BAD DADITORIAL – Your Child Is Not Special

16 Jun 2010 by Dear Bad Dad, 2 Comments »

At the playground, as I kept an eye on The Girl giving her doll the lastest Medusa hair style (a/k/a “The Winehouse”), I overheard a gaggle of moms chatting about their kids.

One mom stood out.

In excruciating detail, she described how her little boy (let’s call him Shiva the Destroyer) had moved a chair below a shelf, then climbed on the chair to grab something from the shelf.  I think it was a Spongebob windup toy.  Or a hunting knife.

Then, with an air of politician-caliber insincerity, Shiva’s mom said, to no one in particular… “I don’t know if it’s like that for everyone.”

I had to put down my chalupa to keep from choking.

Yes, ma’am.

Yes it is.

It is like that for everyone.  (Except, I think, for the Amish – they’re the ones who don’t use chairs, right?)

Every “cute”-slash-“mischievous” thing your offspring does has been done by kids since the dawn of time:

  • Og, son of Tak and Zuh, loved to pull on his pet saber-tooth tiger’s tail ALL the time.  Till the tiger mauled his face off, that is.  Lesson learned.
  • Little Caligula was SO imaginative with the way he made these darling finger paintings out of his servants’ viscera.
  • Baby Henry V would shimmy up the castle kitchen’s tapestries like a spider monkey to get at a mutton leg.
  • And don’t get me started on the antics of young Catherine the Great and her Shetland pony.

But these days, when every Jaysohn and Maya and Jasper is  perceived by their doting parents as bigger than Jesus and Mary and Joseph, is it any wonder that the wholly pedestrian is hailed as the extraordinary (“Tallulah just vomited!  Quick!  Get a Ziploc and put it in the scrapbook!  Send out a tweet!  Call The View!”)?

I beg parents out there to think before they kvell:

  • Unless your child hits “developmental milestones” WAY early — as in walking at 2 months, reading at 3 months, suing for emancipation from you at 9 months — then it’s just not that big a deal.  Zip it.
  • Don’t put your kid’s antics on YouTube, either.  They’re not nearly as precious as you think.  On the off chance the video takes off — see David After Dentist, Charlie Bit My Finger, Random Laughing Scandinavian Infant — then get ready for a world of hurt because: a) you will look like an exploitative asswipe and b) when your kid is older and the video gets “discovered” by all your kid’s “friends,” your therapy bills to overcome the taunting will be staggering.
  • Finally, if your kid is a certain age and my kid is around the same age, then my kid has puked, spat, pissed and shat just as, ahem, creatively as yours.  So please, don’t play the “If you think THAT’S gross…” game with me.  It will just end a tie.

The next time you think your experience with your child is unique, do something REALLY special.

Keep it to yourself.


  1. lex says:

    I love this!! I have a 14 month old and I’m so sick of parenting groups because it’s like it’s a huge f*cking race to all of them!! I seem to be the only parent who doesn’t think my kid is special because she learned how to take off her diaper!!! ooooh they have figured out wussy velcro with disgusting consequences what a genius!!!!

    I love my child and she kicks ass but that doesn’t mean I have to wqax platonic about every little adorable thing she does to everybody. They are nice moments shared between myself her and my boyfriend when he is at home. Why isn’t that enough for people?

  2. Dear Bad Dad says:

    Dear Bad Dad appreciates your appreciation, lex.

    And yes, it is viewed as a race. Unfortunately, we all lose. Especially the children who get names like these:

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