Author: Daddy Coping in Style

The Reason for the Season

Though I loathe the culture war centered around “putting the ‘Christ’ back into ‘Christmas’”, I’m definitely one who wants my children to know the reason behind every season, or in most cases…holiday. This applies most especially to holidays as “abstract” as Veteran’s Day. Yesterday my older kid jumped with joy as she celebrated having THREE DAYS OF MORNING TELEVISION this weekend. Uncharacteristically, I held my tongue so as not to deflate her joy. I’ll save the posturing about Veteran’s Day for the actual day. I’m feeling particularly attached to Veteran’s Day, this year, because of the 100th anniversary of the WWI armistice. I’ve always been masochistically fascinated by WWI. It never fails to send a sobering chill down my spine to reflect on the first war in which men were able to massacre acres of men without catching sight of each other. The wide-scale use of machine guns, tanks, airplanes and trench warfare that wasted a generation all because of agreements between insecure, rich white men trying to keep their place in the upper-class mastering the …

So That’s Where We Are, Now

Welp, we’ve hit another funky milestone. We’re trying on different pronouns in our household. Before school started, my partner and I asked the big kid, “What would you like to say, this year? ‘He’ or ‘she’?” Kiddo answered sheepishly, “She.” Oh. Okay. So there we are. An hour later, we were discussing my show, Head Over Heels,in which a trans actress plays a non-binary character. My older kid is officially obsessed with this gender-bending character (played by Peppermint, the drag queenfamous for her stellar turn on RuPaul’s Drag Raceas well as for being the first contestant who was outwardly trans beforecompeting on RuPaul.) In the conversation with my kiddo, I had to backtrack withhersaying, “But wait. You know Peppermint is a trans woman playing a non-binary role?” “Yeah! A ‘they’. Like me! I’m ‘they’!” Oh. Okay. So there we are. An hour later, I sat with her/theyand said, “Now, sweetie, do you want me to say something to your teachers about how you want to be addressed?” “Daddy,” she/they said, “can we stop talking about …

Battling the Ballet

My older son’s going through his ”I’m going to put on a dance show for you” phase. I’m the asshole parent who immediately hounds him, “Okay, I’ll watch. BUT – I need to see a beginning, middle and end. We need a storyline, here, kiddo. Also? No more than three songs.” Because Daddy’s got other stuff to do. Oh, and performance standards. No. I’m not exaggerating any of that. Way to take the fun out of everything, Dad. But these dance “recitals” are an unwatchable combination of a bad drag show and, well…I think I can stop there. Just bad drag. Whenever we ask if he wants to take dance, he says, “Daddy, I’m already a great dancer.” Yeah, no. Until this year, we didn’t push it. No need to over-schedule in first grade. But I heard about an excellent dance studio that gives free ballet lessons to boys. And because I’m a cheap SOB, I was all about that. But then, approaching the audition time, I started to go down my normal cerebral rabbit hole …

Opening My Male Mouth…

I feel compelled to say something about the Kavanaugh circus; and I know it’s like wading into a snake den of passionate sensitivities by doing so, but I can’t contain my excitement. Because I am thrilled that our national, collective toxic bro culture is being nationally reexamined and scrutinized and punished for centuries of entitled douchebaggery. The privileged white world from whence Kavanaugh hails is a nauseating cesspool of back-slapping, smoke-filled rooms and insularity with members who have been the behind-the-scenes progenitors of anti-democratic, self-serving, win-and-maintain-our-status-at-any-costs coterie of people who cement their legacies and status at the tippy top of the American controlling population. The .01% of power. I’ve been in rooms with so many of these guys – arrogant prigs who have little emotional connections to anyone and are stunted in terms of genuine communication; guys who have self-loathing behind their eyes because they’re so lost in real human connection, but know their cultural places are sealed by birthright. Luckily, this is a very small percentage of the people I’ve known in my life. …

Did We Avoid a Summer Slide? Meh.

