Much Taboo About Nothing

My Jammy Juicers and I have been floating through life swimmingly, and it has been a tremendous exercise in patience. I don’t mean we’re particularly impatient over anything in general as much as the fact that the anticipation for the brewing uncertainties regarding my family and my career has me on pins and needles and my Snuffy Cuddlers has to go along for the ride.

One of the most prominent impatiences regards the tiny person we are mutually responsible for. I sincerely look forward to the day that the child can say “dearest Father, I appear to have an unfortunate circumstance regarding the soiling of my pantaloons that must be tended to immediately to rectify my current discomfort” instead of “WAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHhhhhhhh…(inhale)…WAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!!

I don’t care what non-parents say, a baby will often cry for no explicable reason. One of our recent discoveries is that when my Yummerkin Smellywelly sneezes when he’s napping he’ll wake up startled and cry his head off until we have to remind him that he’s not dead with caressing and soothing noises.

Parenting Tip: If you haven’t had children and think you understand them, make a hearty contribution to the overall knowledge of society by freely volunteering to personally service an industrial-grade power box. You obviously have a clear intuition above your years and will be doing them a favor even if they don’t know it yet.

One of the ways we rock ourselves to sleep is by researching the myriad subjects that will someday be necessary and prudent for us to know when the child’s cuteness/trouble ratio inverts itself. Most notably, my Wicky Moomoo has recently run across a documentary series about vaccines and an article about how a father should never let the baby sleep on them through the endless gossip chain/advertising social engineering of Facebook.

Since we’re relatively new parents with crappy parents of our own, we’ve never been exposed to the run-of-the-mill thoughts and philosophies of modern parents before now, but we’re now knowledgeable enough to weigh in on it. Since I’m the Philosopher Accountant and have just remade my website to add more content in the new future, why don’t we do that now? Sound good?


To start with, “parenting” as a definition has changed over the years. Way back yonder, before we had laziness enhancers like computers or electricity, parenting was simply:

  1. Get the child to adulthood alive

Once the infant mortality rate started shifting and social structures started becoming more fluid, the definition was added to:

  1. Get the child to adulthood alive
  2. Give that child as many opportunities to succeed as possible

The second goal was a bonus for the first definition, but it then became the new standard, and typically the shame of an “unsuccessful child” would keep “bad” parents in check.

However, in the past few decades a new trend in what a parent absolutely must do has emerged:

  1. Get the child to adulthood alive
  2. Give that child as many opportunities to succeed as possible
  3. Keep that child safe from all harm

This seems logical, right? Obviously protecting your child is important, and keeping the child safe seems vitally necessary to maintain their well-being. Unfortunately, it misses the whole basis of what good parenting is about.

Goal 1 is absolutely necessary. Caring for the child is an obligation. Goal 2 should come out of love, and can definitely be driven by selfishness and all manner of horrible dysfunction, but can be theoretically justified by how useful the child becomes. However, Goal 3 has some inherent problems.

First of all, to protect a child from all harm is logistically impossible. Between the curiosity of a child, the sin nature in them, their inability to register things like depth perception and danger and their complete stubbornness to attain what they want without much regard for their circumstances they are destined to get hurt.

Second, Goals 2 and 3 are incompatible. If you read my 100,000 Tips on being a successful person, you’ll discover that both the pain of failure and the necessity of risk are absolutely necessary to be successful at literally anything. This means that safety-conscious parents will eventually have to either sabotage that child’s safety or that child’s potential for success.

Third, it creates an idolatry of children that goes beyond anything reasonable. It’s one thing to desire a child to be the next Colin Kaepernick. It’s completely another to forbid them from doing what they love out of some statistical unlikelihood (i.e. less than 5%) that could theoretically kill them. Every time you get in your car you’re playing Russian Roulette with a 645-shooter.

Now, I’m all for safety and protecting children. Children are our greatest asset and responsibility and we must treat them with a crappy attempt at the care and love that God gives us. However, good parenting starts with giving roots and is later about giving them wings.

At one point in society, it was reasonable to send a four-year-old to walk to the grocery store to buy milk and eggs. The reason why was because children were regarded as new people that would transition to the full biological capacity of an adult within about 12 years and everything was working towards that end purpose.

I’m not saying we need to adopt that stance fully anymore, but we certainly should learn something from our ancestors. When that child is “helping”, let the kid actually help! Yeah they’ll suck at it and yes they’ll sweep dust onto the cat or smash their fingers with the hammer, but they’ll learn from it and grow.

The discouraging and terrifying trouble with all of this is that very few parents are willing to speak up. Hyper-paternalism makes an implication that a set of parents that speak up on this matter clearly don’t care about the welfare of the child or are unfit parents or some other vaguely definable term that permits legal action by a liberal institution.

