I was completely caught off-guard when one night without warning, my wife, who was several months pregnant at the time, brought someone else into our bed. At first I was excited, I mean guys are always talking about having 2 partners at the same time as if it is the holy grail, so I thought we should go for it.
Plus, she seemed like she really wanted it, even more than I did, and said that it would make her sleep better afterwards. However this partner would turn out to be much more than I bargained for, and ultimately more than I could handle.
In 1870, Elisha Gray and Alexander Graham Bell both independently designed devices that could transmit speech electrically (the telephone). 103 years later, we had cell phones. It’s interesting to think back on …
What could test a happy-looking family like those chumps up there? A three year old, of course.
I hate the terms “terrible twos” and “terrible threes.” It’s a cop-out. An excuse. It’s a deflection for attacking a normal developmental phase in your kid. It’s a phrase that describes parents more than kids; your toddler’s just being a toddler, but in your second or third year of fatherhood, you’ve grown comfortable. So naturally, when your kid starts spreading their wings, it feels like the end of the world. You wonder why, even with these terrible “terrible” phrases around, you’re the only one going through this.
Recently, I forgot that I wasn’t alone, and luckily for me, a group of guys came to my rescue. On Twitter, nonetheless.
It’s funny for parents to see unparents taking care of kids, and sometimes, we’re able to gain an incredible insight about our own parenting styles. I was reminded of this while reading Gus Mastrapa’s latest article, “Pressing Buttons With Arthur.” Unfortunately, I’m going to spend a ton of time here talking about Gus’ article instead of letting you just read it. But, if you do so wish, you can just hit the sauce to read his post now and forget we ever talked here.
The Backstory: I met Gus Mastrapa (pictured above in all of his glory) about 10 years ago, when the G4 network launched. I mean, I didn’t meet him at the G4 network. I was a budding video game journalist, and in G4’s infancy, they used a lot of the same core group of reviewers as experts on their shows. Gus was one of them.
Dubbed by my friends and I as “Ice Cream Gus” because in a particular set of interviews, it looked like Gus had just finished a delicious bomb-pop that left his mouth and lips red (he later clarified that it was from spicy peanuts, only to even later redact and reclarify that it was the hot and dry winds of Los Feliz, California). I digress.
“Move this damn car or else you’re gonna be sorry!”. An emotionally distraught old man got out of his car in the middle of traffic to yell this at me with my wife and 17-month-old daughter in the car. This happened yesterday and it made me think about what my threshold is for violence as a father and protector.
My wife and I had the day off when we decided to take our daughter for a car ride to run a few errands in the afternoon. For reasons unknown, it seemed that at every turn there was blocked lanes, road construction, and annoyed drivers. I don’t know if it was the rising price of gas ($4.30/gal where we are) or because Valentine’s Day just passed and now the love is gone so everyone has the power to act like a complete douchebag.
Our whole week was blocked lanes: it started with our taxes last weekend where we found out we made “too much money”, to our daughter’s second ear infection in three weeks – oh and the pharmacy we have been going to issued the wrong dosage per the doctor’s script. Thanks, Westlake Village Pharmacy. We won’t be going to you again since you can’t figure out the difference between teaspoons and milliliters. You could kill someone like that.
So we are driving at about 1:30pm on Friday, I exit an offramp and proceeded northbound on a busy road where traffic seemed to generate due to construction and a visible major accident in the upcoming intersection. About 30 seconds into our dead stop, I was ready to go into mushroom-cloud-laying motherf*cker mode.
I love being a father. There are so many life-changing things that go along with fatherhood – and so many incredible comforts that come from having that little beast in my life. But you also know that being a father means life changes and discomforts too – fatherhood would be too perfect if it were all about being proud and comfortable all the time.
There are a lot of awkward uncertainties I face in fatherhood: How do I provide for my family? How do I teach my son all of the right lessons in life? How do I protect my son from danger?
And how, I’ve got to ask, am I supposed to snuggle with my kid when I wake up with morning wood?
I know nothing about Barney Frank, except for what Wikipedia filled in for me. But today, a New York Times story about Frank was on Reddit, and due to the fact that a quarter-million people had commented on it, I figured I’d give it a read.
It got me thinking about fatherhood, where I’m now working, and why I’m no longer keeping my new job a total secret.