So we survived summer and I utterly failed at having my kids on their “summer academic schedule.” My plan was merely to have daily quiet time. Thirty minutes, kids. That’s all I ask. Technically, you’re allowed to stare at the ceiling or look at books. But this is NOT coloring or wandering time. This is day-dreaming or reading time. Is that so much to ask? You’ve done this at school – your teachers gave you quiet time every single day and you were allowed to stare at the ceiling or read a damn book. Why is it pulling teeth with you guys, here and now? I tried to get them to be mildly academic to avoid the unacceptable slide into stupidity. Also? “Quiet time” means calm time for me, too. Win-win. Or maybe just I win. But anyway. But insisting on thirty minutes of quiet time might’ve made my kids hate summer. They begrudgingly sat in silence, but mostly just glared at me. And that’s the opposite of what I’m trying to do: foster a love for …

Sex Talk with My 5yo

So my kids saw Head Over Heels and they loved it. Or well, the younger one couldn’t focus on the first act because he was totally focused on the snacks my partner smuggled into the theatre in his ECKnox diaper bag. (This blog posting sponsored entirely by ECKnox.) I should’ve just given my partner the heads-up “He’s going to fixate on snacks and ask multiple times ‘is it break time, yet?’ Just give him the snacks to shut him up. Anyway. They loved the show. And while I thought most of the plot points would fly over their heads, they seemed to get most of it. They knew that the sword fight didn’t actually kill anyone. Nope. Violence was no biggie. They got that the flags fell when the oracle’s prophecies were fulfilled and that the king was a rube and the princesses were marrying the people their parents didn’t want etc etc. But what really intrigued the kids? Potty humor. After the show, their first question was, “Did that guy really pee on that bush?” “No, …

I Watch Porn

(Excuse me as I barf while I think about the people who read this click bait title.) This might be a slight deviation from my regularly-themed blog posts. But I recently received an email from a Mr. Warner Fitts telling me that he (or she? or they? Who am I kidding? It’s always a man) knew my password (Colorado1) and had caught me on a website, hacked into my computer’s camera, had recorded me taking part in nefarious activities, and unless I paid him $2,000 in Bitcoins, he’d email video of me participating in said nefarious activies to you. Yes, you. Well. Let’s break some of these things down: Colorado1 was a password I used about a decade ago. Visiting porn sites? Can I blame that on my 6-yo? Or on visitors crashing on my couch at the time? Neighbors hacking into my WiFi signal? I won’t belabor this. In my life, I’ve seen porn. On my own computer. Anyway. Pay in Bitcoins? Lolz. Mailing a video to all my contacts. Welp. That would be …

Being a Gender Hypocrite

I’m sitting, watching both my kids play soccer in summer camp, right now. I can’t believe my gender-fluid kid is playing soccer. I mean, last week, when my younger one took his lesson, the older was impressed there was a girl in his class. So this week? Older was mildly curious. And the next week? Suddenly he’s playing. This is amazing. And stupefying. He insists he doesn’t want to play soccer, but he jumped in with only mild prodding by me just five minutes ago. I want to expose my kids to everything. Being well-rounded makes life so much richer. I loved being a college athlete and artist and academic, simultaneously. I’ve often been conflicted about sports because our culture is already so ridiculously Type-A, competition-obsessed, but I think playing a game and exercise are interests to cultivate. Plus, if you at least know the rules and have basic skills in a sport, life’s just easier and more fun. And less frustrating when you’re stuck at a high school retreat for the student council and …

One-Track 6yo Mind

Since my kids saw my show, Head Over Heels, (as shown in the above picture…which is terrible because it’s a screen shot from a boomerang we made at the theatre and we’re all in motion…but oh, well) our meals often follow an obsessive trajectory… Daddy? Yeah? How many times did Peppermint change her wig in your show? (*Peppermint is one of the principals in our show, originally made famous by her appearance, last year, in RuPaul’s Drag Race.) Um, three. No, four. Please chew with your mouth shut. But Daddy? Did she change the wig herself, or did she have help? She had help. Please stop kicking the table leg. But how many people help her with her wigs? I dunno. Um…two? She has two people helping her with her wigs? Sometimes. Please chew with your mouth shut. (Chews for a little bit. Younger brother stares at both of us wondering how he ended up in this insane family of a drag queen-obsessed 6 ½ year old and an illogically-annoyed father.) Daddy? Hm? What if both of your characters are …

Screwing Social Obligations

It’s easily assumed I’m outgoing. I’ve a reputation for wanting to be the life of the party. For a significant portion of my youth, I thought I neededto be the life of the party so much so that if I wasn’t in full form, people would say, “are you ok?” With that assumption came my own self-expectation: I need to be the outgoing one helping parties thrive. And then I got older. During an end-of-year party in my kid’s 1stgrade class, a friend muttered to me, “I loathe these things. The frenzied energy of the parents, the temperature in the room, the kids are over-whelmed, our own expectations for throwing a party for the kids and yet we have to get in and out in forty minutes. It’s awful.” And this guy, whom I consider perfectly at-ease in public, made me realize: “Oh my God. I hate these things, too.” At my 40thbirthday, my partner asked what I wanted to do and how many dozens of people I wanted to invite, and I realized, “You …