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The Divide

I love a good rivalry: Ohio State vs. Michigan, Coke vs. Pepsi, People Who Procreate vs. People Who Don’t. Wait — what’s that, you say? You weren’t aware of that last one? Neither was I, but now that I have a kid it seems to be popping up everywhere. First, there was that study that compared the relative happiness of childless couples to couples who have kids (the former win in a landslide). Then, this week, the intertubes had approximately 712 articles about how being a Mommy makes you fat (if you eat too much). And, today, in Details, I read an article by Brian Frazer called “The No-Baby Boom,” which is as much a jab at parents as it is an apology for non-breeders.

What gave me that impression? Well, (a) Frazer divulges his own disinterest in having kids and wrecking his super hip lifestyle, (b) Frazer peppers his article with less-than-neutral prose like “Unless you’re among the less than 2 percent of Americans who farm for a living and might conceivably rely on offspring for free labor, children have gone from being an economic asset to an economic liability,” and (c) Frazer includes diagrams such as the following, explaining the benefits of being a Cool Uncle instead of an Uncool Dad:

Wait, I think I get it. Having kids is bad, right? And it says something negative about my personality, doesn’t it? Well, as luck would have it, Frazer has also found an expert to testify to exactly that:

According to Laura S. Scott, who surveyed 171 subjects for her book Two Is Enough: A Couple’s Guide to Living Childless by Choice, that kind of attitude [not wanting to have kids] is linked to a specific personality component: “A lot of introverts, thinkers, judgers—these are people who think before they act,” she says. “They’re planners, and they’re not the kind of people who can be easily led into a conventional life just because everyone else is doing it.”

Ah, yes, the thinkers and judgers. I met a lot of them in the 35 years that I’ve impulsively waited to have a child. I met even more while I spontaneously accrued two different master’s degrees. I wish I could have been more like them. No, instead, I heard the call of the lame and domesticated and moved out to Hollywood, California, where jobs are easy to come by, and where I have been all-but-too-happy to settle into the time-honored conventional lifestyle of being a Stay at Home Dad, mostly because that’s what everyone else is doing too.

[silence]

Seriously, folks. You make your own choices. If you want to drink Pepsi, go ahead. If you want to root for Michigan, you can do that too. I won’t make fun of you for either. But if you want to passive-aggressively rip my decision to give another human being a chance to blow out birthday candles, or cry when his dog dies, or kiss a girl on the lips, I say poop on you.

My Job Getting Harder

So, crap, Nate can crawl. He’s been on this planet for less than 5 and a half months. What the hell, right? At this pace, I’m going to have to teach him how to wear a condom when he’s six years old.

More later. I’m headed off to Home Depot to buy 300 feet of chicken wire.

The Return of Cat Pron

I’ve been accused of not posting enough cat pron lately. Specifically, the accusation is that I started off strongly but have since been slacking. Point taken. Hopefully this will appease you hungry cat pron vultures for at least the next few months:

My New Achilles’ Heel

I play baseball on Sundays. Okay, it’s softball. And it’s co-ed. But they line the base paths and keep score and everything. At any rate, this past weekend I was standing in center field, stuffing another wad of Big League Chew in my mouth, when my life flashed before my eyes.

Because it was a particularly nice day – sunny, upper 70s, breezy – Leigh Ann and I decided to bring Nate to the game, and now she had him with her in the stands. Before I go any further, I should note that Leigh Ann is a FIERCE MAMA GRIZZLY when it comes to protecting our little man. To illustrate this point: you know that Grizzly Bear video Colbert uses in the Threatdown?

Well, that Bear would crap its pelt if it ran into Leigh Ann.

Anyhow, if you’re a parent you know what comes next – i.e. the moment where you let your guard down for one second. Someone in the stands asked Leigh Ann a question and she reflexively turned to answer. As she did, the batter – who I will not ridicule here for being unable to hit a ball pitched underhand – fouled the ball straight back, up and over the backstop, and on a direct trajectory for my 5-month-old son’s forehead.

Standing some 300 feet away, I watched this unfold the way you might watch a murder unfold through binoculars – unable to do anything but no less affected. Someone yelled. Another mother screamed. And Leigh Ann, by the grace of whoever invented pumpkin ice cream, turned her body just enough that the ball whizzed harmlessly by, thereby saving us both from a life of therapy.

Ho ho ho.

Later that night, I was flipping through channels. F/X was playing the movie Face/Off, which I’d heard was poop-on-a-stick-bad but had never actually seen. So, fool that I am, I watched the first scene. In it, Nicolas Cage is a hitman trying to take out John Travolta. He’s got Travolta in his rifle sites, but Mr. Saturday Night Fever is playing on a carousel with his son, so Cage is having a hard time finding an open shot. When at last he thinks he has one, Cage pulls the trigger — only the bullet goes in to Travolta’s back, out through his chest, and straight into the boy, knocking them both to the ground. Travolta spends the next few moments not crawling away for his life, but cradling his dead son’s body and crying.

It made me angry. Not because it’s a laughably over-acted scene – it is – or because John Travolta is the world’s most obvious closet case – he is – or because Nicolas Cage used to be in good movies – really, he did. No, it made me angry because it made me imagine what it would be like to cradle Nate that way. And in doing so I was suddenly and acutely aware that I now had an incredible vulnerability. And that I would always have it. And that hack directors like John Woo would be able to exploit it at their pleasure.

Luckily, the Final Four was on another channel.

