Posts Tagged ‘parenting’

Remember when I wrote this?

This next year, my wife’s going to bring home the bacon. And I’m going to bring up the baby. And do the dishes. And fold the laundry. And take out the garbage. And clean the cat box. And shop for groceries. And have supper ready. And assemble the crib. And paint the nursery. And rock a screaming baby to sleep at 3 o’clock in the morning. And, on certain nights, stare up in to the city-bleached sky and wonder if this is part of the journey or the destination itself. Or both.

Well, that all still stands. I’m still ready to do those things. I just had no idea that I would be doing them all at once.

And yet that’s what every body keeps telling me about parenting – i.e. that it’s a Herculean feat of multitasking. Brian Chen had a post on Wired last Monday about what multitasking technology is doing to our ability to concentrate. In it, he talks to Vaughan Bell, a neuropsychologist and clinician at the Universidad de Antioquia, who compares our waning focus to parenting:

“If you think Twitter is an attention magnet, try living with an infant,” Bell said. “Kids are the most distracting thing there is, and when you have three or even four in the house it is both impossible to focus on one thing — and stressful, because the consequences of not keeping an eye on your kids can be frightening even to think about.”

(Kids are indeed distracting: A British study found that for drivers, the distraction of squabbling kids can slow down break-reaction times by 13 percent — as much as alcohol.)

And here I was thinking that having a kid might be a good occasion to get sober.

But, seriously, I wonder if this generation of parents is prepared to multitask in a way their parents were not. As we speak, I am writing this post . . . while texting my wife . . . while watching the preview for Monday Night Football . . . while answering incoming emails . . . while boiling eggs for my wife’s breakfast tomorrow. And somehow, I feel like I’ve got everything under control.

So, thank you, the internets. And email. And smart phones. And social networking. And, even, 24 hours news networks that have “Breaking News” whenever someone farts. You’ve all ruined my ability to perform long-duration analytical thinking, but you may have made me a high-functioning parent in the process.

Also, the extra arms I’ve grown help.

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This video should be used as a human litmus test. If it makes you tear up, you’re probably a human. If it doesn’t, then we will put you in a cage and poke you with sticks until we figure out what you are.

The happy little tyke is Jonathan. He’s an 8-month-old boy who was born deaf, but he’s just gotten a cochlear implant and is about to hear his first noise — the sound of his mother’s voice.

Incidentally, if you’re looking to add a good documentary to your Netflix queue, I highly recommend Josh Aronson’s SOUND AND FURY. It follows a deaf couple as they consider whether to get cochlear implants for their 7-year-old daughter (who is also deaf). Seems like an easy decision, right? Get the kid the implant? Only for many deaf parents it’s not that simple. If deafness is a disability, then, yes, it’s something to be cured. But if deafness is a cultural identity, as it is for the family in this documentary, then it’s something to preserve. Even cherish. More to the point, what will become of their daughter’s connection to the deaf community, and her connection to them, they worry, if she can suddenly hear and speak? Will they “lose” her to hearing world?

I’m not going to tell you what the parents decide. But I will say that I expect parenting to be just like this – i.e. a series of forced choices between equally heart-breaking options.

“Lose. Lose. Up to you.”

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Who Am I?

I’m going to be a Daddy.

And a Mommy.

And if you think that’s confusing, guess how I feel?  The short explanation goes something like this . . . my wife is 7 months pregnant and I don’t have a job.  Haven’t had one in awhile.  Don’t have many prospects on the horizon.

So, naturally, I figured I should start a blog.

I know what you’re thinking.  You’re thinking, “Hey, that’s great your wife is pregnant.  But why don’t you just post this crap on Facebook like everybody else?”

Because I hate Facebook.  And because the thing about Facebook is: everyone knows who you are.  Like your actual name.  And if I’m going to be honest about how it feels to be Mr. Mom – like truly, genuinely, “That dress makes you look fat” or “I’m never going to be good enough” honest – then there’s no way I want my relatives reading this.

I have to eat Thanksgiving with those people.

So sit back and enjoy the bloodletting.  This next year, my wife’s going to bring home the bacon.  And I’m going to bring up the baby.  And do the dishes.  And fold the laundry.  And take out the garbage.  And clean the cat box.  And shop for groceries.  And have supper ready.  And assemble the crib.  And paint the nursery.  And rock a screaming baby to sleep at 3 o’clock in the morning.  And, on certain nights, stare up in to the city-bleached sky and wonder if this is part of the journey or the destination itself.  Or both.

Should be fun.

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