I need to put this out there right from the beginning — I like being a dad. Yeah it may sound like I’m not super keen, what with the vomit, the torrents of poo, the whining, the crying and the tears — so many tears. But I am keen. I really like it. It’s rewarding as hell.
Firstly, you get to tell lame dad jokes legitimately and know that at least one person will laugh. Even though deep down you know that they know that you’re really not funny at all and you’re actually really sad but because you’re their father, they’ll humour you until they find it completely embarrassing and then simply won’t speak to you anymore. So roughly at about two-and-a-half years of age, maybe three if you’re raising a dullard.
Secondly, you get to hear their little people problems and delve into your vast years of knowledge and experience imparting wisdom and solving said problems and coming out looking like a goddamned hero. This part is more rewarding than the first.
And thirdly, fart jokes… a shitload of fart jokes.
But that’s a tale for another time. Today is about one of those problem-solving, parent of the year type scenarios, — the ones you like to share with other parents, or specifically, those annoying arseholes who always brag about their goddamned wonder child and how the rainbows that shoot out of their arses actually lead to pots of gold and smell like Lindt chocolate. Screw those guys.
So let me reiterate — I really like being a dad, a lot, except for when my five… six-year-old son comes home from school with half a metre of gauze strapped to his shin and tells me his “best friend” pushed him down the stairs at school. See those inverted commas? This “best friend”, or as I call him, “ignorant little shit demon”, has somehow managed to sink his mini-Mangler claws into my kid’s very soul. And since day dot, he’s found myriad ways to harass, manipulate, torment and bully my boy. The kicker is that my sweet little innocent son thinks that this kid is his “bestest friend in the whole wide world” and is attracted to him like a cat-lady is to the Ryan Gosling memes. Days like this — I really hate being a dad. But hell, having progeny, even progeny with awful judgment, means you have responsibilities.
Ordinarily, when a propensity for rage-fueled outbursts is well known among those who know you, not going off half-cocked is a difficult skill to master. So when faced with a situation like this, it takes a lot of effort to not give in to your protective urges. Plus for the record, inflicting severe physical harm on a young child and destroying their entire family is generally frowned upon by modern society. So I did what has been done by fathers for generations — I used allegory as a way of passing down my prodigious knowledge and insight.
I knelt down so we were eye to eye to appear less threatening — I learned something from sitting on the couch browsing reddit while my wife watched Supernanny — and started telling him about the relentless torture and bullying Jason Riordan inflicted upon me in high school and how I got through it. Then I realised that promoting underage drinking, crying myself to sleep, eating half a salami and writing bad hate poetry was probably not the way to go. So I did the only other thing I could think of. I recounted the storyline to the best anti-bullying movie ever created and taught my son that the best way to beat his bully is kick his goddamned arse with a flamingo kick to the face. The next day my wife and I were called to the school early about an “incident” between my son and the shit demon and now my wife won’t talk to me anymore. At least now I have someone who can help me paint the fence.