Moving On Up

No naked pictures of George Clooney me — something better. Effective immediately, Daddy’s My Mommy is available on your Kindle. No, really; you can subscribe here. A word of warning though: you get a two week trial and then you have to pay a monthly fee. I tried to make it free, but Amazon wouldn’t let me. Every blog is priced at either $1.99 or $.99, and Amazon gets to decide which. So kudos to the obviously drugged staffer who reviewed this site and decided it should be priced the same as the New York Times, the Huffington Post, and the National Review. But whatever.

It’s a pretty lucrative set up for me. For every dollar this site brings in, I get a fat $.30. Which means, for each person who subscribes to Daddy’s My Mommy for an entire year, I get one Taco Bell Fiesta Taco Salad. Sweet! Who says writers don’t look out for themselves?

p.s. What’s a Kindle?

Coming (un)Attractions

In lieu of the fact that my most popular posts are the ones that-might-possibly-maybe-if-you-read-only-the-title be about sex, I’ve decided to publish those nude photos of myself after all. So come back Monday for a real eyeful. If you would, please keep the comments respectable. And by respectable I mean that you should lie.

By the way, I need to write a check for rent. What’s today’s date again?

Every year, Leigh Ann and I co-manage a fantasy football team. Fantasy baseball, however, is a Scott-only endeavor. It’s not that Leigh Ann doesn’t enjoy the game, it’s just that managing a fantasy baseball team requires a certain level of, well, obsession.

First off, your players don’t play just on Sundays; they play every single day, so you’re always setting your lineup and checking boxscores. And where as in fantasy football you have roughly 6 positions to fill (QB, RB, TE, WR, K, DEF), in fantasy baseball you have twice as many (1B, 2B, 3B, SS, OF, OF, OF, C, DH, SP, RP), so you’ve got to be semi-familiar with 300+ players. In short, fantasy baseball requires knowledge, skill, statistical analysis, and a screw loose in your head.

Which is why I frigging love it.

It is with great regret, then, that I announce, on Opening Day 2011, that I am hereby hanging up my fantasy baseball cleats. What’s that, you say? “It’s okay, Scott. You’re doing the right thing. You’re a Dad now. You’ve got a baby to take care of. Giving up fantasy baseball is the mature decision.” Yes, yes, it is. But before you go any further, I should probably tell you that I didn’t exactly “give it up”. More like got kicked out. That’s right, the league I’ve played in for the past 3 years decided not to invite me back this year. Why? Hard to say, but it might have something to do with our last three league champions.

2008: The Fuzzy Dunlops
2009: The Fuzzy Dunlops
2010: The Fuzzy Dunlops

You know how the saying goes. “If first you don’t succeed, kick out the guy who’s beating you.”

So, anyhow, here’s to you Fuzzy Dunlops. To Albert Pujols who made still my beating heart. To Billy Butler and Dustin Pedroia who were criminally under-rated in our scoring system and acquired on the cheap by me every single year. To Matt Holliday, Nick Markakis, and Shin-Soo Choo, who made up what I liked to call the “The Outfield of Doom.” And to Joe Mauer who inflated my team batting average as if it were a hot air balloon.

I’m going to miss you boys. Good luck.

A few weeks ago we talked about how parents of boys get divorced less often and report more happiness than parents of girls. At long last I’ve figured out why. It’s because of crap like this:

That’s right, folks. Abercrombie & Fitch is now making a padded push-up bra for seven year olds. What’s that you say? “Seven year olds don’t have breasts to push up.” Well that’s what the padding is for, silly! Best of all, after you buy this top, all your little princess will need is some hooker pants (try Gap), and she’ll be ready for the sexual slave trade.

I hear Thailand is beautiful this time of year.

(Hat tip: Babble.)

Just One of the Girls

Apparently Mommy & Me groups do not always welcome Daddys. I was talking to a buddy the other day, another SAHD (pronounced “sad”), and the conversation went roughly like this:

HIM: I hate going.
ME: Why, what’s up?
HIM: Every time I ask a question someone rolls their eyes at me.
ME: Find another group then.
HIM: Really?
ME: Yeah. And stop asking when your kid will be old enough to play Halo.

Then, a day later, I saw a post on Baby Center about a guy who wasn’t even allowed to join a Mommy & Me group in San Francisco. San Francisco?!? Are you shitting me? San Francisco where Good Vibrations was founded? San Francisco where Harvey Milk was elected? San Francisco where they’re about to ban infant circumcision?

Is there another San Francisco in Kentucky maybe?

At any rate, I don’t have either of these guys’ problems. Mine is worse: Nate’s Mommy & Me group has officially accepted me as one of the girls. I know this for a fact because of what happened last Monday. I was standing outside the classroom making small talk with one of the other Moms when, suddenly, in the middle of our conversation about I don’t know what — probably how much poop a diaper can hold — this Mom pulled down her nursing blouse and shoved her nipple into her son’s mouth. I don’t think she even broke sentence, just kept talking.

My first thought was, “Cool, everyone has finally relaxed around me.” But a couple hours later it occurred to me that this was actually kind of depressing. What did it say about me that a strange woman thought nothing of whipping her boob out in my presence? Let’s say I really did look like George Clooney . . . or Brad Pitt . . . or that Neanderthal they’re basing the next Ken Doll on. Would she have done it then? I bet not. Which, despite my iron-clad marital status, is still a little depressing. It’s like you wipe your kid’s butt for a couple months and all the sudden you’re some eunuch who’s allowed to sleep in the same room as the virgins. “Nighty night,” the King is telling us. “If anyone is tired, Scott will give you a foot massage.”

I don’t know. I guess I’ll just keep my loin cloth pulled low and try to blend in.

Maybe no one will ever notice.

Wednesday Pics

Behold my favorite photo of Nate thus far. It’s pretty much impossible to have a bad day after looking at this. Believe me — I’ve been watching cable news lately, so I should know.