I myself see Victor as a gift from God. He has already taught my wife and I patience and has brought us together more intimately as we trust the Lord more wholly for his upbringing. I’m not out to raise a child; I’m trying to raise a man. I get 12 years to do it and will get another 6 bonus years to teach him if I succeed in that.

I don’t want him to be the next President of the United States or follow in my path; I want him to believe and be true to himself in spite of the conflicting stories society throws at him. If that means that I someday have to desire he becomes a Christian or hope he’s only wanted in one county at a time, then that’s between me and God.

I do my best, but I will fail, and I’m okay with that. Keeping him safe is important, but someday I won’t be able to, and I live today in light of that. How about you?

 

 

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All Fired Up

In the greatest possible way, my wife and I are indebted to Christ.

God has been providing every single thing we need. We’ve been kept healthy, strong, capable, financially independent and, most recently, not dead from 4th-degree burns.

On the subject of debts, my Squishy Leper and I are doubling down on them, turning the frivolousness of enjoying life and its pleasant things into tangibly paying off the crap Proverbs 6:5-style that we shouldn’t have accrued to get the educational background we wouldn’t be using.

Pro Tip: It’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know. Your ability to fight serial killers isn’t as useful as pretending they don’t exist until they go away.

Just this morning I called the fire department about a non-figurative fire that was burning outside the property we inhabit. This was on the tail end of Banning’s literal firefighters literally putting out a literal fire, so they were probably literally exhausted. Nevertheless, they tirelessly put out a small fire to prevent it from becoming a large one. The feeling of having your name in the paper is nice; not seeing your home rapidly convert to heat energy is nicer.

Physics Tip: Since entropy guarantees all matter will become heat energy someday, pyromaniacs are simply doing us a favor #progressivethinking

Along with the blessing of staying alive, staying alive, our child has been a tormenting crying ball of misery that we can’t fix wonderful lovable immaculate bundle of joy. My Kissy Woom Wooms has taken to the role of mother like a female bear to another bear she birthed, and has been learning valuable lessons in how to be content not rip her hair out.

Parenting Tip: Crying babies shouldn’t be dropped, thrown, kicked, suffocated, lynched, mugged, treated, touched or held. Anyone who tells you otherwise is obviously a communist.

In the midst of this trial blessing I’m working steadily at my career. Supervising is a nice line of work, but has the mildly unfortunate downside of getting screamed at by random unhappy people because of a petty problem that is almost always never your fault. Being honorable and direct helps, but there are still some people out there that make it unsurprising who won the presidential primaries.

Breaking News: Donald Trump won the presidential election against Hillary Clinton. Since power is sexy, bad hair is now sexy.

In other news, the 3.5-month hiatus with my parents is finally wrapping up. I don’t know what will come next, but I foreshadow them dishing out plenty more bad boundaries drizzled with some freshly cut blame accompanied by a side salad of strange expectations with a dressing choice of bickering, invalidation or rejection and saving room for a dessert of shame.

Because I’ve had distance from them, it’s given me plenty of time to think. If we take away the insufferable noise that comes from the small person that keeps staring at us, I’ve had a net amount of some time to think. Since my Funky Spoiler has been listening to my ranting tirades of woe and teenful angst without expressing the inherently obvious reality that my head is broken, it’s given me the liberty to conclude things without consulting my shame first.

Therapy Tip: Simply telling someone to stop something won’t work. You have to make sure they hear you say it, then lovingly and mercilessly punish them in whatever way you can to disincentivize them from even thinking of doing it again.

In the dysfunctional roles of Hero/Mascot/SilentChild/Scapegoat, I have grown up in the confusing position of being both the Hero and the Scapegoat. Pulling double-duty in upholding other family expectations sucks giant lollipops, but to carry 2 roles does something deep inside you that makes grown men cry and asteroids land.

At any given moment, I was treated as the immaculate answer to the entire family unit’s problems or the unholy abomination doomed to travel this world bringing chaos and ruin wherever I went. Sometimes it was both.

Marriage will change you, and so will parenting; it won’t be in a good or bad way, you’ll just be different. Dysfunctional families, on the other hand, don’t want change. Change is both an uneasy risk and a grand adventure, and perspective is what drives that view.

Success Tip: If your friends say “don’t ever change”, then don’t change. That way you can always remember that you were justified in your bitterness that they asked for it while they out-succeed you.

On my Wobbly Toppers’ side, she still is hearing nothing from either of them. Apparently they’re so excited about how well we’re doing that they don’t want to disturb our happiness with their bitter approach. It’s rather thoughtful when you think about it (tear).

Nevertheless, life carries on, dumb family coming back around or no. It seems like the more we keep feeding the miniature person the bigger it gets. I imagine it’ll stop soon, but I’ve heard that it’ll keep growing for at least a few more months before it slows down growing.

Family Tip: Your family roots often go deep, which is why it’s good to axe the deep questions to sort it out.