Odd Thoughts on Having a Kid

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Of all the reasons I haven’t produced any offspring yet, music has to be near the top of the list.  I can’t imagine that even the happiest parent could lie through their child-bearing teeth and say that kids’ music doesn’t suck terribly.  It’s not like Christmas music, which goes away after a month or two – a parent is stuck with kids’ music for at least four or five years, or until the parent decides to start pushing Lil’ Wayne on their kid.  “Listen Tommy, this is a fun song!  It’s about a lollipop!”

A lot of my friends from America have kids.  I see their pictures on Facebook and sometimes I think of how different my life would be if I didn’t get a divorce and head off to Asia.  That could be me posting pictures in an album called ‘Sally’s First Year.’  Likewise, instead of playing my beloved Badfinger or Donovan albums, I could be living in a world of music dominated by The Wiggles.

In all honesty, I’m petrified of The Wiggles.  I vividly remember friends who once were cool, now humming Wiggles songs.  “Delany loves The Wiggles,” one of my friends said, “and the songs are really catchy.  I can’t get them out of my head most days.”  The scary thing about The Wiggles is they get your kid first, and then they convert you.  One day you’re walking around in a Ramones t-shirt, and the next you’re singing ‘Hot Potato’ alone in your room like a man-child.

Being a teacher, I’m constantly bombarded with kids’ music.  It was never a problem until I was confronted with the Backpack series of textbooks, which contain some of the best post-Lennon/McCarthy songwriting the world has seen.  Some days when there’s time to kill, I blast the Backpack songs for my class and we jam out.  I know all the lyrics.  I dance.  I even act parts of the songs out as if I’m in a music video.  Meanwhile, on weekends when I’m out at the bar and LMFAO is playing, I stand in the corner still and silent.

People used to ask me when I wanted to have kids and I’d say, “When the music gets better.”  Although I definitely don’t want a kid right now, I will at least admit that their taste in music might not be as shitty as I used to think it was.

*

Before I became jaded and cynical, I really wanted to have a daughter.  There’s nothing in the world cuter than a little girl, with the obvious exception of an otter (they’re in a league of their own).  I used to think about how fun it would be to have my own little chica; I decided that I’d nickname her ‘Sloopy’ like the girl in that old song by The McCoys.  She would play with dolls and be adorable.  I liked the idea.  It seemed easier than trying to raise an otter.

Recently, though, I’ve changed my mind.  I don’t think I can handle a daughter.  To be frank, I don’t want my Sloopy growing up to be a slut.  I see a lot of the young women here in Korea, fresh out of college, and I marvel at how promiscuous they are.  It even bothers me when I’m hitting on them.  Perhaps I’ve become a prude old man, too set in images of women that have become obsolete.  Maybe I need to let go of certain stereotypes, like how a woman is supposed to tidy up or make lunches for the kids or have the same sexual partner two weekends in a row.

You know how some parents get upset when their kid turns out to be gay?  I would be the proudest, happiest father ever if Sloopy came out as a lesbian.  I don’t want any sleazy guys around my daughter!  In fact, I might even raise her that way: “Here’s how it works, Sloopy.  Guys like girls.  And girls also like girls.  Those girls that like guys…they’re gay.”

C-Batz and I had an interesting conversation once about whether or not a teenage girl should be allowed to have a boy in her bedroom with the door closed.  I told her I would be fine with it as long as the door was glass.  Seriously, though, I don’t know what I’d do.  Right now I’m having lots of trouble trusting any girlfriends, so I guess I wouldn’t be able to trust a daughter either.  I need a few years and a positive experience with a woman to de-jade me.

Hang on, Sloopy.

*

There are times, being an educator, that I’ll have a kid in my class and I’ll think, “Hmm, I wouldn’t mind having that kid as my own.”  I thought that the other day with a little Asian boy named Aaron.  All he does is scream and fall down all day and it’s hysterical.  Yeah, his shtick might get old after awhile, but I’m betting it doesn’t.  If I were to choose one kid from my school to adopt, I would pick Aaron for his pratfalls.

That made a light bulb go on over my head, and I knew exactly how I’d like to have children in the future.  Forget impregnating a woman.  That’s so 0-2012.  Old school.  I want to get my kid on a TV show.  It would kind of like The Bachelor, except instead of women, it would be a house full of kids and I’d have to send one home every week until I was left with the one I wanted.

