When I was a kid I could be a bit of a handful, I was strong-willed and absolutely hated being told what to do! I can vividly remember as a kid, my father slowly becoming frustrated with me over my attitude. After awhile he would eventually let slip from his mouth; I hope you have ten kids and they are all just like you! To which I would reply; me too, because I think I am pretty cool! My dad would mumble something under his breath, chuckle to himself and the issue would be dropped.
Then there were times that he and I butted heads so badly that inevitably I ended up in my room for the evening with a good solid smack on the butt and the threat of the belt if I so much as peeked out of my room. This was soundly followed up with him bellowing; do it! Open that door and see what happens! It was as if he was taunting me, calling me chicken in front of my friends, to which my inner Marty McFly would start twitching and shaking because I didn’t care who you were, NO ONE CALLS ME CHICKEN! Of course sometime being a chickens not so bad. But I never figured that out, I was always the one who pushed things to the very furthest limit I could. In some ways I am still that way today. If given the chance I can argue making you believe that your point was really my point and my point was really your point, and just for fun I might even argue both points to such a degree that you have no idea what ground you really stand on.
Anyways I would sit my room, smoke rising from my head angry at the world! I really never why I would become so mad, or why I never let things go after being sent to my room. But what I did know was I was never ever going to be like my father! I went to sleep many nights thinking to myself; If I ever have kids I am never going to be like you dad! No how, no way! My kids are going to be free to express themselves and they will get to stay up all night long if they want! Yep! My kids can have ice cream when ever they feel like it and if they wish to have hot lunch at school everyday well that will be ok with me! I would lay there on my bed listening to my AC/DC Back in Black album. (Album:A collection of recordings on a long-playing record. a record is a large disk made of vinyl played on a record player. a record player is; oh hell look it up if you can’t remember) Wondering what will my kids be like? Will they be cool like me or will they be a pain in the butt like my dad? I hope he is right, I really do hope my kids are just like me, I’ll show him a thing or two. They are going to think I am the greatest dad that has ever lived! M&M’s for everyone!!!
Putting the kids to bed tonight my youngest starts an argument over whether or not he can go upstairs to take a shower by himself. After resolving that issue, my daughter wants to argue over whether or not she actually used conditioner in her hair this evening. For some reason unbeknownst to he mother and I she seems to have an affliction to the stuff. preferring to have her hair ripped out with each pull of a brush or comb after a shower. Yet the argument continues. Then to round out the evening or the trifecta as I prefer to call it, the middle one is pissed because its his bedtime and he can’t watch a movie with his older brother. When asked to go off to bed the attitude starts, then rudeness to his mother which is followed with a complete round of ignoring anything asked of him. I walk into the room to confront my demon spawn only to be greeted with complete disrespect. As he rolls his eyes at me and states with an emphatic “what”, he is promptly taken aside, his disrespectful actions are calmly explained to him and he is told to go to his room. He complies…. There you see I am the better man. Calm, cool no action needed, I got this, I am so much better at this than my dad ever was, oh yeah, superdad……
I turn around after several rounds of gratuitous back patting to find he has made his way past me and is leaning against the wall watching the TV! My head hurts, I am dizzy, feeling a little anxious and nauseous all at the same time. Four kids, four issues, the arguing, I just want them all in bed, with peace and quiet, is that too much to ask. Some respect would be nice too! I feel it like a demon welling up from beneath, growling and tearing at my insides. I wonder if this is how David Banner feels moments before he emerges as the Incredible Hulk! And before I can catch myself a bellowing; GET YOUR BUTT IN BED RIGHT NOW! Comes out like an explosion of horrific magnitude! My son turns on his heels and runs for the stairs, I am behind him moving like a cop chasing a suspect. I am mumbling something that no one can understand! The boy makes it up the stairs and as he hits the landing I let him know: that butt better be in bed because if you get out of bed that butt is mine! I chuckle. I hear his bedroom door shut and as I stroll past my wife I let out a curt; I hope he has ten kids and they are all just like him!
It is at that very moment I hear myself for the first time. I shiver at what has just happened, I am in shock, disbelief, denial. I am astounded at how easy it has happened. I was so sure this would, no, could never happen. I swore I would never let it happen and yet here I am. Oh man…… Today I became my father…..
I may need some counseling.