My Dad Says You're An Asshole!

“My dad says you’re an asshole!” Yup, I did say that, but I didn’t think anyone was listening. I certainly didn’t think anyone would repeat it. But that’s what happened the day of my son’s kindergarten graduation.

First off let me just say something about kindergarten graduations. I know it’s in vogue to trash ceremonies that celebrate mediocrity and striving for less. In essence, kindergarten graduation is nothing more than a celebration of moving past the second lowest rung on the education ladder. That said, my son’s kindergarten experience was at times a war filled with angst, alienation and heartbreak. So to me, his survival was worthy of the finest of celebrations.

diary of an accidental dad

I’ve long ago realized anything more than a healthy dose of cynicism will turn your body’s water molecules into sludge. So rather than question the validity of celebrating yet another over rated pop singer’s Grammy, or a football team I have no connection to winning the Super Bowl, I just sit back and crack open a cold one. Life is too short not to celebrate all it has to offer.

One battle my son waged all year was a friend who played him like a bi-polar accordionist. At times the music was sweet, like the kind you might be serenaded with at a French or Italian restaurant. At other times the music was dissonant carnival music, egging on the circus clowns and burlesque stooges to finally get their revenge.

All my son wanted was this kid to like him and he would have done almost anything to make that happen. And this asshole of a friend knew it, and made my son do parlor tricks for his friendship. “If you don’t do this, I won’t be your friend anymore” he used to tell my son. “If you do that, I’ll be your best friend” he’d tease him with.

It killed me to watch my son work so hard for this kid’s approval, when I knew he’d never be my son’s best friend. After watching my son’s heart get broken every other day, I finally told that to him, along with the now infamous “that kid’s and asshole.”

We were on my bike pedaling into town and then down to the beach. My son was sitting in a bike seat mounted to the handle bars of my bicycle. Having him in front of me and just under my chin was so much cooler than having him sit in a seat behind me. For one thing we could talk and sing and brainstorm together. And for another, from back there all he would be able to see is the crack of my ass hanging out of my pants, and all the really cool action after it’s passed us by.

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Vagina, Vagina, Vagina!

My son is obsessed with vagina lately. Everything is vagina this and vagina that  It isn't the actual vagina so much that he's interested in, after all girls are kinda gross and mean, and except for the rare occasions have no interest in playing war or building Legos.  My son will even go as far as telling me he hates girls. I try to tell him that “hate” is an ugly word, worse than “shit” and “fuck”. I tell him he needs to save his hate for things that are really important, like people that cut him off in traffic, or a bird that craps on his head in the middle of lunch. Of course he tells me he’d rather have almost any animal shit on his head than have to be friends with a girl. So that’s that.

His contempt for girls excludes only his mom, grandmother and little baby sister, who isn't a girl at all but a thing. I ask him "why do you call your sister a thing?" My son adores his sister and says "She's not a boy and she couldn't possibly be a girl, so she must be a thing." diary of an accidental dad

His obsession with vagina is with the word itself. He just loves to say it. And why not? Its a funny word! It really doesn't sound like what a vagina is. It doesn't sound like something beautiful and life giving. It sounds more like the car horn of an old 1920's Jalopy. "ahhh-ooga!" "Vag-inaaa!" And so my son marches around the house shouting it to the heavens, or replacing words in popular songs with it. “Pop goes the vagina!”

Sometimes he’ll run out of the bathroom with his penis tucked between his legs and yell, “look dad, I have a vagina.” How did this become some instinctual thing that boys just know to do. Is it in our DNA? Is it just another of the god’s practical jokes? It isn’t learned so much as shared, and once my son figured out how to give himself a vagina, he’s taken to sharing it with everyone.

One day Lukas got sent to the office for calling some kid on the playground a pussy. The kid was daring others to do dangerous things he wouldn’t do himself. My son told me "I don't even know what it means". I guess he must have heard the other kid use that word first in a derogatory way, and figured he’d fire back in self defense. My son has learned a lot of terrible phrases from me in the past, but that one I can’t take credit for. I never use that word, well certainly not in that context.

He was too embarrassed at first to tell us what word it was that got him in such trouble. He kept trying to make us guess. The moment he gave us the first clue, it starts with the letter “P”, I knew exactly what it was. But I didn’t want to blurt it out, in the event that the word he used on the playground was really “potato head” or “pig face”. I didn’t want to introduce him to another word he doesn’t need to know yet, and spend the rest of the day explaining to him what it is.

When he finally told us what it was he said, my wife told him it was another word for vagina. But all I could think of was it’s such a more pleasant sounding word than vagina. And in my perfect world a pussy would be a cat, a willow tree, and a sweet, flowering life giving fruit, and a vagina would be the jerk on the playground.

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