Bad habbits. Everyone has them. Few people own up to them. Believe it or not, I even have a few of my own.
My grannie grannie used to tell me that I’d argue with Jesus. I would always disagree with her, crying “No I wouldn’t.”. Thus proving her point.
I have also been known to pass gas in the supermarket and blame it on the nearest kid. Really, he had it coming. He was staring me down for the last box of Captain Crunch. He lost that fight when his mom yelled at him for “tooting” in the store. Serves him right.
Sometimes, I’m too loud, move to fast, and come off as abrupt. I remember being a little kid on a playground. There were a few of us playing a game and I thought I would be helpful. “Are you stupid or something? What the hell are you doing? An elephant sounds like this! *Insert sloppy raspberry noise and “trunk like arm movement” here*.” All of a sudden a crabby blonde mom comes running over to shew me away from her kid. “Excuse me. You’re going to make him cry. He’s only two.” What she so cruelly misinterpreted as aggression on my part was really just enthusiasm for the game we were playing. “Excuse me lady. Looks like he’s crying cuz you embarassed him.”
Strange as it might seem, these bad habits are actually the ones that qualify me the most for fatherhood, especially as our Boy Wonder gets older. When Tokyo goes up against Toddlerzilla or Metropolis is held captive by the crying Babyiac, I will be there with boundless energy to answer endless questions and loud fart noises to entertain. If anything, these obnoxious habits that I have honed over the years have served as a training montage that lead up to tying on my Incredi-cape.
There are other things I do, nothing that warrants a call to Child Protective Services mind you, that would raise eyebrows of even the most laid back parent. They are things I’ve picked up since becoming IncrediDad. Some are shortcuts because I am really, really, lazy. Others are gross, because according to my wife, boys do gross things. I guess that goes for men too. And okay, I’ll admit it, sometimes the stuff I do with Luke is just weird. There’s no reason or excuse for it. Sometimes I just do weird things.
We’d be here all day if I tried to list everything I should stop doing. I know your reading time is limited. Most of you are reading this during your own IncrediBaby’s nap time,at work, on the treadmill at the gym, or in the church pew. Besides, even if I did try to complete the list, Bex would still think of something I forgot. So in the interest of your time and my dignity, here are the top three.
1) Swearing: Read as Robert Deniro, Joe Pesci, or Al Pacino at bed time – “House, mouse, fox, box, you think you’re pretty clever tough guy? How about I shove the greasy slimed *^€ &$@m Green Eggs and Ham down your #%¥?¿!@ throat. Take that Sam-I-@&$!#£^-Am” Any parent will tell you that Children’s Literature loses it’s charm after the thirty or fortieth reading but you keep revisiting it because you’re addicted seeing to the smile it puts on your kids face. I’m sure I am not the only parent who has fantasized their own ending for these characters that we invite into our nurseries each night. When he was a newborn telling him these updated classics was still a bad idea but slightly more permissible but pretty soon he will be able to talk back. Bex has made it clear that she does not want his first word to be f@(%. I guess she has a point. But can you honestly tell me you haven’t tried telling your baby a version of Goldilocks where the Bears eat the cute little burglar in self defense? Anyone? Just me? Okay, moving on. . .
2) Crying back at him: Even the happiest babies cry. It’s a fact of life. Is it annoying? You bet it is. It’s even more annoying when it seems like nothing is wrong with them. I mentally go through the check list. He’s been changed. He’s been fed. He doesn’t want to be held and he wants tummy time even less. The Buffalo Bills just made it into the playoffs for the first time this century. Maybe he’s just cheering them on. But he is still “cheering” a couple hours after the game is over. Easy big guy, save that for your college days. So what does any self respecting father do when the crying won’t seem to stop? That’s right, I cry back at him. But I am bigger and scream louder. I don’t think it helps the situation one bit but it throws him off long enough to disrupt his tantrum. Seriously, it stops him mid-scream. His little forehead wrinkles into a scowl and he gives me a curious look that says, “I think you’re confused Daddy. We can’t both be crying. Let’s get mommy to sort this out. MOOOOOMMMMY!!!!” And then the tears come back full force.
Not too long ago, I mentioned doing this and a relative of mine quoted a scene from “The Silence of the Lambs” when the killer has his victim trapped in a pit. She howls and he howls back sarcastically at her. My uncle admitted to reenacting this scene when his daughter was on a newborn crying jag. She grew up to be wonderful little lady despite him doing this. All the same, I’m going to be a hot topic of discussion with his therapist in twenty years. It might not be wise of me to add to the list of my parental transgressions.
3) Seeing how hungry he is with my bottom lip: I happened on this little trick by accident. Bex was still recovering from surgery when we brought Boy Wonder home from the hospital. I was trying to be a good husband and let her sleep as much as possible. It was during one of these nap times that I thought Luke might be hungry. I remembered reading that babies will instinctually start sucking when they’ hungry. Now a sensible man might have used their finger or better still a binky to check. I stuck out my bottom lip. Sure enough, he was ready for his third breakfast that day. Think what you want but it worked. When I showed Bex, to no ones surprise she shook her in disbelief. No doubt, she is very proud of the clever man she married but she still asked me to find a more hygienic way to test our baby’s hunger. Try as I might, no other method proved as scientifically accurate. I still use this litmus test when no one is around to give me a disgusted look. The fat lip is just something I’ve learned to live with.
Do you do anything you probably shouldn’t do as a parent? Do you have any fun stories of taboo things you’ve done to get you and your IncrediClan through the day? Share it in the comments below! We’d love to hear from you.