28/52: Kiddos and Bits

July 19, 2014

It was a surprisingly cool morning in Southern California. The Marine Layer was in fine form, so I went for a run.

As I turned my first corner, I saw something very intimidating. It was a group of moms ready to take on the world in striped spandex, designer sunglasses, and sporty hats. There were about 17 strollers between the 5 or 6 of them. Of course, I crossed to the other side of the street, but not out of judging distance.

Some of the moms were lying down on the strip of grass between the curb and the sidewalk doing some type of crunch that would have made Donald Trump proud. Those abs were getting fired. In fact, they were so devoted to their uncommon cores that when their babies began to cry, they kept on crunching.

This made me upset.

I thought to myself, What is wrong with those babies? Don’t they understand that a healthy mother with awesome abs is more likely to feel good about herself, therefore reflecting a positive self-concept to her child which will ultimately make that child comfortable enough to someday wear spandex?

I shook my head and kept on running. That’s when I started thinking about my own kids. I missed them. They had gone up to Washington to visit my in-laws. However, I felt good about all the SoCal fun we packed in to this summer with Alice and Elliot. The La Brea Tar Pits, Huntington Gardens, trips to the pool, excursions to the park, a couple bike rides, and two birthday parties for Elliot.

In addition to these good times, Alice and I got a chance to duck our heads under a circus tent that was just around the corner. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a termite tent. Guess the kid has a pesticide allergy. They really shouldn’t make those things look so fun. I hope we don’t experience any long-term negative effects.

Sometimes I wonder if Elliot might experience some problems down the road from all the things he ingests. So far, the kid has had leaves, grass, rocks, flowers, and who knows what else in his mouth. At first I thought about making a shelf for all the “Most Improved” trophies he would acquire one day, but instead did the unpredictable thing and declared my son and every other baby brilliant.

When my son tries to eat sand for the third time in 30 seconds, it isn’t because he doesn’t understand very basic nutrition. It’s because he knows that his dad needs some material to post on Facebook. When those babies cry in their strollers, they know their moms need to LOL with their besties over Instagram.

Kids detect early on that their parents have no interpersonal skills, that mommies and daddies cannot function in social circles without some good material. If Elliot smelled good all the time and cried only at reasonable things, what could his father talk about? His own interesting and highly-fulfilled life? I think not.

Traumatic bowel movements. Epic meltdowns. Innocent genitalia references. We parents need them all. They keep us insulated from the truth about ourselves. Just like a good marine layer or termite tent.

 

 

 

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