Daddy Drinks Does Britain

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Today, I had the opportunity to take part in a discussion on BBC Radio about parents lying to their children. Apparently a study was recently published that “discovered” the vast majority of parents lie to their children. I put “discovered” in posts because, well, no shit parents lie to their kids.

Anyway, they had me and a couple of other parents on the show as well as the psychologists involved with the report. I’m not really sure how I did—let’s just say I have a face for radio and a voice for silent film—but I was amazed when a couple of parents called in and said they never lie to their children. Ever. About anything. Not about Santa, not about the quality of the art work their children produce in class…they don’t even create fictional monsters that eat children who don’t sit in their seats at dinner! Shocking, I know.

Obviously, I’m not that good of a parent.

Here’s the podcast if you’re interested. After the bit about parents who lie, they switched topics to Beyonce’s inaugural performance. Obviously, I’m honored and humbled that I got to share air-time with people who were even mentioning Beyonce.

Reason why hanging with preschoolers is cool: # 2

They try to put jewelry on the cat.

And get this: Cats don’t like to wear jewelry. Cartoonish antics ensue. I wish I could think of an appropriate metaphor that would describe the struggle between Murray the cat and my two kids as they try to dress him up with a necklace and bracelet, but the only thing I can come up with is it’s like watching a preschooler try to put jewelry on a cat.

 

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Here’s Something the Other Tour Guides Won’t Tell You

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When you have kids, people tell you a lot of things. Everyone tells you that you’re not going to sleep for at least a year. They tell you that kids are expensive, start saving for braces. They tell you that kids are finicky eaters. They tell you that tuition will cost $100,000 a year by the time your kid will be going to State. They tell you that you can kiss your hobbies goodbye. No more model trains or triathlons or furry porn…whatever you’re into, you won’t have time for it anymore. When you have kids, people tell you all kinds of things about how to get a baby to sleep, or how to transition from training wheels to a big boy bike.

But when you have kids, nobody bothers to tell you that one day, for no reason whatsoever, your kids will decide that they don’t want to look at doors anymore and will cover their eyes when approaching a door of any kind. The front door, the car door, the bathroom door at the mall… It will happen when you’re late for ballet. Or trying to get to church, or the bank before it closes. Maybe it’ll be a Tuesday or a Saturday, I don’t know, but it will happen and it will completely shut you down for 24 hours.

It’s tough enough to get my kids out the door on a good day, throw in “door-a-phobia” and suddenly, I’m operating way above my pay grade. My kids have a 70 percent success rate of walking through a door without suffering head trauma when they’re using all five senses. Take away sight and the success rate drops drastically. I can’t wait to try to explain this to DSS.

And forget trying to reason with your child. They’re three. There’s no reasoning with a three year old. You can bribe, but you can’t reason. And forget trying to ask your child why they suddenly can’t stand to look at a door anymore, because they’ll give an answer that goes something like this: “well, if I don’t want to look at doors anymore, then I don’t want to look at doors anymore.”

When you have kids, nobody tells you that those kids will do strange things, like try to lick you, or only eat orange food, or refuse to flush the toilet because they can’t bare to say goodbye to their poop, or suddenly decide that they don’t want to look at doors anymore.

When you have kids, nobody tells you that those kids will be weird.

Lie to Me: Five Lies I’m Proud of Telling My Kids

Parents lie to their children. That’s a fact of life. Some do it better than others, but we all do it. Could you imagine a world where parents were honest with their kids?

“Actually, Timmy, there’s a really, really good chance that you won’t be an astronaut. Considering your complete inability to understand long division, you’re probably going to sell cars when you grow up. Now let’s talk about Santa Claus.”

So we lie. Mostly about the little things. My parents were great at it. The most famous lie my parents ever told their kids happened during a move from Georgia to Texas. My parents told their kids that it was against the law to transport a dog across state lines.

Brilliant. The dog was a pain in the ass, they didn’t want to take him along. I understand this now, and it serves as inspiration for my own suite of lies that I rely on to get through the day.

The key to a good lie, is to lay the blame on a third party. For instance, let’s say you want your kid to wear a jacket. Tell him it’s an order from his pediatrician. “Dr. Love (our pediatrician) says you have to wear a jacket when it’s below 50 degrees. I’m sorry, son, there’s nothing I can do about it.”

We lay a lot of shit on Dr. Love. “Dr. Love says I’m not allowed to carry you on walks anymore. You have to walk on your own. I know, I think it sucks too. We should talk to Dr. Love about it the next time we see him.”

“Dr. Love says you’re big enough now to open the fridge and get daddy a beer…”

You see where I’m going with this. So, here are five lies I’m okay with telling my children.

1. Elmo is sad because you didn’t take a nap. (Simple, effective…no kid wants to disappoint Elmo. You can use that love to your advantage.)

2. Princesses always pick up their toys after they’re done playing. (I’ve never met a princess, but something tells me they don’t spend a lot of time cleaning up after themselves.)

3. Every time you flick the lights on and off, a fairy dies. (Harsh? Sure. But do my kids constantly flick the lights on and off, anymore? No.)

4. We have to leave this park right now, because there are killer bees. (This one works, but it comes with consequences. My kids are really scared of bees now.)

5. Mommy and daddy have a work meeting, that’s why we have to get a babysitter. (There is no work meeting. Mommy and daddy just need three hours of peace and quiet and a meal that doesn’t include french fries. Okay, even that was a lie. We’re totally ordering the french fries.)

So, parents, what are the best lies you tell your children? Or, what lies did your parents tell you as a kid?

 

Five…no make that Eight…People I Hate Right Now

Ok, I know this is a negative topic and the world has enough negativity in it (See Fox News and MSNBC). But I’m stuck on a grounded airplane in 100-degree heat, so I feel like being negative right now. Tomorrow I’ll be in a better mood and I probably won’t hate any of these people. Except number 4. I’ll always hate number 4. So, here you go. People I hate right now.

1)   People who read books in public. Fuck you and your free time. What, you have nothing better to do on a Tuesday at 2pm than sit in a coffee shop and read the Steve Jobs biography? Get a job.

2)   People who close their eyes when they hug someone and hold on for longer than three seconds. A hug should be like taking a charge in basketball—contact should be brief and largely imagined. Better yet, why not just wave goodbye?

3)   People who say, “I’m super picky about my falafel.”

4)   Anyone wearing a scarf.

5)   Parents who go to parenting workshops about conscious parenting. Stop trying so hard. I’m not even entirely sure what conscious parenting is, but I think it means being sober through the majority of your kid’s childhood, so count me out.

6)   People who walk around the airport wearing their neck pillows. Is it really too heavy to carry in your hand?

7)   Speaking of pillows, my wife hates people who insist on bringing their pillow from home when they travel. I totally agree with her, and I’ve never loved her more than when she’s bashing a complete stranger based on an insignificant detail like this.

8)   People who upload Facebook photos of the vegetables they grew in their garden. Bravo, you planted a seed and watered it. I’m supposed to hit the “like” button for this? My toddlers can do this. And I’m not just bitter because everything I stick in the ground literally turns to dust. I’m not. I swear.

Please chime in. Tell me who you hate right now. And don’t say self-absorbed bloggers, because that’s too easy.