begin driving soon.
So we have talked about drugs, alcohol, sex, driving and all sorts of other stuff.
New parents, man I feel for you. I remember those days and sometimes I miss them.
There was joy and innocence just as there is now, but it is different than it once was.
My kids have figured out that the wizard is just a man and that sometimes the flying monkeys win.
But don’t fool yourself into thinking that you know all that much more or have access to that much more information than those who came before you did.
There is not manual and we all stumble through some of this blindly and do 0ur best to make things work with the resources and opportunities we have.