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Yeah, well all of our kids are being assholes

September 02, 2015 The Wine Time Dad 0 Comments Category : , , , ,

Eventually it'll make sense.
Consequently, whether it's the truth or not, you can't just say that to someone. Especially to a group of mothers.

But, before we get started, I should note that this post is not about our child, aka, little Gozer the Destructor. Gozer will hardly come up in this wine time session (ah, stupid pun). And, just so you don't run away after this sentence, thinking to yourself, "Oh, for fuck's sake, he's gonna pontificate on the finer points of parenting, like he's the expert." Two things before we hit the next paragraph: 

  1. I may not be an expert, but I can point out everyone else's faults. Which is the great benefit of subjective bias.
  2. I make almost no judgement calls in this post, except some unkind ones about myself.
This post is about inescapable "oh fuck" moments. Situations we antisocial, cave dwelling parents sometimes endure for the sake of our child's development (should this have been #3?). (It hardly matters). 

On with the show...

Last year, we decided to drop our toddler into a PG, which I may have mentioned before but probably didn't elaborate on. Mostly because there wasn’t much to say about PG, even if it did maintain my sanity. Basically, I’d drop her off, light up a cigar on my way to a coffee shop and write words. For you. It just took braving the extremely kind, courteous and always safe weekday rush hour traffic on DC’s metro.

Lucky you, lucky me. 

The other reason I didn’t talk about PG is that I feared, by some freak accident, one of the mothers would stumble upon this blog (through that annoying Google+ bs) and discover my secret identity as DC Daddy. While I'm no tech guru, I'm pretty sure I expunged all possible links to this blog from G+.

Being found out, however, would’ve been embarrassing. Almost as embarrassing as getting caught masturbating by a family member. So I kept my online presence well hidden. I never talked aobut this blog, not even when drunk.

Even now, no one knows of the uplifting, ecstatic joy I feel when I've posted something, or how intellectually superior in makes me feel. Despite the disjointed, rambling narratives, this self-satisfied mental orgasm is mine alone to enjoy. 

I wasn't lying..
Admitting this reminds me of when one of the PG moms told me of how she suggested her unemployed husband start a "dad blog". I laughed nervously, "Ha ha. What a great idea! He should start a blog. Ha!" Maybe she knew. This was just after playing Santa at the PG's Xmas party, where my wife may have offhandedly mentioned my moonlighting as a blogger. Had she? Had I? It was possible. I'd had my fair share of mimosas that morning. Liquid courage, as they say.

Either way, how mortified would I have been if one of the moms had found me out? I would've shit myself. Well, I would've screamed, shit myself, then ran away. Having gotten a couple hundred feet down the sidewalk, I would've realized that my daughter had been left behind and I would have to go back for her. Dirty pants and all. 

Tyler Durden didn't talk about fight club. Well, I don't talk about blogging. 

Besides it would've just been me regurgitating advice plagiarized from more professional sources. Or, recanting the usual expected blah blah blay: injuries, tears, and toddler on toddler violence. Or, how every week at PG was like a repeat of the movie Outbreak. No thanks. I'd rather write long, inane and mealy mouthed posts about other things than give insipid advice on how to parent.

So, no PG on the blog. That was until one of our monthly Wednesday morning meetings went sour.

Surprise, surprise that aggressive toddler behavior had started getting out of control, and the kids were coming home with war wounds.  

However, since this could potentially be a long story, I’ll just say that we all pleasantly agreed to be more attentive (like not using cellphones when on duty) and actively divert aggressive behavior. I didn't need to be reminded of this. Need I remind you that I am fucking perfect, a veritable super parent who does everything right. Anyways, everyone cooed, nodding their heads and agreed to do better. 

The (only) other dad and I sat in the back of the meeting and nodded our heads, grunting agreement when needed. Being outnumbered by the moms, this was wise. Ah yes, we thought, aggressive behavior… Hmmm, bad. Good to pay more attention. Hitting? Oh, no no no. We stop, watch kids better. All good. Must go to coffee shop now.

Or, so we thought. 

Then one tiny, doe-eyed little girl was singled out as being a violent “scratcher”.

Up till this point, the meeting had been rather cordial. No one wanted to discuss the aggressive behavior, but I suppose we had to and this was where the tone of the meeting changed. I'm not saying mob mentality took over, but I marked the change mood by the “oh shit” look dad #2 gave me.

We both unconsciously retreated further into the back wall. 

Ostensibly, everyone had agreed (except the other hiding dad and I) that the scratcher needed extra supervision, despite the fact that the three larger boys were the main perpetrators. As scratcher’s mother rightly pointed out, scratcher was only defending herself against the bigger boys, whose behavior was played down because, you know, boys will be boys (yes, this was argument was used)

“So basically,” the mob said (minus us dads, now inspecting the dusty floor), “we’ve decided that you’re just going to have to come in everyday for the next few months with little Scratcher (proper pronoun, now) here. Mmm-kay?”


I don’t know if this next part is true or not, because my male mind was more focussed on self-preservation, while my ass looked for an exit in the back wall. But, I seem to remember seeing the “Oh, fuck this bullshit” glaze come over Scratcher’s mom’s eyes.

“Well, isn’t this some grade A, playground politics horse manure,” she spit, “I can’t believe my daughter is being singled out when she’s only defending herself against A, B, C and D over there. The first three of whom, I’m surprised haven’t shanked someone, yet.”

Was this sentiment true? Yes. Was the dialogue? Sort of.  

Poetic Licensing or no, I tacitly agreed with Momma Scratcher's assessments. Not only was there some finger pointing politics going on, this was some serious sexist stereotyping (gender stereotyping doesn't have the same umph and who doesn't love alliterations). 

I felt bad for this mother being confronted like this, but I was fucking relieved it wasn't me in her place. 

Although it was true that her daughter was a scratcher, it was also true that the boys in the PG were being unruly, aggressive assholes. They needed some serious discipline, but were being somewhat excused because they were boys. I guess that double standard starts early on the playground. 

I was stunned.  

The other mothers were not seeing clearly. None of them were seeing clearly. The rules of social engagement were breaking down before my eyes, and I suspected a blood-bath was imminent. Someone was going to be leaving PG forever. If only she had an equally brave ally to stand at her side...

But, I wasn’t going to enlighten this group of agitated mothers to their folly, as I valued my life. Also, being a family that can't afford a nanny, sometimes it's better to swallow your principles, pick your battles. I sure-as-shit wasn't gonna look for a new PG.

I started visibly sweating. 

So, in my panic to escape this meeting, I did the only safe thing I could think of without having this flock of bloodthirsty mothers peck me to death. I screamed, shit myself and ran like hell.

Sometimes it is better to live and fight again another day, man.

Truth be told, I didn’t shit myself. I did run like hell but only after the meeting let out. I vaguely recall seconding the accused mother’s notion that we had failed in our duty to be attentive. They shouldn’t have balked at her suggestion that we just be on point while we were at PG. Toddlers are assholes, and in the blink of a parent’s eye, they can move past agitation to gouging eyes and stomping on skulls. 

After a lengthy email battle, the singled out mother left the group. In the following weeks, everyone was extra attentive. Point made. Someone just had to be the sacrificial lamb.

Ah, recounting this anecdote makes wonder what Gozer’s sophomore year will be like. Considering that the kids will be bigger, there are more of them, the parents are different and there's more gun violence in the city, I’m sure it’ll be interesting. 

And, I liked most of the parents in our last group.

Look at that! I didn’t violate my “two things” I said I wasn’t going to violate at the beginning of this post. I’ve earned a drink.