You think it was tough selling crack, try soothing an infant
One of the people I admire most is rapper, vodkapreneur, and all-around rich guy Jay-Z. First of all, he’s married to Beyonce (for most guys such a woman’s name would be pronounced Beyond). Secondly, he went from being CEO of the R.O.C-Yo! (that is, a drug dealer), to writing poetic and dazzling raps. He’s really good, even if you don’t like rap. And now he’s got another challenge: being a father to a daughter (rumors are he might also have a secret seven year old son, but since I haven’t seen him in a Will Smith movie, I’m not commenting on that).
I’m not sure how much parenting Jay-Z will actually do—probably just enough to start a brand of vodka devoted to the stressed out parent. But I would like to see Jay-Z infuse his life, his art, and his business with his new parenting challenge.
Wait, yes he is, he totally is
I have many jealousies with regard to the lives kids can lead versus that of adults. For starters, I’d like to be able to eat my weight in candy and sweets and still feel awesome. A week ago, I had seconds on ice cream and was immediately overcome with a level of self-loathing so intense, you’d have thought I got drunk and drove through a farmer’s market filled with nuns and orphans. It would also be nice, like children, to occasionally be allowed to cry after stubbing my toe. What? Just because I’m in my thirties doesn’t mean ramming my toe into a door hurts any less. But more than anything, I would love to be as obsessive as children are about the things they enjoy.
You don’t even have to pretend to be the strong silent type—I’d settle for silent
Our sons never stop talking! My wife and I each have different reactions to this. I am proud to have such articulate three year olds, and take great joy when they surprise me with a thought or sentence I didn’t know they could create. However, my amazing wife, who spends a majority of the time with the twin chatterboxes, has found that the articulation has tipped over into a form of torture. They never, ever stop talking to her—unless it's to briefly fight with each other. If, after politely answering their questions for a half hour, she then asks them to stop asking her questions, they ask why they can’t ask any more questions. Even the most nurturing humans all have a bit of that feline nature where they can no longer take the interaction, and must swat at those around them. Of course, I only realize that my sons have driven my wife to the brink of insanity when I pop out of my office for a coffee refill, casually and politely ask her some mundane question (i.e. “Whatcha reading”), and am fired upon with a response of, “Can’t everyone just not talk to me for five minutes!”
Parents must continually redefine the threshold of outrage
One of the best parts of getting older, becoming a parent, and therefore slowly ceding youthful open-mindedness to the next generation is the ability to be outraged and offended. Think about our grandparents and how their love of Elvis lead their parents to believe he was a sign of the apocalypse. A guy who is now a collector’s stamp was once seen as the devil himself, but with fewer horns. Elvis swung his hips and a generation of teenyboppers were immaculately impregnated by his demon seed. Now he’s as wholesome as apple pie.
But unfortunately vaginas aren’t
It’s new study time: Researches at the University of Minnesota have concluded that the size of newborns is on the rise. Much like our food portion sizes, what was once considered big in the 1920s would today be considered average. I don’t think this is too surprising. We should keep in mind that people during the time of Jesus were apparently all like four-foot something (with the exception of Tebow’s ancestors, of course). So, basically, as a species we get bigger. However, the study was careful to point out that there is not a connection between bigger birth weight, and our nation’s obesity epidemic. The increased size is mostly due to advancements in prenatal health. If the TV show Mad Men is to be any real barometer, drinking and smoking during pregnancy used to be just as right and natural as segregation. It’s safe to say humans have grown in a multitude of ways since the time of Kennedy.
I think the birds are “angry” Mommy, because they’re trapped in the phone and can’t get outside
One of my justifications for spending well beyond my means this Christmas on gadgets was that my twin toddler sons would be able to bathe their brains in the endless sea of educational apps. I imagined my sons doing math and finger painting on the new tablet computer, and then turning to me and saying, “Daddy, it is ever so nice out, might I download Chaucer and read it to the kale plants in the veggie garden? We all know how leafy greens love hearing fornication described in a near dead language.” Yes, somewhere in my mind I hoped that these gadgets would give my toddlers some level of sophistication. Even if they still found farts funny, they’d do it in an advanced way: “Daddy, I do believe my brother has darkened the air with an inspired interpretation of Mommy’s three bean soup! What cheeky digestion he has.”
This year will be the year I teach my toddlers calculus
I love New Year’s Resolutions! Mostly because it means the week leading up ‘till the new year, I can act like I live in a vacuum, and eat anything I want, and engage in any destructive behavior knowing that I can soon push the reset button and pretend I’m a monk. But what I do actually take seriously are my attempts to become a better parent. Here are some real parenting improvements I hope to make in the New Year:
You’re better off letting your children dress as Lisbeth Salander on Halloween
Be warned fellow users of the Netflix Nanny! The next time you pull up kids shows on Netflix so you can slack off a bit, be warned of the evil Pingu. Pingu is about a rascally penguin who spends his days throwing things (snowballs, fish, tire irons), on his idiot younger brother, who also throws things on him. During it all, Pingu’s mom is in a constant state of hysteria, flipping out and yelling at her kids in penguin language—which sounds to me like a cross between Japanese and a grandfather stubbing his toe.