Today my dears, a realization hit with the ferocity of a hammer.
I am a horrible father….
Since becoming a father on July 11, 1996 nothing has been more important for myself personally than becoming an extremely successful father (yes I am competitive). No books, no mentor following me around pointing out the do’s, don’ts, and why’s along with sharp poignant strategy to overcome even the smallest of situations. Nope just me and the wife figuring things out as we go.
Along this journey there has been incredible highs, overwhelming lows and obstacles thrown my way that far exceed anything one could ever have imagined in the parenting realm. Work, friends, my personal time and space all cast aside sometimes begrudgingly, but cast aside none the less because my eye has always been on the prize. That prize of course, becoming a great father with absolutely wonderful well-rounded children who outside the home are polite, practical, hardworking, giving, with empathy for their fellow-man, a strong social conscience, a definite awareness of right and wrong and a complete understanding that all actions bear consequences both good and bad. I don’t think it is too much to ask as a parent for your child to meet this glaringly obvious criteria before entering our revolving wacky, social populous. It is after all my job to help them become successful in life. As one half of this parenting equation and after time spent giving up on my own selfish wants and dreams it is with great sadness that I must report. I am indeed a horrible failure of a father.
A Horrible father you say; why how can this be true? I mean we all see the Instagram perfect Brady Bunch family pictures you post almost daily on Facebook! Is that all a lie?? Well my darlings its like this; after dealing with the emotional distress of graduating one child from high school while walking another warily through the very same gates. Struggling to understand the wants and needs of my, not quite but almost teenage daughter who balls her fists up whenever things don’t go her way like DeNiro in Raging Bull. Then standing slump shouldered and befuddled while my 9-year-old refers in the third person repeatedly to his “being” in the afterlife to avoid putting down the iPad and read an assigned book for the evening that I realized something is amiss. The whining, the complaining, the hatred or mean looks cast our way whenever we investigate, disseminate, initiate, propagate and communicate, well, it all just seems wrong. My parenting is missing something, I must not be reaching out to the children in a way they understand. Are my ways to old and antiquated, am I expecting too much? After doing further investigation I have determined the answer to be yes! I have gone about parenting all wrong, way, way wrong. Thanks to the internet, the Disney Channel, Snap-chat, Instagram, askfm, and Yik Yak I feel the needs of all children everywhere and it has nothing to do with my plan of attack or game plan as it were. No sir I was not only WAY off base I wasn’t even in the same ball park!
So from this point on it is with great trepidation that I must announce a new game plan, a winning formula for parental success! It has taken hours of deciphering the aforementioned comments, concerns and wickedly smart one liners thrown at us parents by our own children, both in person and on the internet. But seriously I think I got it down and failure is not an option!!!! So here goes..
From this point on I Betty declare here and now to my children that I will no longer:
- Tell you what time to go to bed or care if you even “make” that bed.
- Remind you to do your homework
- Let you know you need a shower
- Expect you to care about your grades
- Expect you to study and achieve good grades
- Expect there to be good grades when I check the schools web-site
- Expect the teacher to give me a glowing review when I ask about your grades
- Aw hell, even expect you to go to school
- Limit your time on the x-box, Nintendo, or Playstation to the weekend only after your chores and homework are completed.
- Have any chores for you to do at all. I apologize for the burden of work we placed on you.
- Expect you to clean up your room
- Lift the toilet seat before you pee
- Put the toilet seat down after you pee
- Clean up the god damn pee!!!
- Flush the toilet
- Brush your teeth
- Do your own laundry
- Fold your own laundry
- Put away your own laundry
- Even give a shit about what freaking clothes you are wearing!
- Make you wash your hair again (of course this is if you are still showering)
- Ask you to pick up after yourself
- Feed your animals
- Clean up after your animals
- Hell even care at all about YOUR animals, set them free!
- Care if you talk back/smart mouth your mother. It is open season from here on out!
- Ask to see YOUR phone, even though we pay the bill I fully understand possession is 9/10ths the law. I am sorry for invading your privacy.
- Look through your phones apps-once again apologies for the privacy invasion. My bad…
- Punish you and take away your phone for inappropriate texts, pictures, and comments left on your phone by not only you but your friends as well. (That’s right you little bastards I know who you are and I have seen body parts that I cannot erase from my brain)
- Set limits on your use or interpretation of the English language. No more G rating expected and all forms of slang are now allowed! Got it playa! I know sick huh! Word…
- Monitor the television shows you watch.
- Make you go to church
- Ask you to help elderly people, such as grandma and grandpa. They are just gonna die anyways right?
- Expect you to do the dishes after dinner
- Expect you to help with dinner
- Expect you to eat dinner. Your mother and I are hiring a professional eater for you.
- Care whether you spend the entire day inside lying around or outside, lying around.
That was just a few examples but as you can see young children, fruit of my loins, this world is all yours for the taking! No more stupid old parents and their even stupider rules to bog you down! Dope huh?
This new winning strategy is sure to be a hit! I will no longer hang my head in shame as that of a failure! No more confrontation, no more irritation, no more aggravation, it is all yours, all three of you left in our house and you will chant the sonnet that is my name from the mountains high and it will ring sound from the hills below! It will be glorious, magnanimous, there will be parenting books written about me for decades to come as others soon follow my lead!
Things shall be written like, visionary, mind bending genius, a parenting guru! I shall grace the cover of People magazine and the View will book me ASAP!
Yes a new brighter future awaits!
Let the children live I say! Let them be free to express themselves anyway they see fit, do whatever they want to do and experience life in a way only our youth can admire! Imagine! Imagine the adults they will grow to become, the leaders, the thinkers, the pillars within their communities all because WE took the time to release them from the parental chains that bound them from true expression!!!! Yes….Yes… YESSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!
Wait…….. Maybe I am not failure after all……