What do dads do when they're not being dads?
Dangerous question, I know. The answer could be anything.
Parents are not the sum of their parenting hours, right? Right??
Well fine then, let's do a thought experiment.
People can be fun, or not fun. But are kids people?
Assume the following:
- I spend most waking hours with computers.
- Kids — this is known — kids have brains.
Ok! Now let's re-imagine life a moment, shall we?
Child wakes up cranky and aggravated.
Dad flips child's power switch off and on.
Child remains cranky and aggravated.
Dad calls system administrator (their mom, in my case), and wanders off for coffee.
Right? Are you with me? Please say you are.
More possibilities, by way of comparison:
Computers require power.
Kids require dinner.
Computers and kids are very often sick or noisy or warm.
By now I'm well on the way to a more comprehensive list.
- Like computers, kids require maintenance by specialists.
- Like computers, kids perform best for those who love them.
- Computers "learn," and kids learn too! But kids get tired sooner. +1 for computers.
- To computers one may cheaply add memory. With kids, you must nurture, and care. +1 computers.
- Most computers are silicon-based. Kids are more sophisticated "wetware." +1 for kids.
- Computers require ventilation. Urban kids tend to acquire asthma. +1 computers.
So it's better to be a computer? Is there more money coming to you then, from the state?
And is it better to be in charge of a computer? Q.E.D.? That can't be the sum of it.
I'm racking my brain. What is it about kids that's better again?
Kids are people.
Got it. Simple, right?
Somehow I almost forgot. Kids are people, and people can be nice.
People can be dads, but dads should be permitted to be people.
I reflect my preoccupations here.
But I think I'm going to be ok.
Because it's just as they sometimes say.
Problem? We've got people for that.