You often hear the phrase “I need a vacation from my vacation.”
I try not to use cliches, but after just a few days at the beach, I need a vacation from my vacation.
Unfortunately, I have a kid. So I’ll never get one.
Everyone hates going to the dentist.
These days, my two-year-old’s bedtime routine is making me hate BEING the dentist.
I didn’t realize that teaching my kid how to be a normal person would be such hard work.
Despite the fact that I could quote Cape Fear ALL DAY LONG and just pretend I’m having a conversation with my toddler —
“I can out-learn you. I can out-read you. I can out-think you. I can out-philosophize you. And I’m gonna outlast you! ”
— that’s not what the title of this post refers to.
This post is about Other Parents and the way they use their experiences to scare you.
Yesterday, I wrote about the idiotic gulf that exists between people who have kids and people who don’t. There’s no reason we parents can’t get along with the childless; if I didn’t have childless friends, I’d never be able to escape my own kid!
But a year ago, I discussed the one thing in particular that some childless people do that is quite annoying for parents, and that’s when they offer suggestions on how to raise your kids. So for this week’s Zombie Post entry, I’ve resurrected that post (see link below).
It takes two to tango. If I didn’t have a son, I wouldn’t be on the receiving end of such unwanted advice. And if I had good taste in friends, I would have ditched the kind of person who offers unsolicited advice on topics they know nothing about long before I even had a kid. It’s not the not-having-kids that makes someone obnoxious, or the having-of-kids that makes someone bearable; to paraphrase Jay-Z: they were who they were before they got here.
And as much as I love my childless friends, and respect and even sometimes envy the child-free’s choice to not have kids, taking their parenting advice is where I draw the line. Not totally sure why someone who decided against having children would even want to get involved in raising any, but hey, to paraphrase Walt Whitman: we contain multitudes.
Having kids is not for everyone. After reading my blog, some people might even say it’s not for me. (Some people even have, god bless ’em!)
There are moments when I wonder if it’s right for me, usually when my son is screaming about something and we’re out of beer. But those moments are fleeting.
I’ve always known I wanted to have kids, though I suppose it can be tough to know whether that was a true desire or the kind of checkpoint-based “maturity” and conformity Tyler Durden was so angry about (it’s just what you do). Fortunately, I knew I’d made the right choice when my son was born and I didn’t have even the slightest urge to split, and that choice is validated every day.
But it is a choice. And there’s nothing wrong with going the other way.