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Isn't there a pill for that?

January 21, 2014 The Wine Time Dad 0 Comments Category :

The red one is the one you should take, the blue begins the simulation.
After almost 10.5 months of parenting, I still wonder where I stand with this whole parenting jazz.. I most assuredly don't have a better understanding of the madness that comes over people when they decide to have a child or continue on to have children. Nor do I feel like I'm in the know when it comes to raising an infant (so far). The idea of raising another human being and the reality are, as you know I'm going to say, very different, and there is no way this knowledge can be realized until you have a child of your own. Even years of tending other people's offspring or those of your relatives or siblings doesn't really prepare you for what it's like, does it?

From the get go, many new parents know that they're going to raise a brilliant child. Others want to do well by their kids but have no idea how to do so. And, others hope to do what the second group does, but don't really want to fret about it. Whatever comes, will come. If you're like me, then you fantasize about teaching your baby to read early or create games that trigger and boost their latent cognitive abilities. You fantasize about it but don't really pursue it. One, because your child is still a baby, and, two, because that just ain't your style.

Truth is, we can't all be like John and Jone Q, super-parent. Not only because many of us don't have the needed expertise but also because we're time selfish and have other worries. Sometimes it's just easier to get your baby to chillout with you while you watch Game of Thrones or the UFC, then it is to create ingenious games that tap into their intellectual curiosity. This is especially true if all of you haven't been sleeping for several nights in a row, and little baby Susie Q is content to veg-out infront of the idiot tube with you. Sometimes you just lack the energy to be superdad or supermom everyday. Sometimes you're more worried about your own health or relationship, which can and does suffer due to the child- they are a blackhole of attention and time... I mean that in the most loving way possible.

These are all things that you expecting parents may be aware of peripherally, but have no real sense of, yet. You haven't learned to adjust for the:
  • lack of sleep
  • changed life priorities
  • lack of sex (until her woman parts have healed)
  • endless hours of childcare, which usually entail constant attention to mundane tasks
  • still no sex (I don't know this from personal experience but apparently having a child can have more penetrating and long lasting psychological effects than just postpartum depression)
  • pooping with the door open while a semi-conscious blob either stares at you or screams her head off (don't even bother picking up that magazine when you sit down)
  • ^^ I should've just said lack of privacy ^^
and the list goes on but you get the point. Unfortunately, you can't necessarily prepare for how all this will make you feel. How it will change your perception of reality forever... Staying out all night or even late starts to fill you with dread because that little bundle of joy doesn't give a shit about your hangover, and you know there will be little or no time to recover until the following night...

If only there was a virtual reality simulation you could opt for when deciding to have children or when you've knocked someone up, and you want to have a full realization of the burdens and responsibility of parenthood. By the time the hammer falls or the door to the padded room closes, you would have some understanding of this new path your taking...

It would have to be a VR sim that works like dreaming, so you don't actually have to spend the hours playing the game (a very important facet to this future drug/ tech) and you are fully immersed (no metafiction devices at play). One night you simply take a pill (let's imagine red since it worked so well for Neo), or plug in and you peacefully slip into a fully realized simulation where all the drama of the first several months before and after the birth play out. Upon waking you'll remember this extremely vivid dream AND you'll have the emotional impressions left in you psyche, so that it seems more real.

Maybe you could even buy the expansion pack that allows you to emphasize certain aspects of your experience, so you can hash out specific scenarios in your experience again and again. You could learn how to sleep train the baby via trial and error in your nightly forays or work sex back into your schedule. Or, you could replay the birthing room drama in order to get your various faces photo ready. You could work on zingers that could get all the birthing staff riled up while your partner screams at you..

I digress, but the possibilities for preparation would be limitless.

Unfortunately, no such drug or technology exists and unless you're one those aforementioned super couples, then I imagine having a child will take you down a different existential path. Especially if your child was unplanned (with the right person and probably good timing but just, you know, 'Hey, surprise!' I mentioned this in a previous blog, here). I get it! You don't have the rose-colored glasses of the "expecting parent" attached to your face, and raising said baby will be a long path of missteps and "oh shit" moments. As well as those instances of parenting "wins".

When you find yourself saying, "Forget the baby! Just leave her in the bedroom because we need to have sex, right now!" then you're on the same page as me and now I feel less bad about my feelings. Which is good because it means that I'm not alone in not wanting to screw up my child's life, but still feel that the relationship I (we) have with my (our) partner(s) is just as important as not feeding their baby nuts or mushrooms. Or, letting them fling themselves off the bed into a bunch of pillows (a bad habit to let a baby get into as they will be under the impression that their will always be pillows or someone there to catch them).

Yes, you and I, my friends, are just satisfied to figure it out as we go along, in our lazy half-assed ways because even though we had reams of data, we didn't read it. It was easier to just let that information filter down to you or not at all. Don't sweat it! Just remember that there ARE worse parents out there and their in the world. When you feel overwhelmed or regretful for not being "super" enough, put your baby down, and google search "horrible parenting"; I'm sure you'll find a near infinite list of articles that make you feel better about your mediocre skills.

When they do finally create this pill or tech that allows you to train for childbirth/ rearing in your sleep, you can continue to make yourself feel superior by scoffing at this younger and coddled generation. By then, you'll be too old to have or want children so just insult them for having it too easy.

Seriously, haven't you been looking for the right moment to use the line "When I was younger..." or something like it? Like your parents or grandparents did when talking about their early days... "Back then, we didn't have bookshelves full of child-rearing books, proper medical techniques or child-abuse laws..." Now, you can regale the next generation with how you actually had to go to a class to learn about babies- "When I was younger, you didn't get to just close your eyes, fall asleep and learn! You actually had to go to a class... Several of them, if fact. And, we had to pay attention!"


Keep stumbling my average parent friends. No matter what the future holds, our children will still rule over the coddled generation and their magic pills or tech, ensuring that some of our misery will most assuredly be foisted on them, too.