Don’t Let The Bastards Get You Down


It’s not an easy thing, Fatherhood.

Really, when you get down to the bones of the thing, Fatherhood could be characterized as a collection of things you wouldn’t normally do, but really can’t avoid.

With the exception of those 10 minutes or so in the very beginning that got you into this whole mess.

Cleaning up various fluids, paying for appointments and equipment and such, shifting the entire focus of your conscious identity. It’s not an easy thing, Fatherhood.

And yet, I can’t say that I hate it. At it’s worst, it can be unpleasant, uncomfortable, tedious, even. But there’s really no part of I could say I hate.



Other parents.

Specific other parents. Not “other parents” as a demographic – generally, parenthood is the best of social clubs. Age, class, language, ethnicity –  the camaraderie between parents crosses all boundaries. We’ve all been exactly where you are.

Which makes it all the worse when you run into that one parent. That smug, judgmental parent.

Now, this is the internet: Russia has no gays, China’s a free society, and America is a peace-loving Democracy. We’re all hypothetical here.

So, in our hypothetical html reality we could imagine a family being part of a study. And we could imagine that family having people in their home to evaluate things for said study. And we can imagine one of these evaluators being a parent.

Hypothetically. This is all a thought experiment.

So, hypothetically we can imagine the condescension and judgment rolling off this evaluator (who is, shimself, a parent). Rolling of them like polar vortices down Lake Street in March as this evaluator observes a child having no part in the evaluations. We can even imagine, though we don’t want to, this evaluator laughing as the aforementioned child breaks into tears over his anxiety about the whole thing.

Imagining this entirely hypothetical situation makes me very angry.

This hypothetical person is someone I find myself hating. Someone I find myself plotting against. I don’t want to hurt them, not physically, I don’t want to do anything disproportionate. No, I just want to professionally discredit them, ruin any reputation they may possess – clandestine investigation and anonymous emails, that sort of thing.

Well, maybe I do want to hurt them physically. But not seriously.

Hypothetically speaking, of course.

But I check myself. Hypothetical or not, the desire to lash out after you’ve been hurt is a childish reaction. And if a good papa is only one thing, childish ain’t that thing. That job is well covered by the dude with the hippo on his shirt over there playing with a balloon.

And, believer as I am in the inherent quality of your average human, yet I must concede that there will be no shortage, on this long road of his childhood, of twats. There will, in fact, be an abundance of twats. And frankly, giving fucks now would not only set a poor precedent, but also, within a matter of hours, leave me entirely depleted of fucks.

So I take the lesson, and am, in reflection, grateful for the thought experiment, unpleasant as it was. Just as the Little Man must learn to deal with budding jerks in the playrooms and parks of his world, so must I also learn to deal with jerks in full bloom at those same locations.

It’s not an easy thing, Fatherhood.


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