Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Future Father of the Year

Kids love me. Like, they're downright obsessed with me, and I can't fathom why. Whenever I'm around a child, I become instantly uncomfortable and irritated, and yet those sticky little gremlins gravitate toward me like a moth to a flame.

Back in high school, I tried babysitting in an effort to turn that youthful affinity into cold hard cash.

It didn't go well.

A couple of family friends needed a sitter one day, so I agreed to take care of their daughter while they were gone for the day. I arrived at their house just after lunch, and they gave me a brief rundown of the rules they'd laid out for their daughter and listed the phone numbers to call in case of emergency.

"She just had lunch, and we gave her a popsicle for dessert. She will ask you for more popsicles. Do not give her more popsicles." And with that, they left me alone with their offspring.

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So I gave her a popsicle. Who cares? She wasn't my kid. I fished a purple popsicle out of the freezer and watched as she tore around the living room in delight.

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After two more popsicles, she told me she wanted to watch a movie, which thrilled me. It meant the TV could babysit her for a couple hours, and I could zone out on whatever My Little Princess videotape she decided to pop into the VCR. I followed her into the living room, and watched as she fished an unlabeled VHS tape out from the cabinet. Its label had been almost entirely scratched off so I couldn't see what it was, but I didn't think much of it. She crammed it into the VCR, hopped on the couch, and continued slobbering on her frozen sugar stick as the movie began.

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We barely got past the credits before she lost interest in the movie completely. I should have known that a child on a sugar high wouldn't be able to sit still for long. I figured if I was ever going to calm her down, I should take her outside and let her wear herself out.

"You want to go play outside or something?" I asked.

"YES! LET'S GO SWIMMING!" She shrieked. She scrambled into her room and came back decked out in a swim suit and full-on snorkel gear. I expected a swimming pool in the backyard, but as she led me out back, gripping my pant leg in her tiny vice grip, all I saw was a vast expanse of yellow grass and a tiny inflatable kiddy pool sitting on a lawn. She grabbed a hose and filled the little pool up with ice cold water, and for the next 30 minutes I stood there as she splashed around screaming her head off.

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Sometime later, we were sitting in the den playing Pretty Pretty Princess (and I was kicking her ass at it). I got up to use the rest room, and as I was washing my hands (yes, ladies, I wash my hands) I heard a crash from the kitchen. I rushed out to find her in a dire situation.

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I helped her down, and promised to give her another popsicle if she promised to go to bed early (It was maybe 4 PM at this point). She agreed, and hopped into bed, sunlight still streaming in from the window. She demanded I tell her a bedtime story.

"Um, alright..." I began.

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Unfortunately, I quickly forgot my target audience, and my bedtime story veered off the tracks a bit.

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I don't think she slept after that.

Being the transitional 20-something guy I am, I periodically wonder if I want kids of my own someday. I lean toward yes, even though whenever somebody puts a baby in my arms, I freeze up like I'm holding a raw turkey stuffed full of dynamite.

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Mostly I fear that if I ever attempt to start a family, I'll end up cursed with octuplets or something, and I'm barely equipped to take care of myself. I think I could handle one or two quiet, well-behaved, self-sufficient kids, but with my luck, I'd wind up living some kind of TLC reality show nightmare.

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I suppose nobody is really ever prepared for parenthood, and I doubt I'd be an exception if and when the time comes to start my own little brood of demon spawn. I wonder if I'll be a good father. I have a sneaking suspicion I would be, despite my total lack of childcare skills. For starters, I don't know how to talk to kids. I literally can't imagine changing a diaper without vomiting all over the baby. At any rate, I hope I'll be a good dad. I suppose I'll find out when it happens, and hopefully my parental neglect won't lead my child to perish in some sort of drug-fueled Trainspotting-style disaster. Because fuck if I'm going to hallucinate dead babies crawling across my ceiling. No way, no how.

112 comments:

  1. I should have known better than to absorb this right before bed. Now I'm going to dream that herds of asian purple-popsicle eating babies are crawling on the ceiling.

    eh, this was a fun read. I'll take it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. oh god.
    the baby scene.
    pure, visceral, horror.
    thank you sir, for that.
    ~*~
    ps. lovedit.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Haha, I can relate to this, I am great with kids. I don't mind taking care of my little brothers, but once children that belong to other people come into play, I want nothing to do with them. If something bad happens it's my fault! At least my parents would understand, lol.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love the Kate Gosselin hair. Little kids terrify me.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Uhg. ADAM. Never have/raise children. For the sake of all of us.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The most mortifying part of this entire blog was the Kate Gosselin hair. It's even scarier because I've seen her hair in person since I live near her town.

    ReplyDelete
  7. A. Alrura, you're just jealous. Of what, I don't know. By the way, when are we having another taco night? We haven't had one since like 1998.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I used to want kids... until I got roped in to being a full time nanny...
    Let's just say, it's the best birth control ever. The tiny humans are evil.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Sticky hands, runny noses, dirty ears, hyperactivity. And you can only give them another popsicle for so long....

