Tuesday, December 2, 2008

You're Alone at Home with the Kid(s) - egads!

OK, so I'm gonna try to make this easy for you guys as well as provide some insights for the working mom. This concept isn't new (see Michael Keaton in "Mr. Mom" - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0085970/), but that doesn't mean it's any easier. Vacuum cleaners still attack treasured playthings, washing machines still explode, and gas-powered gardening tools are occasionally the best way to clean house.

Tip 1: Don't Panic
Children can smell fear.
This is one of the many reasons tigers eat their young. Remember (this is very important) do not, I repeat do NOT eat your offspring. Yours is not the House of Atreus (I hope. http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/myths/tp/080707Cannibalism.htm), and, regardless of the infraction physical violence is not the answer. Go to the Child Welfare Services website http://www.hwcws.cahwnet.gov/, it will provide you some good guidelines on what is appropriate (quick takeaway: waterboarding, prolonged stress positions, definite no-no's; sensory deprivation...the jury's still out, consider it case by case).

Yelling, screaming, or otherwise losing one's cool signifies weakness, and the average child will pounce on such opportunities. Trust me these little monsters are smart, they know what they're doing. We can try to stay one step ahead of them, but remember: this is ALL they do. They are kids full-time, they don't have to make dinner or pay the bills or wipe their own sphincters. You are responsible for all of that and more, so think, think, think. Otherwise you'll be playing checkers in a chess match and just when you say king me the little bugger's gonna say checkmate and you'll be left wiping yogurt off the ceiling.

This leads me to Tip 2: Find a Job
You do not want to do this for any extended period of time. They will eat your dreams. Your dreams may be the only thing you don't have to force down their finicky throats. Take every opportunity to network, talk to other people, anyone. Do not be afraid to tell people you're a house-husband, the stigma is gone. Women understand how hard it is and will respect you for it. Men will pity you and help in any way they can.

It takes a Village Idiot, ahem, I mean this in the good way. While I just finished saying kids are smart, I must add this caveat, kids are stupid. They are stupid in the ways of societal norms. They do not understand you cannot point at the woman in line in front of you at the supermarket and say, "Look daddy, that woman's boobies are bigger than mommy's!" (Look for my upcoming companion piece, How to Hit on MILFs: A step-by-step guide to making yourself a DILF).

All this adds up to one important goal, get out of the house. By that I mean, go to the park, the zoo, anywhere that will stimulate their senses and tire them out. But, I also mean get a job - fast! Taking care of children is the hardest job in the world. You cannot quit. You will always be their father, so work hard to train them now, or, better yet, find someone who is more qualified than you to do it so you can go back to an office, attend boring meetings, surf the 'net, and falsify status reports like the modern American was meant to do.

Tips 3, 4, 5, etc...will have to wait as my youngest is screaming "dinosaur coming to eat you" and pounding on my office door. More later.

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