Logic. The Vulcans had it right, in my opinion. That which does not follow logic is usually irrational, at times baffling, and frankly sometimes rather scary for me. If logic is adhered to, most of the time, I’m comfortable.
When things get whacky, I’m usually the guy who says “What the f… Alright, wait. Hang on here, back it up. Let’s think about this…” and we cut out the silly, consider this or that, and we get to a conclusion of some sort, be it a solid decision or at least a direction to stumble along in until such a time that things makes sense again.
This is how I get through life. Life: a series of things, some crazy, some sane, some weird, some not that comes your way and you have to deal with. Some people get emotional and act in the moment, reactionary and passionate. This is not me. I’ve perhaps done this once or twice, but I’ve never come out of it saying “That went well”. Typically I spend the next few weeks calling myself every kind of dumbass.
Anyway, those of you who have children can relate to the complete upset of logic I’m going to talk about… Once the kids come, nothing really goes as planned, nor does it go as expected. My oldest is now closing in on her fifth birthday, which will be this summer. As most parents will say, I can’t believe how fast time has gone. Five already!? …and yet, in the time she’s aged her four plus years, I think I may have aged a decade or more.
My comfortable blanket of routine and logic was quickly torn to bits after fatherhood set in, and I mean “set in” cause it doesn’t really start on day 1. Sure the first eight or so months were an adjustment… Night time feedings, soiled diapers, drool… (Which by the way, if I had to sum up parenthood of an infant in just one word, that word would be “wet” in almost every sense of the word) and of course the irrational expression of need… Screeching. But once all that is coupled with mobility and language, all bets are off.
You spend a lot of time chasing, following, correcting, taking away of things, pulling things from the mouth that were never meant to be in a mouth, protecting of pets, cleaning, feeding, washing, bathing… After a while it subsides a bit. You do less and less of these things, and sooner or later, you find yourself believing that whichever of these behaviors that has gone away, is gone for good. Rejoice! …But not for long.
Soon after the child seems to develop a solid sense of wrong or right, the things you were running ragged to put a stop to for the last year and a half seem to resurface!
It was a bit of a strain on my logic when it all started, but when it’d gone away, and I’d said “finally!”… it came back! The “Terrible Twos” (which is a complete misnomer, as it implies that it starts at 2 and ends at 3… it does not always start at two, and it doesn’t always end at 3. I’m beginning to think there are cases where it may never end!) set in, and they start doing things just to see if these things are still a no-no.
This is where I get frustrated. “It was a no-no yesterday, why wouldn’t it be a no-no today!?” Of course, logic is completely lost on a child, and even though I know this, I still find myself saying things like “What the F… Why the hell would you do that?!” and, always my favorite as a kid “You know better!”
One day in a fit of frustrated rage, I asked my daughter “Have you heard me say this before?! What are you, NEW?”
The term “What are you, new?” seems to sum up the entirety of my confusion, I think. I’ve found myself saying a lot. It’s applicable to just about every situation involving someone doing something they shouldn’t. It’s become a bit of a catch phrase, and sometimes I say without really listening to the question.
My second daughter, now 6 months grabbed a fist full of beard (a clear indication that it’s time for a trim) and on impulse, I shouted “Ow! What are you, new?!”
To which my 4 year old said “Uh yeah she is new daddy. Duuuh.”
…And so we’ve come full circle…