DO THE MATH
The Girlfriend is a woman. The Girlfriend has two daughters. I have one daughter. Do you know what that means? It means that I am constantly surrounded by females. When I discuss this with my guy friends, they all shake their heads and ask what it's like living with four females.
(1) Do you know how long it takes three little girls to get ready in the morning? On average, they each need to brush their hair about 2,304 times before they even think about brushing their teeth. If I need to take a shower in the morning, I set my alarm to beat the morning rush. If the shower takes more than three minutes, I start hearing little fists pounding on the bathroom door.
(2) Sometimes I leave the apartment just to take a crap.
(3) When you live with four females, the odds are high that at least one of them is going to be mad at you at any given time. As men, we learn at a young age that the best way to deal with an angry female is to avoid her. We also know that women are like wolves. When one is mad at you, they circle the wagons and mark you as prey. No man in history has survived the wrath of multiple females. It''s like being on the wrong end of a fast break on the basketball court. You run back to play defense but the odds are that someone is going to dunk on your head. Your only option is to flee the apartment immediately. Preferrably to go take a crap.
(4) The Drama! Oh, the Drama!
(5) The average female takes approximately 78 minutes to get ready to leave the apartment. Ok, now multiply that by four and you have a brief semblance of what it takes to go out for a simple family dinner. Mahatma Gandhi once said, "patience means self-suffering." Gandhi had four sons. Homeboy doesn't know shit about patience.
All kidding aside, I LOVE being surrounded by girls.
They're sugar and spice and everything nice.
Boys scare the living shit out of me. They're like miniature chihuahas possessed by Satan, caked in mud and adrenaline. The boys I see while chaperoning school trips never cease to amaze me. On one recent 2nd grade outing, I watched a boy repeatedly bang his head against the side of a school bus until he almost passed out. When I asked him what the hell he was doing, he said "It's fun. Try it!" I then looked over to see his dim-witted dummy friends doing the same exact thing. Total. Fucking. Morons.
Friends of mine have a boy who has so much excess energy that they were forced to erect a trampoline in their backyard so the kid could burn off all the reckless energy and wouldn't set the house on fire.
Think I'm kidding?
According to a recent study, a baby boy is 76% more likely to set something his parents own ablaze. Boys are also much more likely to bully, use drugs, be violent, and go to jail. This also means that they're much more likely to shorten what's left of my precious life span.
Besides, have you hung out with any teenage boys lately? These kids speak mainly in audible grunts and nods. I’d be shocked if their facial muscles actually work.
Comedian (and father of two girls) Louis C.K. once wrote about how much more interesting girls are than boys. They're sensitive creatures who notice the world around them and take part in doing things that boys wouldn't even notice. They're thoughtful little flowers who treat people well and, for the most part, genuinely care about those around them. Boys? Eh...not so much.
This is, of course, a generalization; a lot of girls end up being selfish and obnoxious as grown-ups, just as some men are really sensitive and thoughtful. But I generally prefer spending time in the presence of females. Girls are good roommates; they're good company when you go shopping; they're able to talk openly about their feelings; and they're a lot of fun to hang out with in the car when you're just sitting in traffic (nothing in life warms the cockles of my jaded heart more than hearing three little girls sing Adele songs from the back seat while we're jammed up on I-495 in a soul-crushing traffic jam that makes downtown Beijing look like the Bonneville Salt Flats.)
Those little things add up to a better life.
Also, in all honesty, I'm 43 years old. I think I'm too old to have a son. After a long day at work, I really don't want to go outside and toss a football with a boy, or bounce him around on the trampoline for hours, or go coach his Little League team.
I just want to lie back, put my feet up on the couch, curl up with the girls, and watch two hours of "So You Think You Can Dance."
Crap, maybe all that estrogen is having an effect on me.
KEEP HOPE ALIVE!
Ever since the Peanut was born, I've spent an inordinate amount of time worrying about how best to raise a young girl in this day and age. Now that I worry about three little girls? It's all I ever think about.
While I contemplate the myriad of ways to build their confidence and self-esteem, nurture their creativity, and foster their talents, I also think about all the positive hopes I have for them in the future.
I hope they never lose their spark. I hope they're always honest and act with integrity. I hope they learn to take responsibility for their actions and own up to their mistakes.I hope they always do the right thing by helping those around them who are less fortunate. I hope they find partners who love, respect and honor them. I hope they always make the right decisions that will offer them a lifetime of happiness.
But mostly, I hope they learn to start cooking and cleaning because I'm sick of picking up their crap and making dinners that nobody eats.
THE TOOTH FAIRY RECESSION OF 2012
The Peanut is almost 8 years old and only recently started losing her teeth.
Her first tooth, she lost at school. The second, she swallowed. And the third was extracted via dental floss and the help of some of her friends.
I remember losing my first tooth as a kid. I was so fucking excited that I ran up to my dad, showed him the missing tooth, and told him I couldn't wait for the Tooth Fairy to come visit me that night. If memory serves correctly, he opened his wallet, tossed me a single, and said, "There is no tooth fairy, kid. Go buy yourself a comic book."
When the Peanut's first tooth came out, she was so sad about losing it that we spent over two hours writing a letter to the Tooth Fairy that would have put the epistolary chapters of "Pride and Prejudice" to shame. The letter was replete with time-lapse descriptions of the loss, detailed drawings of said missing tooth, and heartfelt pleas for clemency.
That night, I crept into her bedroom like a ninja and slipped a fresh dollar bill under pillow. Expecting her to wake up happy as a proverbial clam, I instead was greeted in the morning by a forlorn child who looked like she'd lost her best friend.
ME: "Why the sad face, honey? Didn't the tooth fairy come last night?"
PEANUT: "She did but she only left me a dollar!"
ME: "A dollar? That's great!"
ME: "When the tooth fairy visited Alessandra, she got $5 and when she went to see Lucas, he got a box of chocolates and twenty bucks! How come I only got a dollar? It's not fair!"
Someone once told me that if kids complain about only getting a dollar, you should pull out one of their other teeth with a pair of pliers and tell them that every time they bitch, "the tooth fairy skims one off the top."
But being a sensitive modern day father raising his daughter in the moral Gomorrah known as New York City, I decided to start casually polling friends of mine about the current market rate for a lost tooth.
Turns out that most of my friends are averaging about $5 per tooth. My buddy Jason recently gave his six-year-old niece $20 after she lost her first tooth. She then counted her teeth and projected her earnings out over the next year. Her next step: discounted cash flow, with a demand for a lump sum payment up front.
Smart kid but damn, it's bad enough that I have to listen to the Peanut whine about all the toys that I never buy her, now she's going to take her measly dollar to school and some other kid is gonna wave twenty bucks in her face and make her cry.
IS THERE NO DECENCY IN THIS ECONOMY?
THE FAB 5
Statistically speaking, the modern family is no longer solely confined to being a mother, a father, and their biological children living together under one roof.
Never before have there been so many factors influencing what we define as a family. These days, more unmarried people are raising children. Gay and lesbian couples are having children of their own. Single women are having children without a male partner to help raise them. More people are living together without ever getting married. More people of different races are marrying each other. And more than ever, many women are choosing to not ever even have children.
Personally, I've always believed that the only definition of family that matters is your own. As many of us have learned, being related is no guarantee of love. Furthermore, the state sanctioning of what constitutes a family should have no impact on how we choose to define our own sense of family.
The important thing is to have your own clan of loved ones whom you love and are there for you. Whether it be close friends, loved ones, or small farm animals, all you really need is your own little gang.
This is mine.
Hope you're all having a great summer...