Ok, just one thing before I get started. Mom and the girls are watching the Grammys. Why does Keith Urban wear eye liner? And Giuliana Rancic is desperate need of a cheeseburger.
So, unless you are self-serving douche like Wendy Davis, being a parent doesn’t give you the option of bailing. When they give you the baby to hold in the hospital, it doesn’t come with an ejection handle. Unless, again, you’re a douchebag. But for the rest of us, that option doesn’t exist. In fact, I’d argue the only real option you have is the opposite. You have to dig in. You’re like the 101st at Bastogne. You’re like the ’76 Steelers after the 1-4 start. You’re like John McClane in the Nakatomi Building.
You can’t surrender. Retreat does not exist as an alternative. You don’t really get reinforcements. Except for Mom I guess. But she’s already here. Maybe your folks and Mom’s folks. And parenthood doesn’t care. It just keeps coming. Like blitzes from the ’85 Bears. Then, just when you’ve deluded yourself into believing you actually figured this whole Dadhood thing out, life hits you like Hulk Hogan bodyslamming The Iron Sheik in the ’84 WWF championship.
Each parenting challenge, if you boil it down, gives you three options.
1) You can ignore the challenge. Depending on the severity of the situation, sometimes this is warranted. For example your 11 year-old may be constantly telling you she is bored. The challenge isn’t to find them something to do, the challenge is to maintain your composure and not unleash the fury and thunder their whining rightfully deserves.
2) You can fight a delaying action. Like Buford’s cavalry holding Seminary Ridge on the first day of Gettysburg. Or the rebels during the Battle of Hoth in Empire Strikes Back. You’re objective is to delay the ultimate decision. Not because you’re using strategy #1 but simply because you don’t want to be bothered with being a parent at that particular point in time. This often happens to me during Steeler or Cyclone games. Also during The Walking Dead. Sometimes a delaying action results in you never having to make a decision. Or in layman’s terms, never having to be a parent. The problem resolves itself. Like turning on Chumbawumba when no one is on the dance floor. Truth be told, this is magical experience and is often described in dramatically hushed tones when parents talk amongst themselves. Like finding $100 in your pants. No, wait its better than that. Its like finding $100 in your pants that also happen to be time machine that you take back to 1981 and go all Biff Tannen in Vegas and bet it on the 49ers to beat the Bengals in the Super Bowl. Then you multiply your winnings several times, jump to 1987 and bring Def Leppard back with you and invite all your friends over.
3) You can attack. Well, maybe attack is strong word. Its not a blitzkrieg. You can engage. You can choose to charge. But make sure you know what you’re charging into or you could end up like Custer at Little Big Horn. You can flank. Schwarzkopf did it in the Gulf War and you can do it too. You can use a diversion. If Valentine and Winthorpe can outsmart Beeks to get the new crop report, you should be able to pull it off. You could try and execute a classic pincers movement in honor of Hannibal Smith. You can even launch a surprise attack like Washington at Trenton, Jackson at Chancellorsville, Belichick in Super Bowl 36. Whatever avenue of attack you choose, this means you have to be strong.
In the end though, you’re going to have to be a parent. Turns out there is no truth to the rumor that your offsprings’ vision is based on movement so staying completely still doesn’t work.
But every now and then I’d like to eject. Bail. Check the @#% out.
Why? Because there are times when I’m tired of answering questions and making decisions. I just want to shut down more of my neuro-functions and watch reruns of Saturday Night Live. But I can’t. Instead I’m faced with question after freaking question. Can I have a sleep over? Can I get an iPad? What is for dinner? Can I go to the mall? Can I go to the basketball game with friends? Can you drive and pick us up? Can I be a mime?
Yes, an effing mime.
This is a question that has never been asked of me. I have never posed this question myself. I’ve never been privy to a conversation in which this question has been asked. I’ve never even seen movie that joked about this question or the people proposing it. I’ve been in very few situations in which mimes or mime-like activities were a topic of discussion.
Therefore, I do not have an answer. I am unable to access my menu of parental clichés to answer this. In fact, I’m unable to retrieve any of the smart ass one-liners I’ve acquired through years of movie study and useless knowledge procurement.
Which means I have to actually do some parenting. Well, not really. Its really just a yes or no question and then the transportation hassle. Because mimes evidently can only practice in middle of the freaking night. I’m exaggerating. But I do have to leave the house at 6:15 to get Rye to mime practice. Or whatever it is mimes do. But I’m having a lot of trouble getting past the fact that there’s a mime club. When did mimes become a mainstream activity. I know its been 30 years since I was in 8th grade. And a lot of things have changed. There are actual adults walking around who have never seen Star Wars. Don’t remember when Hair Metal ruled the world. But mimes?