Disturbing fact about myself: I give the “thumbs up” gesture a lot. It’s like I’m running for office. A single “thumbs up” to the guy at the deli for slicing my turkey just right. A protruding thumb out the window to the lady who let me pull out in front of her in traffic. A Clinton thumb to the barista at the coffee shop just for handing me my coffee. It’s gratuitous, and borderline compulsive. I never did it before I had kids, but now I hang out with two toddlers all day, and according to the magazine articles I’ve skimmed, parenting at this stage is all about positive reinforcement.
So, my life right now is a bunch of thumbs ups, high fives, and really expressive “good jobs.” Any little thing gets a gold star. If they go all day without cutting off a finger with their Play-doh scissors, I practically give them a puppy. It’s a cheery optimism that’s necessary for toddler development, but it’s bleeding into my adult life, and it’s not always appropriate. Like say, at Lowes when some guy helps me find the t-nuts–a hug might not be the most appropriate response on my part.
Some other annoying parenting habits that I’ve picked up:
Pointing out really trivial details. It’s great to engage my young ones with observations of the world around us, but it’s not necessary on dude’s night out. “Guys, did you see how shiny that car was? It was so shiny!”
Referring to myself in the third person. I don’t know why parents call themselves mommy and daddy when talking to their kids, but we all do it. “Daddy likes his chicken.” “Don’t pee on the doggy, that makes daddy sad.” It’s so annoying. I hate myself for it, but I can’t stop.
Assuming the world revolves around me, just because I have little kids. I’m literally shocked when the grocery store isn’t open at 2am when I need milk. What the fuck is up with that? I’m pissed when people invite my family to do something on a Saturday in the middle of nap-time. (When my kids don’t sleep, daddy drinks). And to all you old people, handicap people, and mothers-to-be taking up the good parking spaces at Dillards–can’t you see I have two toddlers here and trying to get them across the parking lot is like playing a game of Frogger? Try being a little more considerate next time.
Not giving a shit what I wear in public. I always wondered why my dad wore sandals with socks and cheesy ties that played music (often, he’d pair the sandals with the musical ties). Now I know: Because he didn’t give a shit. I am now in that same boat, and it’s actually kind of liberating. I wore my slippers to the grocery store the other night. I’ll wear white socks with brown shoes and neon yellow jackets. I don’t care what the world thinks of me. Why? Because I helped create two awesome kids (with my penis!) and my wife is super hot. Suck it, world–I’ve got nothing left to prove.