I like to think I’m having some sort of positive impact on my kids. There has to be some advantage to having your dad hang out with you every day as opposed to your mom, perhaps a medical benefit to having a bit more testosterone around the house. Right?
We may not bake a lot of cookies, and my daughter may always look like a drunk homeless person because I have no idea how to braid her hair, but there are some advantages, right? Like, they’ll learn how to play poker at a shockingly young age. And they already have a rich knowledge of the Beastie Boys.
Even though I don’t know what I’m doing, I daydream about their inaugural address 40 years down the road (yes, the first twins ever to be elected President) where they thank their dad for teaching them how to tie their shoes and treat others with kindness (at least to their face).
But the older my kids get, the more I realize I’m not really doing much more than keeping the razor blades and liquor out of reach. And sometimes, I fail at that. Every now and then I’ll stand in awe of a new skill that my kids display and wonder, “where did they learn that?”
More often than not, the answer is Sesame Street. Seriously. Counting to 10, their colors, empathy…they picked all this up from The Street.
I taught them to jump over the couch cushions while yelling, “parkour!” but Elmo taught them that brushing their teeth is healthy. I showed them how to take tiny nibbles out of their cookie until it looks like a sail boat, but Abby taught them the importance of saying “please” and “thank you.”
So I guess it’s my turn. Thank you Elmo, Abby, the Grouch, Cookie Monster et al. Thank you for picking up my slack.
And people say TV is bad for you!