Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Raising Up Baby

     I am the first of my friends to have a kid. At least, the first of my friends in Eugene. I have several friends in Portland and elsewhere who have babies, but here in town Wyatt is a bit of a novelty. When my friends get to see him, they ask a lot of tough questions. What toys are you going to have him play with? Will you let him play video games? Will he play sports? Do you think you'll let him watch a lot of television? Are you going to teach him math? All of these questions have the central theme of wondering if the things I like, he will like, or if I will be a good parent.

     I've received some good advice a couple times: Work to not push your desires (and insecurities) onto your kid. So, if Wyatt wants to do the things that I do, great, but if not that's fine. I just know that when he is playing with toys, I want them to be creative at some level. So, blocks, LEGOs, lincoln logs, and train sets are all wonderful. If he just wants Ninja Turtles and GI Joes, and giant plasticy toys, we can find a nice balance.

     I don't think I'll get Wyatt video games for a long, long time. I didn't have any until 8th grade (and even then it was a plain old NES, when the 64 had been out for several years) A lot of video games have great puzzles and opportunities to be super creative, but most of them really do involve shooting people and stealing cars. We'll see. This means he'll just have to watch me play and I'll answer the question "When's it my turn?" with "In seven years."

     I find myself setting goals that are very unrealistic. Like that he won't ever eat fast food with us, won't watch too much TV, and will be in calculus by the age of 14. Months. But, if there's a 30Rock marathon on, we're watching HOURS of TV.

     Other questions my friends ask me: Is it stressful having a life in your control? Do you go a little crazy? Where do you find your inspiration to be such a brilliant writer? Do you think Wyatt will like math? Do you think he'll be good at sports? How did you master all forms of social media so effortlessly? Do you still have that TV for sale? Did you watch New Girl last night? What's it like being so many things to so many people?

     My answers? Well, they are humble of course, but they go like this (in order to your questions): What's new? How could I, when I have the internet? From within, and from out there. I doubt he'll like it as much as I do. He most certainly will not. It wasn't effortless. I do. Of course I did. It is what it is.

1 comment:

  1. Loved it. When he's three get him an iXL. Looks video game-esque but is actually getting them to learn the alphabet and such.