Category Archives: Humour

Who’s Your Favourite

Very taboo, but yes I have favourites. I guess this is primarily an issue for parents of two or more children, but I think even parents of a single child can at the very least say that their child is not their favourite person at times. I wonder if favouring one child over your other(s) is something that most parents would admit to? I suspect that we all do it, but if so, then why does it seem so taboo?

Judge and Jury

As I mentioned in some of my previous posts, people love to make judgements about people. I’m not even being specific to parents here. Judging people is one of the activities that people seem to get off on most in life. Even those that profess to dislike “labeling” people because it is akin to passing judgements on people are, themselves, judging those that do label others. Labeling and passing judgements are things that we do as humans.

It isn’t always nice or friendly, but labeling helps us make sense of our world and it is also a skill that helps to keep us alive. If we didn’t judge or label things that were poisonous to us, then we might end up killing ourselves with the “bad” berries, for example. There are significant differences between judging hazards to our safety and a person’s character. Determining something to be dangerous is vastly different to deciding that someone is socially awkward or frustrating. For this reason it seems fairly uncontroversial to be harsh towards the things that might cause us harm. It is more controversial to judge people for their personal flaws.

What Favouritism Isn’t

When I talk about favouring one child over the other, the character of my children is certainly at issue, having said that, I love my kids equally. The love I have for my kids is never at issue when I talk about having a favourite. So preferring one over the other is never a question of my love for my kids, but is rather an issue of how I have bonded with them.

As my kids have been developing there have been times when I make a bond with one more than with the other. During those times, I’d have to say that I feel closer to one than the other. I’d also say that it seems like the “favourite” child also seems to prefer me more during those times too and so it seems like it is a two way street. Jenn and I have both noticed that when one of us does bond with one of our kids more than the other it is a temporary thing and we tend to swing back and forth between both of our kids.

Favouring one of my kids over the other, is a recognition of the increasingly deep bond that I am constantly forming with both of them. The depth of the bond doesn’t increase simultaneously with both of my kids, and so it is like a game of leap frog with one being my “favourite”, but only for a time. I feel like this is a very natural and normal situation, so why do people find it difficult to admit that this happens with their children? My guess is that parents feel like admitting that they favour one child over the other sounds cold and callous. The concern is likely that some people will not understand what is meant by such a statement and the parents would be unfairly judged. Are you afraid to talk about how you favour one child over another, and if so please explain why?

Do Your Kids Play Favourites?

I’ll bet your kids do have a favourite parent, but like me, I’ll bet they go back and forth over time. Check out this hilarious video!

The Five Stages of Infancy

I certainly wouldn’t expect everyone to agree with my point of view on this post, but I have mentioned before that infants really aren’t my thing and I figured that statement could use a little fleshing out. I’ve done some research and broadly speaking it seems like you can get away with defining an infant as being anywhere between 0 and 24 months old and that is the age range that this post will address

Before I get myself into a world of hurt for saying horrible things about my kids, I’m going to preface all of this with the following. I love them both very much and have loved them very much since they were born, and before they were born, I loved the idea of them! In this post I am simply making some comparisons that I feel are apt, although possibly a little callous. For the overly sentimental, please look away at this point.

More Amazing Than…Everything

From birth until about six hours of age, your child(ren) are the bomb. They are nothing but absolutely amazing. There is not a single aspect of their existence that doesn’t take your breath away. The name of this phase is the “More Amazing Than…Everything” phase of infancy, but would more aptly be named the “Mommy and Papa Don’t Know Any Better Yet” phase. At this stage of infancy, my advice to you is to enjoy this feeling because it won’t last and it is a result of elevated hormone levels and your body playing some really malicious tricks on you for keeping it up for the last two to four days.