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hahaha I love the Jesus portrait. Less than fond memories of Montana right there, yessirree.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm jealous we haven't had kids together yet, maybe? They'd be bearded and narcissistic and tops. Even the girls.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I really don't know what to write, but I love this post and I love all your post, and I just want to hold them and make Little Books of Adam posts with you. That is all.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Totally understand.....I never really wanted kids and now I have a toddler. No body is truely prepared when it comes to having children, and it's safe to have the goal of "let not let this kid do anything to kill himself." because yes they do think that that the pretty purple bottle of Kaboom is actually kool-aid in a spray bottle.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Babies are seriously some nasty-ass bitches. Even if you're paid to watch them, they suck.

    So, uh, have fun with that.

    ReplyDelete
  15. i'm an aunt.

    of 10 nieces and nephews, ages 5 and under.

    Now, I do happen to think kids are awesome little wierdos... but still.

    birth control? No... but it does make one think *really* hard on whether or not reproducing would be a good life choice. for me and the poor offspring involved.

    Also? I have been told that for the sake of the general population, I should be forcefully sterilized. so there's that.

    good post.

    ReplyDelete
  16. We...are going to get married someday.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Eeeesh! Did you have to bring up the Trainspotting-dead-baby-on-the-ceiling thing?

    And I hate to be that person (I swear, I'm not nit-picking) but you have a minor typo in this sentence, "I think I could handle one or two quiet, well-behaved, self-sufficient kids, but with my luck, I'm wind up living some kind of TLC reality show nightmare."

    Great post though :) and I love the new layout! I check your blog everyday...I hope that doesn't seem creepy....

    ReplyDelete
  18. I think kids are like cats. They can tell who isn't comfortable with them and who flat out doesn't like children, and they gravitate towards those people to make you like them. It works for some people.

    I think some people know they are meant to be parents, and some people know they aren't cut out for parenthood, and some people just don't know until parenthood is thrust upon them. And that's when half of adults figure out that they shouldn't have been parents, but it's too late by that point. You can't give them back once they're born.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Just the fact that you mentioned Trainspotting in this article makes you an instant hit with me. I thought everyone had forgotten about that amazing movie. Good work.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Oh wow! I love this so much... You are like the male version of me!!! He hee, great work!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. I'd have your babies. Asian ones too.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I like that the Asian babies look like aliens. And I also love your drawing style, you're awesome, etc.

    :D

    ReplyDelete
  23. I can't picture you without facial hair.

    ReplyDelete
  24. What is it about children gravitating toward people who don't like them? They won't leave alone whenever I run across any at family gatherings. I find them amusing but irritating and never know how to speak to them either - pretty sure most kids don't want to discuss Dante Alighieri or the socio-political forces behind the loss of trenchant journalism.

    ReplyDelete
  25. loving this blog!
    i'd say we were soulmates if i actually believed in that shit.
    can't wait to read more :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. I always get that excited over the blue pedialite popsicles...so I'm just a big twenty-something kid, go figure :]

    ReplyDelete
  27. Love the blog, digging the new look

    ReplyDelete
  28. did you babysit allie from hyperboleandahalf.com??

    ReplyDelete
  29. Well, best of luck with the kids thing. If I ever had my own brood, frankly I don't know how long I could go before shooting them down point-blank.
    JK! Or not quite, maybe.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I too can barely stand children, and yet they are strangely attracted to my aura of hate like some kind of masochistic magnet.

    Funny story :P Slip them some NyQuil next time. Heard it knocks them right out... lol

    ReplyDelete
  31. Just came across your blog....hilarious! Can't wait to read more of your stories.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Just the fact that you want to be a good dad means you'll probably be better than most :) Nobody gets it perfect.
    Update soooon please! Thank you!

    P.S. do you draw professionally?

    ReplyDelete
  33. hahaha your blog is amazing! I so want to have your babies! :)

    ReplyDelete
  34. I have this same problem. Children love me. I am more afraid of them than having my organs harvested and sold on the black market. Twins and triplets run in my family, as does a great fertility rate. So I figure I'm pretty much fucked.

    Oh, and if I ever end up with Kate Gosselin hair, I hope I get hit by a bus.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Stumbler led me to your post about two dumb cats and I've going back through the archives since. Like many others have mentioned, marry me? Can't promise I won't bring out crazed diluted Asian genes (as I'm half Asian), but I promise there will be no Kate Gosselin hair or mothering tendencies (or lack thereof).

    Anyway, more posts, please!

    C

    ReplyDelete
  36. I kick ass at pretty pretty princess too! >=D

    ReplyDelete
  37. Moments after reading this post, I refreshed my Facebook feed to discover this:

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=287056561306010&set=a.287056487972684.80757.111373548874313&type=1&theater

    I'm starting to think there might be a god now, and it's making me significantly uncomfortable that it might be simultaneously linked to you and a man playing bingo at a local gay tavern tonight. That, or you've started a nationwide fad of dark-haired men with facial hair sporting Kate Gosselin's 'do. Either way, I'd call that a success!

    ReplyDelete
  38. I loved the last picture with the Kate Gosselin hair. It made me laugh! :D

    ReplyDelete
  39. I cannot express how close this is to how I am.

    Growing up, I wanted a big family because I was so lonely as an only child. But now I hate the things and I know I'd end up with 20 children with autism or something because that is how my luck works.

    I've been told it's different when the kids are yours. All I know is that when I see annoying kids in commercials I suddenly feel the need to be violent.

    Anyway, I love all your stories and I plan on buying your book because I've read most of them and I want more.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Please populate the world with Adam-babies pleasepleaseplease

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