I don’t consider myself the superstitious type. I occasionally knock some wood and usually try to say “rabbit rabbit” at the start of every month, but that’s about it.
Of course, that was before I became a dad.
These days I might as well be Shirley Maclaine for all the bullshit I find myself believing. There’s just NO WAY a filthy anarchist monkey like Curious George gets invited to that many parties, but I just keep playing along.
Kids are strange.
Even my own son, whom everyone thinks is my spitting image and who you’d assume shares some of my personality traits and interests, is alien to me in many ways.
Every day he does things that make no sense to me. Which should be good preparation for his teen years, when he’ll be into stuff I have no understanding of and he’ll hate stuff I love just because I love it. But his thought process is not yet that sophisticated and, therefore, might even be more honest.
Some of the stuff he hates he hates because he’s young and doesn’t know any better. Some of it is because he’s two and two-year-olds like to be jerks. And some of the stuff he likes he likes because he’s young and doesn’t know any better, some of it is because he has a little bit of Mom and Buried in him too, and some of it is because he’s as unique as a snowflake.
A snowflake I thought I knew.
In an effort to really sell the “terrible” in “terrible twos”, my son has become a very selfish, defiant and lazy guy. Lately, trying to get my son to do anything usually results in him screaming for five minutes.
We’re dealing with this stage as best we can, all the while reminding ourselves that it is just a stage (and if it’s not, there’s always military school) and all the while self-medicating ourselves into being excited that he’s learning how to express himself and grow more independent and have opinions, if you can call “no!” and “mine!” opinions.
He knows what he wants and he knows what he doesn’t want, and never the twain shall meet.
Since time-outs are so ineffective and cages and tranquilizers are frowned upon, we’ve had to resort to other methods to attempt to control the beast.
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.
I remember when my son learned to say “No.” The moment haunts my dreams.
Much like the discovery of lying, when a child learns to say “no,” it’s another step on the road to having a teenager. Another step on the road from merely “keeping your offspring alive” to actually “raising a human being.” Another step on the road from having low blood pressure and a healthy head of hair to looking, and heart-attacking, like Roger Sterling.
As a new parent with grand ideas of how you’ll raise the perfect child and do everything right, you initially try to limit how often you say “no” in the hopes that your kid won’t pick up on its power and start wielding it himself. But he does. He certainly has in my house.
And now it’s no longer about avoiding no; it’s about reclaiming it. Because these days, the word is all his.
As you may or may not know, I tweet a lot. Most of my tweets are at my son’s expense, some are at my expense, and a handful are at my wife’s expense, much to her chagrin. Some are true, some are pure fiction, and some – perhaps most – are true-ish.
Like this one, which is among my most retweeted:
“The fact that I just angrily yelled ‘You’re not the boss of me!’ at my two-year-old is a pretty clear indication that he definitely is.”
I don’t believe I’ve ever yelled that at my son; at least not out loud. But it’s 100% true, just the same.
A little more than a year ago, I wrote about the last Superman movie. And how just because the movie was boring, it doesn’t mean the character is. With a new Superman flick a mere months away, I’m hoping to be proven correct.
I love Superman. When I became a father, I was very excited to introduce him to my son, and that process has already begun. He hasn’t seen the original movies yet, but he has several Superman outfits, complete with capes, and he loves watching the “Christopher Reeve tribute” I found on YouTube.
About a year ago, already anticipating this new flick, I wrote about the wrongheadedness of making his son in the last movie “super,” especially since the events on which Superman Returns was piggy-backing made such an occurrence totally impossible. After that debacle, I’m glad they’ve struck out on their own this time around; I even like what I’ve heard of the score! Sure, it means we get another origin story of a character whose origin is as well-known as Truman Burbank’s, but at least it’s been more than thirty years since that story was told on the silver screen.
The fact that Superman has two fathers, and that the conflict between the values they’ve each instilled in him – or even the way those values complement each other – seems a major theme of this new movie (and much of his mythology in general), gives me a handy excuse to run posts about my favorite superhero without straying too far from the whole “Dad” part of my blog.
Which is why I’ve resurrected last year’s post:
Original Post: Superman Was a Father Too!