Hello boys and girls once again your good friend Jack is here to regal you with stories about parenting. Come close my friends and read about how A Father Describes Parenting. While you chew on that move on to A Father's Burden and you'll understand better why I worry about What to Do about Middle School.
In the decade or so since I earned the name dad I have managed to learn a few things, some of them obvious and some of them less so. I love these kids of mine, even when they insist that Dad Doesn't Have a Crotch. I work hard to take care of them because I Am a Dad and part of our identity is based upon taking care of and providing for our families.
But let's be clear, it is based upon far more than just financial obligations. It is much more than education and your standard protection of said children. It is all of those things and more. It is the most awesome responsibility that I can think of, awesome being used in the truest sense of the word.
So as a serious man and a true student of parenting I have studied my children so that I can become an expert on helping them grow. And what I have learned is that not only are they smarter than I am, they are determined to make me crazy, or at least crazier than I already am.
The dark haired beauty came home from school and told me that she is very concerned about her friends Sammy and Jason. You see, she has this thing for Jason and talks about marrying him. It just so happens that Sammy is her best friend and that she used to have a thing for Jason. However, the dark haired beauty informed me the other day that she is concerned because Sammy and Jason made up a game together and she thinks that means that they might get married. So, she is wondering if maybe I should punch Jason in the nose because "boys are ridiculous."
And I being a smart man told her that she is right, "boys are ridiculous" all in the vain hope that she would stick to playing with dolls and girls. No such luck.
We moved on from Jason and Sammy talk to her Dr. Ruth book which explains in great detail where babies come from. My daughter likes reading it because it makes her brother squirm. Every time she reads the section about who sticks what and where he yells at her. I think that he is more interested in learning about that than he admits, but I haven't pushed the issue because he is a 4th grader. And if he really wants to know I am confident that he will approach me- otherwise we will eventually sit down but it doesn't have to be now.
Later on this girl of mine will come to me and ask a question that I really don't want to answer. She'll wonder if it hurts having a baby and will tell me that she thinks that it must not hurt making one. I keep a straight face and she tells me about families that have lots and lots of babies so she figures that it probably doesn't hurt when a man puts his friend inside a woman.
Part of me is amazed by the logic and reasoning. I love that she worked it out. And the other part wants to tell her that it is the most painful experience ever and that you never want to do it unless you are at least 30. And because she is related to me she will later be the architect of her brother's question about what it feels like for the man.
Ok, I don't know that she was. In fact she probably wasn't, but that girl is determined to make me lose all of my hair yesterday so I have to complain about it. In between let me tell you that her brother wants to know what it feels like and if maybe it feels better with other women. I ask him why he talks about multiple women and he tells me that he knows that some families have one or two children and others have a lot. So he figures that the ones who have a lot of kids must make it more enjoyable in some way.
Again I am impressed by the reasoning- but it is not my job to tell him that one day his hormones will kick in and he will be interested in finding out for himself. I tell myself that if I am going to tell his sister that sex is painful I should probably be do the same for him. After all it is only fair, so if I tell him about where else girls have teeth there shouldn't be any complaints, right.
But I don't do any of these things.I think about them, but I don't do them.
It doesn't stop me from telling my daughter that I want the boys to think of me as the Angel of Death. When he asks me why boys like to play with girls, I can't help myself and I tell him that there are a lot of things that are far more fun to do with girls than boys.
I worry less about telling him this because he is still on the fence. He still thinks that a world without women would be great. Or should I say that he said a world without girls, especially his sister. The same sister whose shirt reads "I'd trade my brother for a cupcake." She who has figured out to effortlessly torment him isn't always so good about ignoring his own slings and arrows.
Because he has figured out that she hates when he punches her dolls in the face. I sometimes wonder if that is genetic because I remember doing the same thing to my sisters. He tells me that he wants a cellphone, but only if it has games on it. She tells me that she wants one too, but that is because she wants to call and text her friends.
I tell them both that they can have phones when they are the same age I was when I first got mine. He laughs and says that he is not going to have to wait until he is 24 and he is right. It will be a few years, but they will get them. And then I can go crazy when they run the bills far too high and or refuse to answer. In concept I love it because they won't have the excuses we used to have. They'll be online and linked in in ways that we never did.
The electronic leash has its pros and cons.
And now the parental leash calls out to me. I have two soccer practices to coach and homework to do...with them.With a little bit of luck the fields won't be ridiculously muddy or I'll have to listen to 20 minutes of mothers complaining about how dirty the kids get. And then after that it will be 20 minutes of fighting to keep the kids focused on math.
And with that, I bid you adieu. The dad blogger turns in the keyboard for cleats and heads out the door.