On Survivor they say, “The tribe has spoken,” and on Rock of Love it’s, “Your tour ends here.”  When I kick some brat off, I could say, “I’m sorry Tommy…I’m not your father” or “Get your ass back to the orphanage.”  Imagine the drama on the show.  The backstabbing, the fights, the bathroom accidents.  The tears of devastation when the producers drag the loser away, leaving all his toys behind.  Imagine the trauma and the years of therapy my program would lead to.  We could have the reunion show in twenty years, when all the reject kids are grown and have meth addictions.

All right, maybe my idea’s a little unethical.  Is a nice kid and good ratings too much to ask?  For now I’ll settle for teaching 12 classes of crazy children, singing songs with them, and sending them off to their parents, who presumably wouldn’t trade their child for Aaron.

*

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37 thoughts on “Odd Thoughts on Having a Kid

  1. You could use one of my 4 boys to promote your show AND Bam loves Blink 182 which is pretty awesome for a 4 year old. My 7 year old though… he likes Justin Bieber but is saved by the grace that he *loves* Rise Against… And who the heck are The Wiggles? No pictures?

    • That’s awesome! Not the Justin Bieber part, but the other things I meant. I’m surprised you don’t know the Wiggles…if you saw these guys, you’d get why I didn’t put any pics or links up. Actually, I’m sorry I alerted you to their existence and I now feel bad. : P

      • Oh yes. That’s okay because we have enough awesomeness to overcome any hiccups such as the Wiggles. I mean the boys chose watching The Others and the 1959 House on Haunted Hill over SpongeBoob… I mean Bob… this weekend. Their love of Vincent Price movies will squash the creepy out of those shows!

  2. The earlier in life you get married you would want to have a kid few years later.
    I would not feel like having kids right after a couple years of being married. Funny how you start thinking differently about a single thing as the years pass.

    Having said that I think I would now go do my own little rant on my blog.

  3. Most Extreme Orphan Elimination Challenge? The children vie for your fatherly affection via Takeshi’s Castle.

    Children’s music has always been the one thing that has made me feel old, ever since starting teacher’s college. You can only feel young and hip for so long while simultaneously being crotchety about the state of music these kids are listening to.

      • That’s why I had to ditch out of the girlfriend hunt. TTD and I hit the… every bottle too hard the night before, and I was down with a flu by halfway through that birthday party. Did you find a girlfriend?

      • Um, we won’t talk about that night. It’s now filed as Confidential. Short answer – no.

        Yo, you hid your follower number. What the heck man? Now I can’t click it when it gets to 499…ah well, guess I’ll click it now and get this anticipation over with.

      • Hah, did things become more interesting after TTD and I vacated the premises? Were the 70s people involved in some capacity? Depending on confidentiality levels, you may text me the answer.

        I thought if I put a little mystery in it, people were more likely to follow. It worked in your case, at least! (For the record, you were 439 on wordpress, 485th in total.)

  4. Cat

    No Wiggles or Dora in this house. Dave Matthews and Maroon 5, however…
    And let me know when The Bachelor, Kid Edition starts airing. I’d watch it over that other shit any day.

  5. E.

    i wrote about ‘first-born’ and ‘stray child’ yesterday. you wrote about having kids today. i know it sounds crazy but sometimes i feel like we go way back, Bill, like we have known each other for a long time.

    (this is not a decent comment as i’m dealing with my lesson plans for tomorrow — 5 hours, meh! — i’ll come back with proper thoughts)

      • E.

        5 hours of teaching, Bill! can’t imagine sitting through 5 hours of planning! oh, those 5 hours on Thursday left me completely knackered. not to mention i also did 5 hours on Wednesday. Wednesdays and Thursdays are always the climax of the week to me. sometimes i feel like they are the evil step-sisters and i’m Cinderella — i neither hate the evil step-sisters nor like (to be) Cinderella. but it’s Friday now. Fridays are always easy on me. only 1 hour of teaching and 3 hours of self-studying Spanish. speaking of which, i’m leaving in 15 minutes for work. better stop with all the nonsense and give you proper comments on the topic.

        first, music. well, for the records, Vietnamese kids’ music isn’t bad. i don’t know what’s going on in the market now, but all the songs i listened to and sand along when i was a kid were quite decent, in my opinion. as for English songs, i don’t know any particular bands but i do know some particular songs. i also do know the one that i particularly hate, The Wheels on the Bus. never ever let me be near where this song is playing. i just hate it. it gets on my nerve. if i hear it, even just once, you’ll find me humming ‘the wheels on the bus go round and round…’ all day long. i don’t think i can hold it if one day my adorable little angel comes home from kindergarten and says, ‘guess what, mama? i learnt The Wheels on the Bus today at school! i’ll sing it to you tonight as we go to bed.’ i’d rather do 5-hour planning.

