The Daddy Complex

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011 • 2 Comments

Do you know David Vienna?  If you have a baby or toddler or twins or just a good sense of humor about parenting, you should read The Daddy Complex.  I know, I know, it’s another parenting blog. But he’s funny.  And honest.  Brutally honest.  My favorite posts are the “conversations” he has with his twin boys Wyatt and Boone (are those not awesome names?).  They’re not real conversations—his boys are only around 2, I think—but I bet if his kids could carry on full conversations, they’d sound just like this:

Do Over

Wyatt: Hey, dude. You got a sec?

Me: Sure.

Wyatt: I just wanted to let you know I’m going to throw a fit in a few minutes.

Me: What?

Wyatt: Yeah. And it’s going to be a doozy. Shrieking, crying, hitting, flailing. It’ll be like a greatest hits of my best tantrums.

Me: No. Please.

Boone: What’s going on?

Me: Your brother… Get your finger out of your nose. Your brother says he’s going to throw a massive fit.

Boone: Cool. Wait. Let me get my crackers.

Me: Why? I mean if you know it’s coming, maybe we can avoid it.

Wyatt: You can’t avoid the inevitable, old man. I’ve got to go pee. You’re going to ask me to go on the potty. That’s how it will start.

Me: Well, you have to learn to use the potty.

Wyatt: See? Inevitable. Once I get going, I’ll ramp up quickly to nuclear holocaust level.

Boone: I’m back. What did I miss?

Me: He says he’s going to throw a fit because I’m going to tell him to use the potty.

Boone: Oh, good, a classic.

Wyatt: I’m telling you, this will be like the Armageddon of meltdowns.

Boone: I love this story.

Me: What if I don’t ask you to use the potty?

Wyatt: What?

Boone: A twist! Awesome.

Me: Experts say if a child reacts badly to potty training to put them back in diapers and sort of hit the reset button.

Boone: Wow! I did not see that coming.

Wyatt: I guess that would be okay.

Me: Okay. Let’s get you in a diaper and we’ll try the potty training again in a week or two.

Boone: Hold on. That’s it? That’s no way to end this story. Where’s the action, the drama, the pathos?

Me: It’s best for Wyatt.

Boone: Fine. While you’re in problem-solving mode, I just wet my pants.

Patrick hasn’t reached the tantrum stage—and I won’t mind if he bypasses that toddler milestone entirely—but these “conversations” remind me that tantrums and potty training and all the rest of the madness of toddlerhood will eventually pass.  Might as well laugh at the frustrating stuff—and enjoy the good stuff.

Posted by Kristina in Baby, Pregnancy and Baby
  • Every new parent should get the cd by Nancy White called “Momnipotent.”  It is a truly hilarious collection of songs about being pregnant/a new parent.  I laughed until I cried at songs like “Leonard Cohen’s never Gonna Bring My Groceries In” and my very favourite, as I was pregnant at Xmas (the baby was born Jan.8) “It’s so great to be pregnant at Christmas”.  She’s shopping for gifts in a gift shop and ‘Whoops there goes another Braxton Hicks Contraction/ and I’m knockin’ over knick-knacks again!”  Also a song about a mom who is trying to keep up with the news when all she watches is Sesame Street and Barney.  Oh the list doe go on but it’ll make you cry with hilarity.  I also reccommend “Honey I Blew Up the Baby.” in which the intrepid dad who shrunk the kids in the first movie has now inadvertently caused their 18 month old baby to grow.  The best part is when he’s about ten feet tall and terrorizing the family home.  Once he’s the size of King Kong I started getting worried about him but guess what?  All ends well.
    The book you mention looks like a lot of fun, too.  It really is an altered reality, being the parent of a new baby.  And K, once those tantrums etc. hit, it’s good to know that this will help you when the big tantrums (the ones in the teenage years) arrive.

  • Elizabeth says:

    Love the dialogue!  Reminds me a little of Ray Romano’s routine about his 2 year old sons.  I heard that before I got pregnant.  I thought it was funny then, but the bits and pieces I remember now that *I* am dealing with an almost-2fer are hilariously right.  The one that’s the most apropos right now for us is ‘jellylegs’.  He had a long spiel about how 2 year olds can just turn boneless and slither right out of your grasp.  And it is SO TRUE!

    I think Vienna’s got it nailed.  Even when they can’t talk, you can just see the calculations in their heads.  “Hmm…Mommy said no, so I’ll pretend I’m doing something else for 6.7 seconds and then try again…drat!  Guess 6.7 seconds wasn’t long enough.  Okay, back to the cover activity.  Let’s see if 10 seconds works…”

    My little girl hasn’t really started tantrums, either, for which I am profoundly grateful.  She has her sulky moments, and she IS incredibly independent, but I think/hope/cross my fingers she’s got her father’s sweet disposition.  Either that, or she’s using up all her stockpile of ‘good’ and those teenage years are going to be hell on wheels.  I’m really, *really* hoping it’s the former.

    I knew I would love her, and certainly we wanted her, but I never realized just how much fun she would be.  There are times I wish I’d gotten pregnant years ago, but I also think one reason she’s so much fun is that I’m old enough now to appreciate her and give her the attention she needs without feeling I’m missing out myself.  There’s something to be said for being a mom of advanced age, as they call us!

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Author, anthologist, mother, wife, dreamer, storyteller, coffee drinker. I blog here sporadically, when I'm not writing, editing anthologies for Cleis Press or messing around on Facebook. Welcome! Want to know more?

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