All posts tagged: daddy coping

Just Be A Normal Boy!

My kid’s complete obsession with princesses has not been a phase. It’s grown exponentially since he was 2. Anything with girls and pink and sparkles grabs his attention…from Strawberry Shortcake (shoot me, now) to My Little Pony (trample me, now.) Is this a genetic thing for kids (boys and girls)? An as-yet-undiscovered “pink frills” gene? And my kid’s passionate expression is impressively creative: blankies become boas, sweat pants are inverted around his head to become two braids cascading down his shoulders, skirts turn into a fierce blow-out. My son is Little Edie with a skirt-turned-turban on his damn head. Sometimes I want to shout “Just Be A Normal Boy!” (Don’t worry. I stop myself.) Instead, I vent to you, here; and the monstrosity of my intolerant thoughts becomes abundantly clear…for the entire internet, instead of just for my kid. I’m sure there’ll be no repercussions, whatsoever. But I realize my problem with his choices is my own latent self-loathing. The truth is: he’s doing what I wanted to do as a kid…twirl in beach towels-as-dresses. …

My Son Wore a Dress for a Month. Nothing Happened.

So my son wore a dress for a month in France. Nothing happened. (Why we were in France for a month is explained, here.) I anticipated my older son (he of the “anything-princess” persuasion) would want to don frocks the entire time. So I let him. Some Americans might think of France as a bunch of WWII-losing philosophical wimps who eat cheese and are lax in the morality department (ergo they’re “kinda gay”). But in reality, theirs is a traditional, macho culture where men are men and women are objects of beauty. In some ways, the French lag behind the US in terms of sexual equality and gender identity. Gay couples can marry, but only since 2013. They do have parenting rights, but surrogacy is absolutely interdit. And little boys in dresses? That’s something you see even less in France than in the US. Further, it’s a land of conformity where people avoid bothering others. Don’t speak too loudly in restaurants, don’t touch anything in stores, don’t color outside social lines, and make sure you dress …

Dear Senator

I’ve Emailed this letter to these 50 senators. And I’m going to print 50 copies and mail them to their offices, as well. I hope you’ll do the same. Feel free to use this as a template or change however you’d like. Here’s the link for the senators’ addresses.   Dear Senator: Don’t worry – this isn’t just another letter about gun control. Instead, I’m writing about your character. I’m terrified that my two young sons are in danger whenever they venture out of my house. You have created this danger by shirking your legislative responsibilities and being the pawn of special interests like the gun lobby. As an educated, intelligent person, I’m sure you know that reasonable gun reform is supported by a majority of Americans. (And by “reasonable,” I merely refer to background checks, waiting periods and outlawing automatic weapons.) I’m sure you don’t want history to smear your name with the blood of innocent children on playgrounds. I bet you dare to emulate our Founding Fathers. What would they say about the …

When I Grow Up…

With one month left in the school year, my son’s school creates a yearbook. (Yes, NYC schools seem to go year-round. Eat your heart out.) For this project, class parents needed to photograph each kid. My cohort concocted the adorable idea of photographing the kids with a prop suggesting what they want to be when they grow up. My first thought was: I’m pretty sure my kid has no notion of what he wants to be when he grows up. The next morning, I polled the class. At the first table, one kid said “Firefighter!” Three boys and one girl parroted him. At another table, one girl squawked at me. Literally. Another delivered a 15-second unintelligible monologue, from which I discerned “lion” and “zoo”. Another girl replied, “Nothing.” “But what kind of job would you like to have?” I clarified. “Nothing. Like my mom. She does nothing.” I suppressed a guffaw and continued. The next girl said, “Policeman.” I gave her a high-five. The next girl said, “Sleeping Beauty.” Oh, shit. My son heard that. …

The happy meal place (or: the time I took a side of parentheses with that)

