13 Things on Thursday about Being a Parent that You Should Think About
One: You are an idiot.
Two: Your opinions are to the wisdom of your eleven year old boy as paleolithic man is to an astronaut.
Three: The only reason one should learn higher math is so that when your daughter asks you to explain a trig formula, you can confidently pronounce the answer from the back of the book.
Four: However; you never understood quadratic equations, you never will understand quadratic equations, refer to number one.
Five: The only truly effective parenting technique so closely resembles good-cop-bad-cop routines that you will begin to take notes during Law & Order.
Six: You will discover--from their vocabulary--the only time your children listen is in the car.
Seven: Sympathetic magic is real. When I took my toddler son to the Sanford Zoo in Florida, he was distractingly fascinated by the three toed sloths, standing rooted to the walkway for twenty minutes staring at the immovable animal with a look of divine grace. I thought he was farting. Eight years later, I understand: he'd found his God. Three toed sloths in our neighborhood race past this kid, elbow him out of the way, and say 'who's the slow kid?!' I'm not lying.
Eight: The D.A.R.E. program isn't to keep kids off drugs, it's to keep parents off drugs. Think I'm lying? Just wait until you're at Buffalo Wild Wings ordering a Newcastle and your kid says "Beer is drugs, Dad! You're takingdrugs! My dad takes drugs!" The waitress said "I'll bring you an Iced Tea," with a wink. I tipped her $20.00.
Nine: You are made out of money. It doesn't matter that you bought the kid an xbox three sixty. You also have to buy him the wifi connection, xbox live account, Gears of War, Rock Band, and a spare guitar so his friend can play bass with him for fourteen seconds before they toss the whole rack on the floor and go out to glue scrap cardboard to their bike-forks so their spokes will rattle, thereby playing with garbage for an hour after you dropped nearly 7 bills on a video game system that could pilot the space shuttle.
Ten: You will experience the urge to kill. (Refer to number nine).
Eleven: You will face the dilemma of birth control pills with candor and resolve. Even when they are prescribed by your daughter's ob/gyn who swears your daughter doesn't need them for actual birth control but to control the random and overwhelming effects of her orc horde. You will repeat this respectable raison d' acclaim to yourself like a holy mantra as you drink fistfulls of martinis in an effort to erase the barely perceptible evil grin your daughter was trying desperately to suppress as you were thusly schooled.
Twelve: You will learn not to post stuff like that on the internet because as much as you're Googling her dates before they go out with her, they're Googling her which means they're Googling you, which means your stupid tell-all blog is their number one stalker's reference page. Dumbass.
Thirteen: You will learn patience. Not by some kind of hallmark afternoon special hands folded treacly bull caca. You will learn by the daily practice of forward thinking. Every time your kid trips over their brand new bass guitar, their Ps3, their fortress of Anime, or their library card while succumbing to the mind-numbing effects of tween/teen sudden-loss-of-constant stimulation, while nearly fainting from it while muttering their hive-mind/Borg mantra 'I'm so booooored'. While that happens you will not erupt with WHEN I WAS YOUR AGE ; nor will you throw a book at them; nor will you tell them they'd be less bored if they'd try to clean their lair for three minutes; nor will you sigh dejectedly, throw your hands in the air and surrender your wallet.
You will do the following Tantric exercise, recommended by the ceaseless research conducted at the Death By Children Institute for Parental Sanity: close your eyes; envision yourself standing on the sidewalk as your youngest child packs his very last bag into a rusty clunker on his way to college three or perhaps ten thousand miles away from you. Smile warmly, appear happy/sad, crinkle your crows feet as much as possible. Now, envision yourself reaching back and patting your back pocket wherein lie two round trip tickets to an all inclusive trip to Vegas.
Please save me: my children are trying to kill me.
Christopher Garlington is currently weaning himself from his obsession with do-rags in order to appear more like a grown-up in the presence of his children. As soon as he opens his mouth or tells a story you know, pretty much, everything’s going to end up as a fart joke or a story about puke. His Christmas tree is currently in the running for longest standing post-holiday decoration in the posh, Northside Chicago neighborhood where he lives with his wife and two kids. Mr. Garlington was born in Birmingham, AL and raised briefly in the hills of Shelby County and then for a seemingly unendurable enternity among the lakes and groves of Lake County, FL. He considers himself a southern writer. He has one tattoo. He has no college education. He makes perfect gumbo.