I swore it would never happen to me because, since I am me, I am in control of such things. Well, that was a flawed theory because, somehow, I have managed to become that dad.
You know, the one we all hate before having kids of our own. I abashedly submit to you the evidence:
1. When asked about my 3-year-old daughter in the course of phony small talk, I reflexively search my phone to display the most recent photo that the phony small-talker didn't ask to see.
2. Loudly and publicly cheering my child's every hideous drawing, nonsensical "show," and everything that spurts out of her into a toilet.
3. Telling my daughter to shush only once or twice on a plane. If that doesn't work, then sorry, but I tried.
4. Letting her climb the stairs by herself in a public place, transforming a stream of polite but hurried people into a hostile Costco checkout line.
5. Giving her the iPad when I need to work upstairs, telling her to stay on the couch, and yelling down every 20 minutes to make sure she is still alive.
6. Walking her into the men's room, thereby transforming entire rows of urinal users into sex criminals.
7. Automatically assuming that all dinner invitations include my child and refusing to attend if they're after 6 p.m.
8. Placing my daughter in the care of people I don't research, and don't want to, because they're too convenient. The daycare at my gym? I'm sure everyone there is bonded, knows CPR, and has never killed anyone. Right? Right.
9. Actually saying and frequently: "Because I said so, that's why!"
10. Posting her Cesarean section on Facebook. I told you I wasn't proud of this list.
How have you become the parent you used to hate?
Image via Corey Levitan
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