First of all, if there was any question in your minds, let me shuffle-ball-change out of the closet loud and proud: I’m a food snob. I wholeheartedly embrace Michael Pollan’s “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly vegetables.” When I was the perfect parent (meaning: before kids), I knew fast food would never touch the lips of my precious snowflakes. Admittedly, it’s easy to avoid fast food living in New York City. You’re never in a car, the kids haven’t fallen asleep in the back, and all food is fast. But I understand that fast food drive-thrus are a godsend…in desperate situations… zombee armageddons, heavy thunderstorms and refugees. Oh, and when Daddy flirts with jail time during a road trip due to a desperate yearning for “friesandashake” and considers* leaving the kids asleep in the backseat cuz who’s gonna know and you’ll be really fast and besides the dog’s in there with them. But we all know (don’t we???) that McD’s is responsible, in part, for the destruction of now-infertile fields from Fargo to Fresno, the …

Now I’m Scared…

It’s not very often you (well, I) say, “My greatest fears have come to pass.” But now, I’m scared. My oldest son (he of the self-proclaimed Disney Princess “excession”) got unexpectedly melancholy, this afternoon, sat on my lap and (unprompted) said, “Some kids at my school say pink is a girl’s color.” All the pink drained out of my skin pigmentation. I was crestfallen. My worry-free cherub just exposed his first sign of social suffering. I quelled suddenly-savage defensiveness and did NOT bombard him with statements like: “Buddy, pink is the BEST boy’s color!” or “You wear your pink shirt and color your pink pictures and admire pink dresses all you WANT!” I needed so badly to cover him with hugs and kisses and protect him. As with so many other moments in his 4 ½-year-old life, it felt like the beginning of the end of his innocence. Desperately measuring my response so as not to make a pink mountain out of a pink molehill, I said, “Really? That’s kind of silly, isn’t it? That …

A Little Poop. (And Other Stuff)

Last night, both my sons were taking part in a favorite activity: dancing naked after a bath. They aren’t nudists. Some kids drop trou (trow?) the second they walk in the door. Ours merely love shaking their hips and slapping their hynies to “When Will My Life Begin?” My older son sort of twerks and slaps each butt cheek chanting, “Look at my body! Look at my body!” I can’t help but laugh. (Also, he does it perfectly in time to the music. So: nudist, lewdest musical genius.) And then my youngest son sat on one of his riding trains, grinned at me and ripped an epic fart that (due to his spread-cheek placement on the plastic vehicle), echoed throughout our apartment. I laughed. Hard. But then there’s the constant verbalizing of bodily functions. Stopping my kids from saying “poop”, “penis” and “pee” are not an issue. It’s more than that. They chant and scream and change song lyrics to the aforementioned taboos. My youngest recently screamed, “Daddy! Need napkin!” Me: “Buddy? How do you …

Broadway Shames My Parenthood

Yes, Broadway can affect a parent in profound ways, and not just making your insides churn into knots at the prices of the friggin’ drinks at The Lion King. Finding Neverland –What irks me is the most popular song: “Believe”. In the song, the JM Barrie character “inspires” imagination in the kids. While Barrie is jumping around being a pirate or a dog or some shit, I feel guilty that I’ll choose washing dishes over playing monster/princess/whatever with my kids. I loathe make-believe. What kind of beast have I become? Of course comparing one’s self to Peter Pan’s author won’t help anyone feel good about imagination…except that I don’t live in fantasyland and I need to get the damn laundry done. Screw you and your vivid imagination, Finding Neverland. I don’t have time for child’s play. (I have totally let go of the fact that I auditioned for this show 77 times and should have been Matthew Morrison’s understudy. Totally.) Hamilton Will I ever, ever perform in (let alone write) something so epic? Lin Manuel …

Dear Other Dude at the Playground…

Dear Other Dude at the Playground on Saturday – I couldn’t fight the need to write you about an incident between our kids.Remember me? I was the dad with the son wearing a pink dress. Before he burst onto the playground, and as I parked the car, he was positively vibrating. I asked, “Now…you’re sure you want to wear your dress?” He shouted in response, “Yes! Because I want to show everyone how beautiful I am in this beautiful dress!” It was a big deal for him; and for me. He hasn’t asked to wear a dress “out,” before. I didn’t fight it. Who cares, right? Or so we’d like to think. As you noticed, he couldn’t contain his excitement showing off the dress to the only two kids playing…your daughter and her friend. He skipped and twirled and chased them for ten minutes shouting, “Do you like my dress? I’m wearing a dress! Can I play with you? Will you play with me?” Remembering those ten minutes fills me with emotion…because his unencumbered joy …