        second, i agree that nothing melts your heart more than a cute little girl. i’m a sucker for that. i have this 8-year-old private student that i really like — he’s probably my favourite, even though i always try not to have any favourite students. he’s just everything you wish a student to be plus a very good sense of humour. sometimes i think of stealing him from his parents, but the image of the little girl of my own always beats that thought. i even have nicknames and several real names to choose from for my girl.

        as for the reality show, dying to see it, Bill. you think you can make it someday? i rarely watch TV, but if you’re on, i’ll be waiting in front of my TV every night.

        alright, good for now. gotta run. have fun, Bill, whatever you’re doing!

        : )

  6. I’m sure if you ever have little Sloopy you’ll be a great dad to her. Glass doors sound good.

    It’s not so much The Wiggles that freak me out because you can just substitute your own music for that slaw. It’s the tremendous amount of amazingly mind-numbing TV programming out there for kids that gives me the willies. Being in Korea, you are luckily not exposed to shows like Caillou, but it’s BAD and I really fear that it will take over my life once my little gal arrives in April. Yet another reason for me to move back to Korea: the farting orange monster with a lettuce leaf on its head. I think that will keep everyone entertained.

    • Hi Waiting! I didn’t realize you’re preggars! Congratulations!

      I have no idea what the farting orange monster is, but I will look into this ASAP. This seems like information I need to know about. Thank you so much for the scoop, and the pingback. : )

  7. So, I haven’t been on WordPress for ages because of university work, but this is the first time i’ve been on in weeks, and I beeline straight to your blog. Great as per usual 🙂 ❤

  8. When I had my oldest son (I have two) he had listened to the Beatles via headphones on my tummy before he was born. He’s 15 now and guess what he’s playing on his guitar? He is a music snob and his I-tunes play list includes Beatles songs I’ve never heard, Boston and Dan Fogelberg, among others. He scoffs at my Lady Gaga and can bring tears to my eyes when he plays “Dust in the Wind.” Yeah, he used to enjoy Barney and the like, but it just goes to show that if you start ’em out right, they always come back to the good stuff!

    BTW: Yes, you should trash SOME of the stereotypes. Men can just as well tidy up AND make the kids’ lunches (and their own too) for that matter. But, I do agree with you as far as the promiscuity aspect. I want my boys to be gentlemen so I expect the girls to be ladies. 🙂

    • I love this comment! I can picture you with the headphones on your stomach, blasting Revolver. Was it difficult making it through the Barney phase? I guess it’s a necessary evil and one must remember that the kid will grow into a snob just like mom or dad eventually.

      Okay, okay…shedding lame images. I think I should also NOT use the phrase ‘tidy up.’ What am I, an old English man?

      Thanks Carol! In spirit I give my approval next time your kid plays More Than a Feeling. : )

      • Nah…Barney was fine. Kids need that kind of safe music when they are little. Also, when you have kids of your own you’ll understand how fleeting that time of protected innocence is and you will (believe it or not) miss those quiet afternoon naps you used to take with them while a Barney lullaby plays softy in the background.

        On the other hand, I have distinct memories of my 1.5 year old sitting in his car seat with a pacifier in his mouth and kicking his feet in time to The Beatles #1 album. What can I say, he was ahead of his time.

        And yeah…glad you self-censored that “tidy up” comment…I wasn’t even gonna touch that one.

        “More Than a Feeling”—yep, that’s it. Love that song!

  9. My taste in music is acquired. it came from Mom whose rado station ‘s permanenrly tuned in to Classic Rock station….. Beatles, Led Zep, The Kinks, etc…. her generation’s kind…. which i love , too. They’re great.

    Great to have kids while we are still young…. we grow with them.

  10. I’m completely in love with one of my students, Lucy. Morale is really low amongst the 110% disgruntled staff at my school right now and then the other day Lucy wasn’t there during snack time. It sent me into a depression thinking that she wasn’t going to be there but luckily, I spotted her and her little pink coat traipsing through the hallway halfway through second class. Whew!

    For the elimination rounds on your show, you should have a Maury-style paternity test result unveiling.

    • I bet Lucy is a doll! I mean, her name is Lucy! Yeah, everyone at my school is disgruntled as well…thankfully the cuteness of the kids seems to have some sort of redemptive power. : )

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