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Friday, March 03, 2006 | Parentally Incorrect
I’m not the most patient person and, these days, I’m feeling more like a mental patient.
My son, Owen Middle-Name-Pending Moye, is due any day, any second, and, frankly, my wife and I are a little tired of waiting for him.
Yes, his due date is actually March 17 but we are kind of hoping he’ll be an early bird for two reasons: We have no intention of naming him after St. Patrick and, more important, we’re busy people and this is cramping our style (and my wife is cramping everywhere else).
This is my second child, but for some reason I’m just as nervous as I was before my first. You’d think experience would help me chill out but I can’t stop worrying and wondering what he will be like and how I’ll be like with him.
Plus, I feel guilty because this little blob has no clue what he is in for. Believe me; I would have liked to have been prepared for my family. So I have prepared this brief disclaimer for when he’s old enough to blame me for his problems.
Owen: This is your Dad speaking. I know you may not know me as well as your mother but I have a feeling we’re going to get to know each other pretty well during the next 40 or 50 years (assuming life expectancy rates continue to increase).
Just so you know: I am a 41-year-old kid who still enjoys reading comics, playing with toys, watching cartoons and eating greasy, fatty foods. Those qualities may make me seem cool to you when you are young, but they will be very embarrassing when you are a teenager (as will nearly everything else I do).
My hobbies are long walks, trips to the zoo and Disney films (at least the one where a parent dies – don’t ask me why).
I am also a passionate ukulele player and pride myself on being able to play “Bohemian Rhapsody” on the instrument. You may not recognize the title but do you remember Daddy singing, “Galileo! Galileo!” to Mommy’s tummy? That’s the song.
As a parent, it is my job to instill certain core values, such as don’t kill, don’t cheat on income tax, don’t drink the yellow snow and don’t sleep in the subway, darling. I also hope to impart a respect for humanity and teach you enough useless trivia to help you win a game show someday.
We will have lots of fun together – but you’re going to have to trust me. There are things I will want you to do that you will hate at first, but will grow to appreciate, such as basic hygiene and table manners. I also will show you how to use Frisbee golf to further your career.
In some ways, I’ll be cooler than your friends’ Dads. I won’t be bugged if you start a noisy garage band and I will happily take you to Costco for free snacks when you’re hungry.
But there are plenty of other fatherly stereotypes in which I will stink to high heaven. I know nothing about cars, little or no interest in mechanical things and am potentially dangerous with a hammer or saw.
Also, I have a tendency to hum and make up crazy songs at the drop of a hat. I’m sure that will be annoying when you bring your dates over to the house.
I guess what I’m saying is each parent has a unique way of screwing with their kid’s head and the way I screw with yours will be different than how I screw with your older sister’s noggin. It’s not better or worse; just different.
But for all the weirdness that you will experience because of my fathering skills, I want you to know that I love you more than anything and I am proud of you for making it this far. I don’t want to bore you with all the birds and bees stuff because there will be time to bore you with that later but your particular sperm and egg combo beat the odds and that’s reason to smile.
Not that I want to put any extra pressure on you. Well, actually I do. Because you’re my son I hold you to a higher standard than other kids. I want you to share your toys. I want you to be concerned if someone in your daycare is crying (especially if it’s your teacher) and I want you to stand up to bullies.
It’s a tough world out there and I’m teaching you to be one of the ones who make it worth living for everyone else. How well I succeed depends on you.
David Moye is a La Mesa-based writer who asked his wife to give birth at Grossmont Hospital because there’s a place down the street that serves great meatball subs. Questions, comments and delusional statements can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or send a letter to the editor here.