When you first have kids, all you dream about as a parent, is for your kids to look up to you. You want to be able to set a good example; to be a role model of sorts. Maybe it's an ego thing but it's kind of like getting a second chance in life. It's a second chance to be cool, if you were a nerd. It's a second chance to be an athlete, if you weren't so great at sports. It's a second chance to be funny, if you weren't exactly Don Rickles. I mean, let's be honest, our kids are a captive audience. For better or for worse, they are stuck with us. Living and learning from us is their birth right. We can be who we want to be and they have no choice in the matter. Our kids are completely susceptible to our bullshit. They are a piece of clay, malleable in our chubby, clumsy hands. The only problem is, the little buggers are naturally intuitive and smart. They are nimble on their feet and relentless in their pursuit of truth. They are inherently better than us. In the end, you just wind up reverting back to that nerdy, awkward, unsure person you were meant to be. It's useless to lie and pretend to your kids. They just unmask you and leave you naked in the street, curled up in the fetal position, hating yourself. So don't be an idiot... like me. Instead of trying to always have the answers, learn from your kid's questions.
Talking to my 6 1/2 year old daughter in bed. Our nightly conversation...
Out-Numbered - So you're almost 7 dude. That's awesome.
Six 1/2 year old - Yeah. Soon.
Out-Numbered - I can't believe it. It seems like you were just born.
Six 1/2 year old - That was a long time ago.
Out-Numbered - Yes it was.
Six 1/2 year old - H0w old was I when I was born?
Out-Numbered - What do you mean baby?
Six 1/2 year old - I mean, how old was I when I was born?
Out-Numbered - I guess you were 0 baby?
Six 1/2 year old - No, I wasn't. I was in Mommy's belly for a long time and then I was born. So I wasn't 0?
Out-Numbered - Oh, OK. You're right sweetheart but you were in Mommy's belly, so you weren't born yet. When you came out of Mommy, you were born.
Six 1/2 year old - But if I was alive in Mommy's belly, then why wasn't I born? Wasn't I alive in her belly up until I was born?
Out-Numbered - Well, uh... Yes, I guess so but you weren't really born yet. You were alive inside her belly but I couldn't see you or talk to you yet. When you came out of Mommy's belly, you were officially born. That's when you came into the world.
Six 1/2 year old - No. If you knew I was alive in Mommy's belly, then you knew that I was going to be born. So, didn't you love me when I was in her belly?
Out-Numbered - Of course I loved you. It's just that I didn't know how cute you were at that point. I just knew you were in there and that you'd be great when you came out.
Six 1/2 year old - So how long was I in Mommy's belly?
Out-Numbered - Uh, 9 months?
Six 1/2 year old - OK, So I was 9 months when I was born?
Out-Numbered - I guess so. But...
Six 1/2 year old - So, when it's my birthday, how old will I be?
Out-Numbered - You'll be 7.
Six 1/2 year old - No. I'll be older than 7 if I was 9 months when I was born, right?
Out-Numbered - Baby, some people don't think that when you're in your Mommy's belly, you're alive.
Six 1/2 year old - What? But I was alive, so I was born.
Out-Numbered - I think you were alive but you're born when you come out of Mommy's vagina. When you come out of her vagina is when you are born. That's when you start counting your birthday. I think...
Six 1/2 year old - But I don't understand why I'm not older when I'm born.
Out-Numbered - I don't understand either. I thought I did but now I don't...
Six 1/2 year old - I thought you were smart.
Out-Numbered - I thought I was too.
Six 1/2 year old - I'm smarter than you.
Out-Numbered - Yes you are.
Six 1/2 year old - You're stupid.
Out-Numbered - That's not nice baby.
Six 1/2 year old - But it's true.
Out-Numbered - It might be true but it's still not nice...
WTF? I've read the Bible. I voted for Obama. Now I'm confused. Her shit just makes more sense... Now what? I'm philosophically Out-Numbered...