Hi. My name is Aaron. And I’m a bad parent.
Not bad in the sense that anyone needs to call Child & Family Services on me, it’s more bad in the form of not being a politically correct parent. And, in some cases, just being lazy. It means I sometimes take shortcuts when it comes to some of the more tedious parental duties, while all the sanctimonious self-proclaimed Parent of the Year candidates claim they take the high road at all times.
Still don’t know what I’m talking about? Let’s run through some examples, shall we?
Bath time in the Daddy Files house is the last thing we do at night before bed. And if you think bath time is as simple as just throwing the kid in the tub, you’re crazy. Will’s bath consists of no less than six rubber duckies, two plastic boats, three plastic cups and all of the bath products that can he reach while in the tub. So when I get up in the morning and wipe the sleep out of my eyes to take a shower, I’m faced with close to two dozen various bath toys all resting on the shower floor. Instead of performing the herculean task of picking each one of those damn things up, it’s so much easier to kick them all toward the drain and start my shower.
But then, I realize I have to pee and all of a sudden I’m faced with a choice. Get my already soaking wet ass out of the shower, pee while freezing and then jump back in the shower, or just let loose.
I take the path of added convenience. And before you start cringing and saying “Oh my God that’s SO disgusting,” I just want to say that everyone pees in the shower. Same as the community swimming pool and the ocean. You’ve all done it. I don’t see the big deal. The damn toys get washed in the process of the shower and the piss really only glances the toys on its way to the drain.
So yeah, I pee on my kid’s toys. I don’t see the big issue.
While we’re talking about bathroom behavior, I also let Will have free reign while I take a shower. Usually he’s already awake by the time I’m showering, so I let him roam around while I’m cleaning myself and urinating on his toys. Sure he gets into some stuff, but for the most part he’s very responsible and he knows what he should and shouldn’t touch. I refuse to be an overprotective, uptight ninny about things like that.
But when he does get into something he’s not supposed to, or when he’s being willfully disobedient, I give him timeouts. Yes, that’s right all you no-discipline-in-sight hippies, I give my kid timeouts. And guess what? THEY WORK! Anyone who tells you a 19-month-old is too young for timeouts is a damn liar. Will knows exactly what he’s doing and he knows if what he’s doing is bad. I give him at least three warnings, and if I have to give him more than that I take him to the kitchen, sit him down, set the timer on the stove and I don’t let him move for one minute. And if he does something that could harm him, he might even get a spanking depending on the circumstances.
I refuse to feel bad about this and I think trying to discipline kids without at least some form of corporal punishment is nuts. You don’t get results by sitting around in a circle singing kumbaya and playing the harpsichord.
Speaking of hippies, I do not grow or make my own food to give him. While he receives a balanced diet, sometimes I’m running around like crazy and I’m strapped for time. In those cases, he gets the microwavable Mac & Cheese instead of the vegetables from our garden that are harvested with compost to reduce our carbon footprint. Fuck my carbon footprint. When I’m gone, I want the world to know that I used up as much natural resources as humanly possible.
And guess what? I think cloth diapers are fucking disgusting and pointless. I love disposables diapers and I can’t imagine living without them. I don’t care if I fill an entire landfill with them, I wouldn’t change a thing.
Speaking of diapers, I always change Will before I drop him off at daycare. But sometimes, just minutes after I change him, the little Crap Master takes a second morning dump that I don’t catch until I’m literally on my way out the door. At that point I’m faced with a choice: Do the right thing and go back inside to change him, or don’t. So I strap his nasty bottom in the carseat, drive him over to our daycare provider, take him out of the car and then feign surprise when I sniff his butt. I love the woman who watches Will, but I’m sorry. I’m on a schedule. Not to mention his dumps are truly gnarly.
While other “good” parents ban the evil television from their homes, Will watches TV. He watches Handy Manny, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Phineas & Ferb, Imagination Movers and Tigger & Pooh. In the morning, that glowing box is the only way I can get everything accomplished. I watched (and still watch) a shitload of TV and that’s not a bad thing. Personally I think it helped with my vocabulary, my overall general knowledge trivia skills and it helps keep my pop culture references fresh. I’m going to raise my son the same way, regardless of your inane studies that say kids under the age of 2 who watch TV will be 1,000 times more likely to be a serial killer, rapist, drug dealer and torturer of animals.
So there you have it, just a few reasons why I’m an established member of The Bad Parent Club. Frankly I don’t think we’re bad, I think we’re normal. And we cop to our shortcomings instead of lying about them and desperately engaging in the bullshit posturing that seems to infect many new parents.
I know I’m not the only one with this membership card. Give me some other examples!