3. I get to buy toys again.
This is incredible. I get to go to the store and buy toys. And my son thinks it’s for him, but yeah, I never got Nerf guns when I was a kid, and now there’s a million of them at the store and they shoot all sorts of neat stuff from darts to missiles to ham sandwiches. I get to buy video games and superhero action figures. And I get to play with all of this stuff with my son because he and I make a great team. But dudes, maybe you didn’t understand me: I get to buy toys. I sometimes get conflicted because I want to buy an action figure and keep it in the box, but then I think, “no, I bet my son would want to play with this.” Then I take the action figure out of the box, pose him like 50 times, make him beat up other action figures I have, and then when I hear my son coming down the hall, I silently whisk my action figures off my desk and back up onto my bookcase really quickly. Shhhhhhhhh. I get to buy toys.
I also get to go on eBay and buy old stuff that was around when I was a kid but isn’t anymore, like the old, two-color GameBoy. I even dragged out my old skateboard as if I’m ever going to skateboard again. Hell no. But I’m going to get my son totally into skating and enjoy watching him do it.
4. I have to be the bad cop. A lot.
Once your baby starts walking and talking and being a real human and not a shit-lump wrapped in blankets, you know you’re going to have to lay down the law. It starts with stupid stuff like “no biting.” Then it’s no putting the dog’s tail in your mouth. Then it’s “don’t stand on my laptop” (see #2). Then it’s “ooh, don’t say that word” (see #1). Then it’s “hey you need to share your Batman codpiece with Braydon (because people name their kids Braydon for some reason). Then, it’s “you need to eat all your food or there’s no figgy pudding,” or “there’s no video games if you don’t finish your homework.” Then, “yes but you have to be back by dinner time.” Then, “…but be back by bedtime.” Then, “…but be back on Sunday.” Et cetera, et cetera. But there’s a million other things in the meantime that will make you raise your voice, or send both of you to bed crying. They’ll tell you that they hate you. Your spirit will break and you’ll want nothing more than to break their spirit in return. But even though you’re the bad cop, you’re still a cop. You’re actually more than that…you’re a parent. You knew this was all coming. And so you just hold it together. Also, I have no photo of me in a cop outfit. You’re welcome.