Tuesday, November 07, 2006


I got an email from Rich informing me that he failed to watch House last night because he got caught up in the election results and with the raising of his children. I have decided that I cannot allow this to slide without saying a few words.

Rich, this was a midterm election. Picture in your mind a very small potato. Children in 20 years will be required to learn exactly nothing about this entire campaign season. Don't believe me? Then ask your children for a blow-by-blow of the 1986 elections. Try to look surprised if they didn't know there was one. If this year goes into the annals of history for anything, it'll be that Hugh Laurie was not nominated for an Emmy.

Secondly, enough already with the children thing. I have watched over the years as you've declined invitations to attend concerts, parties, the post-work drink rituals and possibly thousands of other things, and you always tack on this lame excuse about needing to spend time with your kids.

I can remain silent no longer. You are robbing your children of scores of opportunities by spending time with them. It is a integral part of American childhood to have distant or absent parents. Your children will grow up and enter the world having no one to easily scapegoat for all of their problems. This will only alienate them from their peers. And, aside from your much bally-hooed poverty, they have nothing to overcome.

We are fortunate in America in that we have the right to expect our schools to raise our children for us. Learning to read? Covered. Restricting what they can read once they've learned? Covered. Setting boundaries? Covered. Punishments? Covered. The sex talk? Covered. So relax. It's all covered. Most places, they'll even pick the kids up in the morning and drop them off when they're done.

There is no skill requirement to becoming a parent. And it only takes a few minutes. So you shouldn't be punished for years and years just because you had a kid or four. They've got their whole lives ahead of them, but you're not getting any younger. The children are the future, not the present.

But the most important thing you're missing out on is the heartwarming reconciliation when they're long since grown and moved away. They'll come back for Thanksgiving or something, with all their latent resentments in tow. And you'll say something about wishing you were there more when they were young. And everybody will hug and learn a lot before the credits roll and whatever is next on Lifetime comes on.

OK, I have to wrap this up. My therapist wants me to come in for an extra session today for some reason.


Anonymous said...


You're absolutely right. I couldn't have said it any better myself. How silly of me.

Don't have time to type much more. Need to go deprive my kids of neglect.


The Moon Topples said...

Well, aside from pointing out that you're already depriving them of neglect, just not with it, I have nothing to add.

Remember the old catchphrase: deprive, so they can thrive!

Anonymous said...


Depriving them of neglect is exactly what I meant. Depriving them WITH neglect is what you suggested I do, and I'm choosing not.

So, stop pointing out what you think I'm describing incorrectly, when really I'm describing exactly what you don't want me to do.

That should clarify things.


The Moon Topples said...


Once again you're getting your words all mixed up. Is English your first language?

Let me point out what you're describing incorrectly: if you go the way you're saying, your kids will never be able to become tortured artists. They are not likely to work in creative fields, because they didn't have to develop their imaginations as a means of escape from the fact that you were never around. Not many "voices of a generation" grew up in the environment you're suggesting.

You want to raise a banker, go right ahead. But my kids will know (when they're old enough) that I took the hard road and deliberately messed them up to see what would happen. And they'll be grateful (although they'll never show it because we frankly won't have that kind of relationship).

Oh, and my therapist seemed shocked by all this and I ended up having to fire him. "But you were making such strong progress," he mourned. Whatever, Dr. Adler. Go peddle your crap somewhere else.

And now I'm off to cry for a couple of hours, for no reason at all.

He Who Does Not Subscribe said...

Yes, yes, you are correct on all accounts, somehow.

I too decline invitations of all sorts, my lame excuse is the same as Rich's. Well, kinda. I visit the bars alone and talk to the really nice women who wave me down on Cicero Avenue. That leads me to the best of both worlds -- not having to bond with people from work and neglecting my kids at the same time. I figure the less they know of me, the more they will love me. Hell, it has worked thus far with my wife.

Now, if I can just get rid of this damn rash.

Anonymous said...

yup, count me in on the folks who miss out on such things as the nano party at marcello's because of the kids...hey, i thought that's what we had them for...and, nice chapter work so far, mister...good luck with the rest!

The Moon Topples said...

TLPW: I'm adding a link to your site to my page because you did a post about Iambic Pentameter which mentions Stephen Fry.

Hooray for word nerds.

Anonymous said...

Hi moon tops (can i call you that?) thanks for the link and I've likewise linked you too...