Better Than a Rock Garden

rocksThis is the rating I gave my kids from about six hours old until about two months of age. The primary benefits of this stage were that they were warm and smelled nice (sometimes). On the down side, they confused the hell out of me. I felt like I pretty much never knew what they wanted. My children had little to no empathy for me and my situation. I remember having a very rudimentary concept of personal dignity based on simple things like not letting people urinate, defecate or vomit on me. It was during this phase of infancy that I was robbed of this basic concept of personal dignity.

More Impressive Than a Pumpkin Patch

PumpkinThis is the designation that I awarded my twins from the time that they were two months old until about three months of age. One day our kids were having a nap which gave us a small break from our baby stand duties. We were startled by a horrible scream from our daughter. We went in to find her hand firmly latched on to her cheek with her nails digging into her soft newborn skin. She was not fully aware of how these appendages of hers worked, and one of them had attacked her. The pain and the resulting stress of her predicament was causing her hand to tense up even more. It was a vicious and self perpetuating attack carried out by herself, and she didn’t realize it. It was genuinely interesting for me to see and realize exactly how unaware my children were of their bodies and how utterly hopeless they were at controlling themselves.

What made my kids graduate to being more impressive than a pumpkin patch was their understanding that they were attached to their body. To be clear, at three months of age they still couldn’t control their bodies any better than (to steal from Hunter S. Thompson) “the village drunkard in some early Irish novel“, but they had clearly started to develop a concept of “self” and that is more than I can say for pumpkins.

Cooler Than a Cat, Although Just as Indifferent

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe transition to this stage began at about three months of age and was marked by intentional smiles. We had seen smiles prior to this stage, but they were usually associated with the children relieving their bodily functions. At three months of age we were able to finally relate to our kids on a different level. We could do things that caused them to smile. We were finally interacting with them on more of a social and human level and it was a truly wonderful feeling, but… there was fine print.

Any interactions designed to illicit laughter or smiles from the children were subject to the following stipulations:

  • You must voluntarily surrender your dignity
  • You must understand that all attempts at humour are to be evaluated by a being with underdeveloped lower frontal lobes
  • Any failure to induce smiling or laughter will be punished by the infant’s choice of crying, screaming, defecation, urination, vomiting or any combination of said punishments

In my experience, most cats seem blissfully unaware of the intricacies of human social interactions. The fact that our children were able to start understanding and acting as players in social interactions made them a lot cooler than cats. Still lacking any real sense of empathy for me or others, however, left my children just as indifferent as the common house cat.

Finally, Better Than a Dog

dogThe key traits of this stage of infancy are:

  1. Walking
  2. Talking
  3. Emotional development (empathy)

Now your child has the ability to recognize your mood, navigate over to you and (on a good day) say “Papa’s happy!” and give you a hug. Wow, you’ve made it, right? Yes and no.

At various points along my children’s developmental path, I have been tempted to think that things are going to get easier as various milestones are reached. It’s true that some things have become easier, but it’s also true that there are a constant stream of new challenges to overcome. Overall, although things may not be getting significantly easier, I have noticed that the level of enjoyment that I have gotten from being with my children has increased as they have grown and developed over the last two years. I think that this is why “infants aren’t really my thing”. I derive joy from the development of my kids, and obviously limited age yields limited development so for me, I am becoming increasingly enthralled with them as they grow. What is it about your children that gives you joy and piques your interest?

Job Description of Parenthood (0-3 Months): Highly Advanced Baby Stand

The Objective Facts About Me:

I am a complex, living being capable of:

  • Speaking
  • Writing
  • Mathematics
  • Assimilating information
  • Decision making
  • Social graces
  • Logic and abstraction
  • Self-awareness
  • Problem Solving
  • Skill Acquisition

The Painful Reality About Me:

I am a highly advanced baby stand who:

  • Must not sit down while baby is sleeping
  • Must bounce rhythmically about 1 to 2 times per second
  • Must “shush” hum or sing
  • AND NOTHING ELSE (Baby can tell if you’re texting!)

I’m sure you had dreams of putting your skills, abilities and education to good use, but right now, you are nothing more than a highly over qualified baby stand. Welcome to your new life.