Congratulations! You’re staying at home, wearing your mask, social distancing, and you’ve never once thought of ingesting disinfectant. You’ve survived the Easter Holidays, fasting through Ramadan, and a run on toilet paper that none of us ever wants see again. Personally, I’ve realized that the education of young, impressionable minds is better left to old masters of the craft like Dr. Suess, Mercer Meyer, and the upstanding citizens of Sesame Street. All would make a better teacher than me. But enough about me. Today I am sending up the Dad Signal to ask you a question; What sort of super-hero parent have you become during quarantine?
As there was once the Justice League, the Avengers, or the Super Friends, I’ve noticed some fun Incredi-Family groups finding their place since the executive orders of self-isolation were passed. First there are your Golden Age Hero Families: these are the parents who have always worked from home and smile smugly as the rest of us paid no heed to their advice. A friend tried to explain to me, “Zoom Meetings are more like a Dean Martin variety hour. You never know who will pop by, first the cat, then a naked toddler, and then your unsuspecting wife, fresh out of the shower, with only a towel wrapped around her.” I laughed but I didn’t really believe him until my secretary told me that we booked the naked toddler as my first guest.
Then there are displaced teachers, moms who share their “home classrooms”, daily schedules, and adorable educational activities, “to be helpful”, but instead accidentally make the rest of us feel like lazy slobs for not taping numbers to all the Hot Wheels cars (for counting practice), making ants on a log (out of peanut butter, celery, and raisins), or letting the Olaf The Snowman do a little babysitting (so we can take a dump in peace). These parents are a strange hybrid of Joanna Gaines and Martha Stewart with the seemingly endless stamina of the energizer bunny. They are fantastic role models but looking at their Instagram feed fills me with guilt and shame for everything I’m not doing with Boy Wonder.
Don’t forget to check in on those quieter factions. I’m talking about Gramma’s who live alone, don’t go anywhere anyway, and have a long term, oddly intimate relationship, with Alex Trebek and Pat Seijak. They’ve been prepping for quarantine for the entire second half of their lives and I salute them.
Speaking of extreme isolation, I have a soft spot for DIY Dads who have four projects going in the garage because they need to be “doing something useful”. The truth is, they’re sick of getting in the way, pissing off their wife, and refereeing the kids. Come to think of it, my bathroom could use a new coat of paint…
Quarantine has certainly brought out the best and worst in all of us. Kids don’t come with a manual. There’s nobody who will say “Yes, what you’re doing is right, or no, what you are doing is wrong.” There’s no boss – it’s just you. Thankfully there are Batman and Superman.
For all the IncrediParents:
You are much stronger than you think. Trust me.– Superman
And to your kids,
“You ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?”Joker, Batman (1989)
Did I cover them all? Can you think of a type of parent I left out? Comment below to share what kind of parent self-isolation has turned you into.