Thursday, November 10, 2011

Things I Have Never Done

- I have never watched my children sleep. Because I am not a serial killer (*disclaimer - if I was this is hardly the place to let that slip - it seems much more like a Reddit kind of thing). This is classic television schtick and total and complete nonsense. When you don't have kids and you have no free time you don't actually realize that you have TONS of free time. Then you have a child and they eat all your free time up. All of it. I have two children. So why in God's name would I be wasting my precious tiny morsels of free time watching them do absolutely piss all?

- I've never looked at a baby and thought, "oh he looks just like you!" Because that would imply that you also look like a fat-headed shirtless toothless weirdo dragging your legs around because you can't walk. I've heard people tell mother's their son looks like them. That doesn't even begin to add up. All that can mean is, "You have absolutely no tits but seemingly thirteen wrists." People have told me for years that my son looks like me. He has only very recently started to look like a human being. Therefore every time someone expressed that opinion I have marked it down as a meaning that I look pudgy and haven't wiped my nose. So yeah - screw you.

- I did not have the epiphany at the moment of my first child's birth that my life would never be the same. Because that's true for hundreds of moments. Almost everything people do dramatically changes their lives. More importantly having kids is life changing, but I'm not stupid enough to suddenly figure that out the same hour that my child is being born. How can that sneak up on someone? "This is the last time we will be alone..." is such a cliche. You aren't alone now - there are two of you. And her whole family. And all the other annoying idiots that you meet every day. Having a child around actually gives you a more polite reason to not be nice to all of them. You see someone you think is a total muppet and pint at your kid as to why you will not be talking to them. Think of it this way - my father-in-law tells me a story about how his father lived without electricity. He fought in a world war. By the time he died he could watch satellite television. Pioneer to Clash of Civilizations to sitting in a house in the middle of nowheresville watching magical pictures beamed from Outer Space.

- I've never been out and desperately needed to call home to find if my kids are okay. Granted we've never once hired a baby sitter. So every time the kids have not been with me they've been with family. Who have demonstrated that they aren't carefree and stupid enough to lose a baby or accidentally kill it. In fact my wife and I have probably gone out alone without the kids less than most people seem to have done - and not through fear of anything but rather just through circumstance. Therefore when we leave them with the in-laws (99% of the time) I'm not fretting about whether they are coping.

- I've never gone, "Ooo a goog goo goo!" at a child. Certainly not my own. That isn't a language used by anyone who isn't being paid to wear a diaper and crap themselves for your pleasure. Still, a worse sin than that are parents who say, "do you love Mommy!?" to a 5 month old baby. How devoid of sense and dignity do you have to be to ask a mute uncommunicative baby a question like that? I've heard my mother-in-law tell my daughter to say, "tell Grandma you love her" when she was just starting to say three and four word sentences. That's borderline insane.

- I've never said to anyone that all my kid does is eat, sleep and shit. Ever. Firstly that suggests they sleep. Which is patently absurd. My daughter's every fiber of energy for her first two years was spent on not sleeping. Secondly, they shit a lot less than they pee. The quantity and shocking frequency of urine that comes out of a child probably outweighs the Brown Bomber 100 to 1. Thirdly it suggests that there is an even three-way balance. Ask 99 parents of a four year old if their kid eats. They will all say no.

- I've never been scraping fecal matter of my children and thought, "I do this because I love you." Because the reason I'm doing it is because they are covered in fecal matter. I don't want poo on either of us. And they can't get it off. And if they tried they'd get it on everything. Add that I know all sorts of people whose entire job is pretty much feeding old people and then cleaning fecal matter off them, and for minimum wage too. Quite what that says in this context doesn't bear thinking about.

- For most kids I've never thought, "woah you are so big!" Obviously there's the odd freakish lump who is suspiciously gargantuan. And some kids have body parts that seem to be growing at a rate completely unrelated to the rest of their body. Those poor children with planetoid heads being a case in point. But in the vast general sense kids are not, "so big" at all. They are tiny. Because you know, they're kids. I'll also throw in, "wow she's growing sooo fast!" Well, no. She's growing at the expected rate. In fact she's still only 43 inches tall after over four years.

- I have never truly thought that my child's development was special and that they might be a genius. My daughter was very strong and walked very early on. I actually half-wondered (actually more like 75%) if she was a superhero/evil superbeing. But I didn't co-opt that to boost my own pride. No - instead I genuinely wondered if I should notify the authorities about her before she destroyed us all.

- I have never dreamed of my child being a future quarterback or the Michael Jordan of the 2020s. Ever. Firstly I've been to college in the US. I knew a whole bunch of guys who were jocks. To a man they were all complete turnips. Drunken borderline racist dunces is a bit harsh, but not a million miles off is it? Secondly, American sports are ridiculous. I don't want my child excelling at a stupid activity like basketball. All basketball games end with a two-point difference. What kind of lesson is it for a young adult to learn that the entire activity was a complete waste of time and it's just pure luck as to who gets to take the last shot before time runs out? Or to have people lie to them that "wow that was great defense" when there ate over 100 points already scored? Add, nobody in American football can tackle, hold a ball or avoid acting like an overblown ego-maniacal dick at all times. Make a tackle - dance for three minutes and boast about how awesome you are. Dude- you're supposed to tackle them. The other 30 times you didn't really highlight how inefficient and bad at this you are. Add calling 300 pound fat steroid-stuffed losers "athletes" is pushing the truth to an astounding new level.

More importantly though is that all my sporting-hero energy is still focused on the fact that even though I'm in my mid thirties, have only ever played for one season on an amateur pick-up team, and I live 3000 miles away from my home country that I'm still certain that if Fabio Capello just happened to see me playing carpet-football in my living room he'd see that I was just the sort of man to fill that Rooney-sized hole for Euro 2012.

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