I say fuck the children. Fuck ‘em.
—George Carlin, You Are All Diseased
My sister was a tiny weeny little kid when she dressed Wicket, my BFF Ewok figurine, in Cabbage Patch Kids clothes, and lullabied the action figure to sleep with the promises of a dog named Rover. As far as I can remember being violently repelled by the taste of Brussels sprouts, my sister signed up for the baby train. When she was old enough to shave squares on the side of her head the way Cindy Lauper did, she planned offspring #1. And when I was old enough to get my first tribal tattoo the way Anthony Kiedis did, I became a first time uncle. And again. And again.
And a dad. Which wasn’t planned. Ever. Until the moment I saw the plus sign on a pee stick.
Motherhood came naturally to my sister. Fatherhood knocked at my door after a lifetime of booze and drugs and waking up God knows where with God knows who. The little common sense I had during my short flings with lucidity dictated that Charles Bukowski shouldn’t be a parenting model, and if I was going to be Father of the Fucking Year, I had to mimic my sister, minus the checkered hair:
- I traded pints of beer for breastmilk bottles;
- Philosophy in the Bedroom for What to Expect When You’re Expecting;
- Women’s lingerie for soiled diapers;
- K-Y® for lanolin;
- Boxes of condoms—which obviously I wasn’t using much—for sexless nights/weeks/months/divorce.
I marched to the beat of Dr. Sears‘ drum, and rocked out with my wee one. Changes occur when one becomes a parent, positive changes the good books will tell you:
You talk baby with your friends, you walk downtown—during rush hour—with dirty clothes, your house is messy, your hair is messy, your mess is messy, you eat early even when you’re not hungry, and you get up because you forgot to put the juice on the table, and you get up again because the juice that your forgot to put on the table has spilled on the floor, all over your messy mess. And almost any parent will tell you that they just love it. No, really! Most parents will tell you that being kicked in the balls by their kids is all peachy and shit because parenthood gives them so much more than sore balls: parenthood introduced them to true love! Who would have known that concentrated true love came bottled in a 3-feet tall walking bundle of phlegm, ready to backwash their germs in your bottle of water that they decided to drink from, because you didn’t stop them, because they’re so damn fucking adorable.
And here’s the kicker: as I’m sitting here tonight on my mango/avocado/almond milk-stained couch and looking at my daughter’s handprints on the television screen, I would have another one of these tiny weeny little life suckers. In a heartbeat.
Now would be a good time to book that vasectomy appointment.